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Sheep
Controlled release progestagen sponges for sheep
  1. Emily Gascoigne1,
  2. Joshua Swain1,
  3. Mike Glover2,
  4. Liz Nabb2 and
  5. Jodie McLean3
  1. 1Synergy Farm Health, Dorchester DT2 0LD
  2. 2Torch Farm & Equine, Devon EX36 4EJ
  3. 3School House, Danby Wiske, Northallerton DL7 0LZ; e-mail: emily.gascoigne@synergyfarmhealth.com

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WE would like to remind fellow practitioners of the potential applications for controlled release progestagen sponges in sheep flocks and to describe some complications associated with their use. We offer some suggestions as to how the risk of these might be reduced and, if treated animals are presented to vets in practice with complications, how these might be resolved.

ChronogestCR (20 mg of flugestone acetate) (Intervet International) is currently the only synthetic progesterone impregnated sponge licensed for the control of oestrus and ovulation in ewes and ewe lambs in the UK (Veterinary Medicines Directorate [VMD] 2016a). Common applications in pedigree, commercial and small flocks include synchronisation of breeding in cycling animals, advancement and synchronisation of breeding in anoestrus animals when combined in a protocol with a pregnant mare serum gonadoptrophin, and for the control of oestrus and ovulation in artificial insemination and embryo transfer programmes (Sargison 2008).

The use of progestagen-releasing intravaginal devices is a convenient and predictable way of controlling the breeding of ewes. It offers sheep keepers the potential to improve the health, welfare and productivity of their flocks. Used appropriately, synchronised breeding enables limited resources such as lambing accommodation and labour to be managed more efficiently, and improved nutrition and disease control measures to be better targeted at groups of sheep at the same stage of the …

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