The presence of two ovulatory follicles at timed artificial insemination influences the ovulatory response to GnRH in high-producing dairy cows
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This study sought to examine the impact of the presence of two co-dominant (ovulatory) follicles at the time of artificial insemination (AI) on the ovulatory response to GnRH given in a fixed-time AI protocol. The study population comprised 622 lactating dairy cows: 306 (49.2%) with a single follicle, 198 (31.8%) with two bilateral follicles (one follicle per ovary) and 118 (19%) with two unilateral follicles (same ovary). Based on odds ratios, cows with two bilateral or unilateral follicles were less likely (by factors of 0.09 and 0.11, respectively) to undergo ovulation failure compared with cows with one follicle (P = 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively); the likelihood of ovulation failure decreased 0.75 times with every one-mm increase in follicle diameter for cows with a single follicle, whereas individual follicle diameter was not related to ovulation failure in cows with two bilateral follicles (P = 0.001). The likelihood of double ovulation decreased 0.7 times with every one-mm diameter difference between the larger and smaller follicle for all cows with two follicles (P = 0.001), whereas cows with two unilateral follicles showed a higher (P < 0.05) double ovulation rate than cows with two bilateral follicles. In 116 (58.6%) of the cows with two bilateral follicles, only the larger follicle ovulated in 59.5% cows, whereas only the smaller one ovulated in the remaining 40.5% cows. In these cows, a one-mm size difference between the larger and the smaller follicle gave rise to a 1.12-fold increase in the ovulation failure rate for the larger follicles (P = 0.0001). Cows with two bilateral follicles were more likely (by a factor of 1.5) to conceive than cows with one follicle (P = 0.001). Significant right-left differences were not found in cows with two bilateral follicles, whereas the right ovary was more active than the left in the remaining cows. Our results indicate that cows with two co-dominant follicles at AI show different ovulation patterns to those with one dominant follicle. A higher rate of ovulation failure was observed among cows with one follicle than cows with two follicles, whereas the conception rate was higher for cows with two bilateral follicles than for the remaining cows. In cows with two follicles, double ovulations along with ovulation of the smaller follicle were related to the least size difference between the larger and smaller follicle.
Is part ofTheriogenology, 2018, vol. 120, p. 91-97
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