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Theriogenology. 2013 Mar 1;79(4):640-6. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2012.11.018. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Treatment of queens in estrus and after estrus with a GnRH-agonist implant containing 4.7 mg deslorelin; hormonal response, duration of efficacy, and reversibility.

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1
Clinic for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Andrology of Large and Small Animals, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Giessen, Germany. Sandra.Goericke-Pesch@vetmed.uni-giessen.de

Abstract

Although slow release GnRH-agonist implants have been shown to effectively suppress the estrous cycle in queens, there are still several remaining questions about their use: if the probability and frequency of estrus induction because of initial stimulation is dependent on the stage of cycle when animals are treated, if all effects are reversible, and to what extent fertility is regained after the end of efficacy. The latter is of major interest to cat breeders who want temporary suppression of estrus in breeding animals. Twenty queens (14 with known fertility) were treated with a 4.7 mg deslorelin implant; hormonal changes (progesterone [P4], and estradiol [E2]) and behavioral changes with special respect to estrus signs and subsequent fertility were assessed. Group A cats (N = 10) were treated 3.2 ± 0.8 days after the beginning of estrus and estrus stopped 4.1 ± 2.5 days after treatment. Estrus induction was observed in one queen 6 days after treatment, and one queen showed estrous signs 138 and 155 days after treatment. Progesterone increased significantly after treatment in all animals until day 14, then slowly decreased reaching basal levels on day 56 without any further increase. Group B cats (N = 10) were treated 7 days after the end of estrus; nine cats had P4 > 1.5 ng/mL and basal E2, one cat (B10) had basal E2 and P4. In cat B10 estrus induction occurred after treatment, but in none of the others; however, E2 increased in all group B cats 1 day after treatment but reached pretreatment concentrations on Day 7 again and remained basal. The implant was still effective in one animal of the estrus group with a duration of efficacy >1102 days, in the others duration of efficacy varied between 483 and 1025 days. Eight queens were mated afterwards and gave birth to a healthy litter with 3.3 ± 1.5 kittens. This study proves that (1) the incidence of estrus induction-although very low-is highest after treatment in estrus or postestrus, (2) the duration of efficacy varies between 16 and 37 months, and (3) estrus suppression is reversible and animals remain fertile after the treatment effect has expired.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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