Noninfectious Causes of Infertility and Abortion

CHAPTER 108 Noninfectious Causes of Infertility and Abortion


Physical problems that potentially interfere with reproduction include injuries of the vulva or vagina, or both; musculoskeletal problems; and diseases of the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems.

Musculoskeletal System

Lameness due to foot pain, poor conformation, trauma, footrot, or nonseptic laminitis may predispose affected animals to reproductive problems. Gilts may be added to the breeding herd but never mated because they are too lame to mate or because they exhibit weak physical signs of estrus. Pregnant sows may be culled because of foot and leg problems. In some herds, musculoskeletal diseases represent the primary reproductive problems because of their impact on nonproductive sow days, farrowing rate, cull rate, death rate, and, subsequently, overall replacement rate.

Nonseptic laminitis occurs secondary to injury and is characterized by inflammation of the corium, foot pain, and a digital pulse. The front limbs are primarily affected. Damage to the hoof pad or hoof wall may allow penetration by bacteria into the corium, resulting in footrot, subsolar abscesses, or other hoof problems. Traumatic injury to the hooves is more common on the lateral toes, possibly because they bear more weight than the medial toes. Joint or bone infections may occur secondary to trauma as well.

Other musculoskeletal system problems that may interfere with reproduction, especially in gilts, are osteochondrosis and degenerative joint disease. These conditions result from developmental lesions that affect cartilaginous growth plates. Clinical signs range from subtle changes in gait to inability to stand. Such signs usually are noted in the first 4 to 8 months of life. Genetic background, conformation, and floor type are believed to contribute to the condition, although these conditions may develop in any fast-growing animal. Direct correlations between growth and nutrition and osteochondrosis and degenerative joint disease lesions are difficult to establish. The best methods to prevent joint lesions are to provide adequate nutrients, feed intake, and a proper environment and to select breeding stock with good physical conformation from genetic lines with no history of the condition.

Sep 3, 2016 | Posted by in SUGERY, ORTHOPEDICS & ANESTHESIA | Comments Off on Noninfectious Causes of Infertility and Abortion

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