The purpose of the present study was to investigate the feasibility of improving the synchronisation of lambing after oestrus synchronisation and artificial insemination (AI). To this end, low doses of dexamethasone 21-isonicotinate (DEX) alone or in combination with prostaglandin F
(PG) were used in five treated groups (n = 20 each) and one control group (n = 136) of Chios ewes. On day 143 of pregnancy 1.5 mg DEX was given in Group 5, while on day 146 the following treatments were applied: 0.0375 mg PG in Groups 4 and 5, and 1, 1.5 and 2 mg of DEX in ewes of Groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The control ewes received no treatment. The 1.5 and 2 mg dose of DEX was more effective in synchronising labour as regards the treatment to lambing interval and the proportion of ewes that gave birth within 3 days. However, obstetrical manipulations were needed, and dead lambs were born when 2 mg DEX was used. It was concluded that lambing can be safely synchronised in Chios ewes with 1.5 mg DEX given on day 146, without affecting the viability of lambs and without parturition complications.
The objective of this study was to assess the diagnostic and prognostic utility of feline neutrophil-to-lymphocyte (NLR) and lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratios (LMR) in a variety of underlying diseases. Five-year medical records from cats presenting to the internal medicine unit of a veterinary teaching hospital were retrospectively reviewed. Cats were considered for inclusion based on complete medical records. ADVIA 120 was used for the complete blood counts; the NLR and LMR were calculated by dividing the absolute numbers of the respective leucocytes. Two hundred and nineteen sick and 20 healthy cats were included in the study. The median NLR and LMR were significantly (P < 0.05) elevated and decreased, respectively, in cats with infectious, neoplastic and chronic kidney diseases compared to controls. Additionally, cats with neoplasia had significantly higher median NLR compared to cats with urinary tract and gastrointestinal diseases. Non-survivors had significantly higher NLR and lower LMR compared to survivors. Both ratios had suboptimal prognostic performance for the outcome of sick cats (NLR sensitivity: 37.9%, specificity: 86.4%; LMR sensitivity: 69.0%, specificity: 61.0%). Many different disease categories were associated with increased NLR and decreased LMR compared to controls, but the overall prognostic performance of the two leucocyte ratios was suboptimal.
The effects of partial replacement of ram semen diluent with ram seminal plasma on the fertility of ewes were studied. Crossbred Chios ewes (n = 152) were assigned to six groups. The oestrous cycles of the ewes were synchronised at the peak (Groups A, B, C and D) and at the end (Groups E and F) of the breeding season by means of intravaginal sponges impregnated with fluorogestone acetate (FGA) for 14 days. Four hundred IU of PMSG were injected intramuscularly at the time of sponge removal. Ewes of Groups A, C and E were artificially inseminated with ram semen diluted with skim milk extender, while those of Groups B, D and F with ram semen diluted with 50% skim milk and 50% ram seminal plasma. The addition of ram seminal plasma induced a significant increase (P < 0.05) in litter size in Groups B and D when compared with that of Groups A and C (1.85 and 1.88 vs. 1.39 and 1.52, respectively). This increase was not significant when insemination was performed at the end of the breeding season (2.0 vs. 1.4). These results indicate that the addition of seminal plasma can influence the fertility of ewes or the fertilising capacity of extended ram semen to some extent.
Oval, firm, cutaneous tumours with a rough, hairless, pigmented surface, exhibiting a moderately pronounced papillary structure were detected on the abdominal skin of two young red deer (
). One animal was shot in Lower Austria in 2004, the other at a deer farm in Hungary in 2007. Histological examination of both samples classified the tumours as fibropapillomas, showing marked proliferation of fibroblasts and connective tissue, accompanied by hyperkeratosis, parakeratosis and acanthosis of the overlaying epidermis, and occasional foci of inflammation. The distribution of cytokeratin and vimentin was characterised in the lesion. The presence of papillomavirus (PV) antigen was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry in both cases. Papillomavirus-specific DNA was successfully amplified by PCR from one sample. The obtained partial nucleotide sequence of the L2 ORF exhibited the highest critical identity values with the homologous regions of Delta-papillomaviruses, especially the Roe deer papillomavirus (93%). Phylogenetic analysis of the partial L2 ORF sequence alignment of 10 papillomaviruses by both neighbour-joining and maximum parsimony method confirmed that the Red deer PV is very closely related to the Western roe deer papillomavirus (CcPV1).
Follicular development and oocyte quality were assessed by laparoscopic observation and
fertilisation, respectively, in melatonin-treated (Group M) and control (Group C) anoestrous Chios ewes (n = 10 in each group). Fourteen days after melatonin insertion, all ewes had laparoscopic evaluation of the follicular population followed by oocyte pick-up (OPU); on day 22 intravaginal progestagen sponges were inserted for 14 days. Two days after sponge removal the follicular population was re-evaluated and a second follicular aspiration was performed. Collected oocytes from the second OPU underwent
maturation, fertilisation and culture. The number of large follicles was higher in Group M than in the control ewes during the first OPU and tended to be so (P = 0.06) at the second. Morphologically, oocytes collected from controls were of better quality than those from Group M; however, more oocytes collected from melatonintreated animals fertilised and developed
. These results indicate that melatonin is a potent regulator of follicular development and oocyte competence during the anoestrous period of the ewe.