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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Pál Rafai and Viktor Jurkovich
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Filtrates of a water extract of commercially available garden thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) were used for studying its possible bactericidal effect on Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, the causative agent of swine dysentery, by agar-diffusion technique. Five of the six studied Brachyspira strains have proven to be sensitive and one moderately sensitive in the in vitro tests. It was concluded that water extract of garden thyme possesses inhibitory effects against B. hyodysenteriae. In vivo experiments are needed to check the validity of this conclusion.

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The heart rate variability (HRV) parameters of dairy cows were monitored during parlour (PARL) and the later installed automatic (AMS) milking on a small-scale commercial dairy farm in Hungary. The aim of the study was to assess stress in relation to the type of milking and the frequency of human interaction. Parlour milking involved regular moving and crowding of the animals with frequent human interaction, which were much less frequent in automatic milking. The first phase of the study was conducted prior to the changeover [n = 27] and the second two months afterwards [n = 19 (of the cows from the first phase)]. Heart rate (HR) was recorded by the Polar RS800 CX recording system. HRV parameters indicative of sympathovagal balance were calculated for periods of lying and standing in the barn, waiting before milking and milking, respectively. Morning and evening faecal glucocorticoid concentrations were also measured. Fear of humans was tested by an avoidance distance test. Baseline HRV parameters showed no difference (P > 0.05) between the two systems. In the periods before, during and after milking a higher sympathetic tone was detected in cows in the PARL phase. Mean faecal glucocorticoid concentrations were higher at the time of parlour milking. The avoidance distance did not differ between the two phases. The results suggest that automatic milking might be less stressful for cows than parlour milking, possibly due to the shorter duration of restraint after milking and the less frequent human interaction.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: László Könyves, Ottó Szenci, Viktor Jurkovich, Lászlóné Tegzes, Attila Tirián, Norbert Solymosi, Gyula Gyulay and Endre Brydl

The objective of this study was to determine some metabolic and other factors predicting the risk of postpartum uterine disease (PUD), and the effects of puerperal metritis (PM) on metabolic status, reproduction and milk yield were analysed. A total of 105 Holstein-Friesian cows were included, and sampled on day < −14 prepartum and days 4, 10–14, 28–35 and 56–63 postpartum for metabolic tests. From day 4 the development of PUD, and from days 28–35 the ovarian activity was monitored. When grade ≥ 1 + ketonuria was present on day 4 postpartum, this indicated a higher probability of PUD [odds ratio (OR) 2.64; P < 0.05] including PM occurring on days 10–14 (OR: 2.65; P < 0.05). Plasma nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations > 0.200 mmol/l on days < −14 prepartum indicated a higher risk of uterine diseases (OR: 3.44; P < 0.05). The odds of PUD increased, depending on whether a body condition score (BCS) loss of ≥ 1.0 occurred between days < −14 and 28–35 (OR: 2.82; P < 0.05), between days < −14 and 10–14 (OR: 4.79; P < 0.01) or between days 10–14 and 28–35 (OR: 10.81; P < 0.01). PM was more probable (OR: 27.3; P < 0.001) in cows with retained placenta. The risk of uterine diseases was lower in multiparous than in primiparous cows (OR: 0.29; P < 0.01). PM increased the risk of ovarian inactivity between days 28 and 35 (OR: 2.83; P < 0.05). Cows affected with PM (PM+ cows) showed lower milk production on day 4 (kg; P < 0.05) and lower milk production (P < 0.05), milk fat and milk protein production (kg; P < 0.01; P < 0.01) in the first 100 days of lactation than did PM− cows.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Viktor Jurkovich, Barbara Bognár, Krisztián Balogh, Mária Kovács-Weber, Kinga Fornyos, Rubina Tünde Szabó, Péter Kovács, László Könyves and Miklós Mézes

Milk yield, milk ingredients, health and other, production-related parameters of subclinically infected, Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP-) shedding (positive faecal PCR, n = 20) and non-shedding (negative faecal PCR, n = 10) dairy cows were compared in the period from 10 days prepartum to 120 days postpartum. Body condition, rumen fill and faeces scores were lower in the MAP-shedding cows. There was no significant difference in plasma or urine metabolic parameters between the groups. Milk yield and lactose content tended to be lower (P = 0.074 and 0.077, respectively), somatic cell count tended to be higher (P = 0.097), while milk fat content was significantly higher (P = 0.006) in MAP-shedding cows than in the controls. Milk protein content did not differ between the groups. All other health and production parameters [number of reproductive tract treatments, number of udder treatments, number of artificial inseminations (AIs), calving interval, and service period] were significantly better in the control group. It is concluded that MAP infection, even in a subclinical form, has a significant impact on some production and health parameters of dairy cows.

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