Effects of pioglitazone on ovulation and selected postpartum diseases in Holstein cows

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Professors and Ph. D. Students, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

3 Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

4 Professor, Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, and Center of Excellence for Studies on Reproductive Problems in High-Producing Dairy Cows, Shiraz University (MJZ).

5 Professor, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran


The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of dietary supplementation of pioglitazone (PGT) during transition period on the ovarian function and the incidence of several diseases after parturition. Eighty Holstein cows were randomly allocatted to four treatment groups (n=20) using a 2×2 factorial design.  Pioglitazone was fed for 14 day before the expected parturition time, or for 21 days after parturition, or furing both pre- and post-partum period. The cows received either 0 or 6 mg PGT/kg live weight. Data on the incidence of production diseases (laminitis, mastitis, cystic ovaries, infected uterus and inactive ovaries) and the day of ovulation were recorded and analyzed using the GENMOD and GLM procedures of SAS. Postpartum supplementation of PGT decreased the mean days to ovulation (P<0.02). The percentage of cows which ovulated during 14 DIM was significantly increased when PGT was supplemented postpartum (P<0.03). PGT supplementation during prepartum (p<0.01) and postpartum (P<0.10) periods decreased laminitis. Prepartum PGT supplementation had no significant effect on mastitis incidence. Prepartum (P<0.03) and postpartum (P<0.08) PGT supplementation resulted in decreased uterine infections. Postpartum PGT supplementation significantly decreased the proportion of cystic cows (P<0.04). PGT had no significant effect on the percentage of cows with inactive ovaries (P>0.05). In conclusion, supplementation of PGT during transition period in dairy cows may be beneficial in decreasing the incidence of some postpartum diseases, and may enhance ovarian cyclicity after parturition.


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