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Effects of epidural injections and transvaginal aspiration of ovarian follicles in heifers used repeatedly for ultrasound-guided retrieval of ova and embryo production
  1. T. G. McEvoy, BAgrSc, PhD1,
  2. H. Thompson, BVMS,PhD, MRCVS, DiplECVP2,
  3. D. F. Dolman, NDA1,
  4. R. G. Watt, HND1,
  5. A. Reis, MSc1 and
  6. M. E. Staines, BSc1
  1. 1 Scottish Agricultural College, Animal Biology Division, Craibstone Estate, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB2 1 9YA
  2. 2 Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G61 1QH


Postmortem examinations of 13 Simmental heifers that had received between 16 and 28 injections to induce caudal epidural anaesthesia, the last not less than seven months before they were slaughtered, showed that none of them had any evidence of infection or inflammation at the injection site or in adjacent bone and soft tissues. Seven of them had minor damage to intercoccygeal discs, consisting of discospondylosis with neovascularisation and chondroid metaplasia, consistent with injuries caused by needles. The severity of the damage was not related to the number of epidural injections received, suggesting that the damage was probably caused by a discrete suboptimal injection procedure. In a second study, the ovaries from 22 Simmental heifers that had undergone between 13 and 16 transvaginal follicular aspirations were examined postmortem. Approximately one-third of them had a natural texture with little or no evidence of scar tissue, and less than one in five had extensive scarring and a toughened texture. There was no evidence of compromised ovarian function, as determined by the number and normality of corpora lutea and large follicles, in any of the animals.

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