Ovarian function in 91 dairy cows with cystic ovarian disease was assessed by rectal palpation and by plasma hormone analysis before and after treatment. Plasma analysis showed that 84% of the cysts were correctly classified clinically and only these cows are considered further. Luteinised cysts occurred in 59 cows whereas only 18 had non-luteinised cysts. The mean plasma concentrations of luteinising hormone (LH), follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), progesterone, oestradiol and testosterone were not significantly different when compared with values at relevant stages of the oestrous cycle in normal cows. Success of treatment with progesterone, a synthetic prostaglandin, human gonadotrophin (HCG), or gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) was not dependent upon prior hormone concentrations, except for the prostaglandin which required active luteal tissue. LH and FSH concentrations in cows with luteinised cysts were not significantly different before and after successful treatment with GnRH or progesterone. Normal luteal function was not always established after treatment of non-luteinised cysts with GnRH.
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