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J Anim Sci. 1992 May;70(5):1604-8.

Ponderosa pine needle-induced parturition in cattle.

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  • 1USDA, ARS, Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory, Logan, UT 84321.

Abstract

Needles of the Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) induce premature parturition in cattle when ingested during late pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. The closer to term, the more likely that pine needles will induce parturition. Experiments were designed to describe the clinical signs and behavior associated with ingestion of pine needles. Pine needles adversely affected only pregnant cows and did not seem to affect nonpregnant, cycling cows, sheep, goats, or rabbits. Premature parturition was more likely if cows ingested the needles after the 8th mo of pregnancy, if they ingested pine needles over a period of 3 d or more, and if cows ate a relatively large amount of pine needles (about 2.2 to 2.7 kg/d). A synthetic progesterone, melangesterol acetate, and a prostaglandin inhibitor (ketoprofen) seemed to be of some prophylactic benefit; however, further research is required to assess the practicality of the approach and the magnitude of the benefit. Ponderosa pine bark and new-growth branch tips, which seem to be more potent inducers of premature parturition, may be useful in the extraction and identification of the parturifacient component(s).

PMID:
1526928
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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