Productive and reproductive performance of crossbred dairy heifers with induced lactation and efficacy of antimicrobial therapy associated with internal teat sealants
Keywords:Lactation induction protocol, Milk yield, Mastitis, Dairy cattle
This study evaluated (a) the efficacy of an association between injectable antibiotic therapy and sealant (ATBS) on milk yield (MY), somatic cell count (SCC), and prevalence of intramammary infections (IMI); and (b) the efficacy of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) on follicular cyst (FCs) resolution (cyclicity at the 45th day in milk; DIM) and cumulative pregnancy rate (CPR) in heifers submitted to a lactation induction protocol (LIP). A total of 114 crossbred (Holstein × Jersey) heifers, with 34.7 ± 4.8 months and 439 ± 56.35 kg were submitted to LIP. On the 5th day of the LIP, the heifers were assigned to (i) ATBS (n = 57) with 7 mg/kg of norfloxacin associated with sealant and (ii) Control 1 (n = 57; CONT1) with no treatments. Lactation began on the 21st day of LIP and the 15th DIM, FCs were diagnosed and 106 heifers were randomized into two treatment groups with 53 heifers each: (i) GnRH (5 mL injectable GnRH) and (ii) Control 2 (CONT2; no treatment). Of the 114 heifers initially induced, 83.33% (n = 95) responded to LIP with an average MY of 15.19 kg/milk/day during 22 weeks of lactation. In the first 14 DIM, the IMI prevalence was 18% and 28% for heifers ATBS and CONT1 treated, respectively. Additionally, coagulase-negative Staphylococcus was the most frequently isolated group of pathogens. Mammary quarters that received ATBS treatment had a lower risk of IMI and SCC than CONT1. The cyclicity at 45 DIM was 68% (ATBS) and 35% (CONT1), and 57% and 46% for animals in the GnRH and CONT2. CPR was 60% in the ATBS group and 89% in CONT1, but GnRH treatment did not affect the CPR. In conclusion, LIP was effective in stimulating MY in heifers, and the IMI prevalence decreased with ATBS treatment. Also, the use of GnRH did not affect the FC regression, cyclicity at 45 DIM, and CPR.
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