TitleInfertility due to abnormalities of the ovaries in cattle.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsFarin, PW, Estill, CT
JournalThe Veterinary clinics of North America. Food animal practice
Date Published1993 Jul

A careful physical examination of a cow or heifer suspected of having an ovarian problem often results in a specific diagnosis (e.g., freemartinism) or a workable list of differentials. When the diagnosis is uncertain, techniques such as rapid progesterone assays, ultrasonographic imaging, ova or embryo recovery, and cytogenetic evaluation can provide critical information for a well-based diagnosis and prognosis. Despite the wide array of problems that can afflict the bovine ovary, cystic ovaries probably are the most commonly diagnosed and treated ovarian abnormality. Cysts have a variable life span and sometimes occurs together with a CL. Hormonal therapy with either GnRH followed by PG approximately 9 to 14 days later, or GnRH alone, followed by good heat detection is the treatment of choice for cows with cysts. Other conditions associated with ovarian dyfunction and infertility include adhesions, developmental anomalies, and tumors. The life span of a CL in the cow can be shortened unintentionally by attempting to correct other problems (e.g., multiple injections of oxytocin for milk let-down), or lengthened by uterine pathology (e.g., pyometra, or uterus unicornis). The administration of GnRH or hCG to improve ovarian function and pregnancy rates in cows may be beneficial in selected herds.