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Theriogenology. 2000 Jun;53(9):1729-59.

Effect of disease on reproduction in the dairy cow: a meta-analysis.

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Unit of Animal Health Management, Veterinary School-INRA, Nantes, France.


Effects on reproduction of dystocia, stillbirth, abortion, milk fever, retained placenta, metritis, cystic ovaries, anestrus, ketosis, displaced abomasum, locomotor disorders, and mastitis were reviewed. Papers were considered if they provided quantitative estimates of diseases on days to first estrus, days to first service, conception rate at first service, days from first service to conception, days to conception or days open, calving interval, conception rates at various days post partum (dpp), and number of services per conception or per cow. Only papers in English in peer-reviewed journals were selected for analysis of post 1960 data from intensive dairy regions. Seventy papers fulfilled the selection criteria. Summary estimates of disease effects were calculated according to meta-analysis methods, and study designs were described in detail to identify possible heterogeneity of the results. Stillbirth, milk fever, displaced abomasum and mastitis had no effect on reproduction. Clinical ketosis, dystocia and retained placenta were associated with 2 to 3 more days to first service and with a 4 to 10% lower conception rate at first service, resulting in 6 to 12 more days to conception. Locomotor disorders were associated with an average increase of 12 d to conception, with wide variation depending on lesions and stage of occurrence. Metritis was associated with 7 more days to first service, 20% lower conception rate at first service, resulting in 19 more days to conception. Cystic ovaries were associated with 6 to 11 more days to first service and with 20 to 30 more days to conception. Anestrus was associated with 26 more days to first service and with an 18% lower conception rate at first service, resulting in 41 more days to conception. Abortion was associated with 70 to 80 more days to conception.

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