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Prev Vet Med. 2013 Jun 1;110(2):183-9. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2012.11.022. Epub 2012 Dec 27.

Factors related to the level of occurrence of bovine abortion in Chilean dairy herds.

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1
Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile.

Abstract

The objectives of this study were (1) to estimate the frequency and dynamics of bovine abortion syndrome; (2) to identify groups of cows affected by abortion; and (3) to assess the characteristics of herd management and lactation associated with abortion rates. The study was performed using farmers' historical records for 77 dairy herds in the south of Chile (Bio-Bio, Los Lagos and Los Ríos Regions) collected between 2001 and 2005. These records included 44,959 lactations from 20,977 cows. In addition, farm management practices were assessed through a questionnaire involving 127 herds. The herds were selected according to the farmers' willingness to participate and the existence of high-quality electronic records assessed by the practitioners advising the farms. The frequency distribution of observed, inferred and general abortions was estimated by the incidence rate (IR). A hierarchical logistic regression analysis with random intercept was performed to assess the association between herd management and lactation characteristics and the occurrence of abortion. An IR of 1.74 per 100 cow-months at risk was estimated. General abortions were highest in first-parity cows (IR: 1.85 per 100 cow-months at risk). Abortion cases inferred from individual records were most frequent in the first trimester of gestation and decreased over time, whereas observed abortions increased in accordance with gestation time. The period of highest risk for abortion was around 82 days of gestation. Management practices such as a tap drinking system for cows, a closed herd, vaccination against leptospirosis, exclusive use of pasture for cows, animal density, the time that a calf stays with its dam and breed type were associated with the risk of abortion. The results of this study demonstrate that there is a large underestimation of abortion rates when only farmers' abortion records are analysed, and there are several factors associated with the risk of abortion.

PMID:
23273391
DOI:
10.1016/j.prevetmed.2012.11.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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