Authors:Zsófia Bohák, Ottó Szenci, Andrea Harnos, Orsolya Kutasi and Levente Kovács
Temperament has not been taken into account in previous studies evaluating the stress response to exercise in horses. The aim of the present study was to investigate the cortisol response in Thoroughbred racehorses to a single exercise bout, and to analyse the results based on the basic personality of the horse examined. Twenty healthy Thoroughbred horses were selected for the study based on a 25-item rating questionnaire survey used for characterising equine temperament. Eight temperamental and twelve calm horses took part in the experiment. The horses trotted as a warm-up activity, and then galloped on a rounded sand track. Blood sampling was conducted four times for each horse. Horses with a more excitable temperament showed a higher cortisol response to the test (P = 0.036). In conclusion, cortisol levels in response to a mild intensive exercise can be affected by temperament in horses. Serum cortisol may be a relevant marker to quantify individual temperamental differences in racehorses.
Authors:Zoltán Szelényi, Dorottya Győri, Szabolcs Boldizsár, Levente Kovács, Attila Répási, László Molnár and Ottó Szenci
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of twin pregnancy, fetal laterality, the number of corpora lutea (CL) and cavitary CL on pregnancy losses in Holstein-Friesian cows with a positive pregnancy diagnosis based on ultrasonography between days 29–42 after AI. Pregnancy was confirmed by transrectal palpation between days 57–70 after AI and at the time of drying-off as well. Twin pregnancy rate was 8.4% at the time of the early pregnancy examination. Pregnancy loss did not differ between singleton- and twin-carrying animals either between days 57–70 of gestation or at drying-off. More losses occurred in singletons between days 29–42 and 57–70 in cows with cavitary than in cows with noncavitary CL (12.1% vs. 3.6%; P < 0.05) and in cows with double CL than in cows with single CL (7.3% vs. 3.6% %; P < 0.05). Between days 57–70 of gestation and drying-off this difference was still significant (20.7% vs. 3.7%; P < 0.001), while it was non-significant between cows with one CL (5.7%) vs. double CL (3.7%). Cavity occurrence was not affected by hormone therapy prior to AI (either PGF2α or OvSynch; 4.4% vs. 5.4%, respectively); however, the number of CL was reduced by the treatments (11.6 vs. 19.6%; P < 0.0005). In twin pregnancies there was no difference in the pregnancy losses between bilateral and unilateral pregnancies at any time point. The length of gestation was 278.2 ± 10.5 (singleton) and 267.4 ± 31.2 (twin) days, respectively (P < 0.01). The stillbirth ratio was higher in twin carriers than in singleton carriers (19.5% vs. 5.3%; P < 0.001).
Authors:Boglárka Vincze, András Gáspárdy, Levente Kovács, Ervin Albert, Luca Kézér, Ferenc Baska and Ottó Szenci
Transabdominal ultrasonography has been shown to be a useful and reliable method for assessing fetal well-being in horses and cattle. To test the applicability of fetal aortic diameter measurement in cattle, 44 late-term pregnant cows and heifers were examined 21 to 0 days prior to calving. Mean fetal aortic diameter was 2.07 ± 0.14 cm and mean fetal heart rate (FHR) was 109 ± 17 bpm. Three dead calves were dissected and their aortic diameter was measured in a water bath. The mean birth weight (n = 44) was 39.9 ± 5.8 kg. There was a significant negative correlation between FHR and fetal aortic diameter. However, although some studies have shown that fetal aortic diameter strongly correlates with birth weight in near-term horses and cattle, in this study there was no correlation between fetal aortic diameter and birth weight in Holstein-Friesian cows and heifers irrespective of whether the fetus was born alive or dead.
Authors:Baukje G. Andela, Frank J. C. M. Van Eerdenburg, Ali Choukeir, Dávid Buják, Zoltán Szelényi, Szabolcs Boldizsár, Fruzsina Luca Kézér, László Molnár, Levente Kovács and Ottó Szenci
Activities of alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, and concentrations of serum metabolites [beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA)] of primiparous (n = 83) and multiparous (n = 213) Holstein cows were studied as possible predictors of retained fetal membranes (RFM), grade 2 clinical metritis (CM) and clinical endometritis (CEM). A logistic regression model was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) for the prevalence of CM diagnosed between 0–5, 6–10 and 11–20 days in milk (DIM) and for the prevalence of CEM diagnosed between 22–28 and 42–49 DIM. The activities of the examined serum enzymes did not show significant associations either with CM or with CEM. For NEFA sampled on days 0 and 5, an OR of 2.38 for CM 0–20 DIM and an OR of 2.58 for CM 11–20 DIM was found. For BHB sampled on days 0 and 5, an OR of 8.20 for CEM 22–28 and 42–49 DIM and an OR of 1.98 for CM 6–10 DIM were found. The prevalence of RFM was higher in ≥ 4 parity cows compared to primiparous cows (46.3% vs. 26.5%). BHB and NEFA levels measured between 0 and 5 DIM could have a predictive ability for postpartum uterine disorders such as RFM, CM and CEM.