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1.  Impact of litter size on sow stayability in Swedish commercial piglet producing herds 
Sows’ ability to produce an excessive amount of piglets has shaped modern piglet production and there has been a steady increase in litter size during the last decades. This development has caused some negative side-effects, such as an increase in the proportion of stillborn piglets, a decrease in the proportion of weaned piglets and a larger variation in quality of piglets. Swedish commercial piglet producing herds have, like other countries with high production levels, high piglet mortality and high annual removal rate of gilts and sow. These problems seem to have increased during the same period that litter sizes have increased. Therefore present study aim to investigate whether there is an association between litter sizes and sow stayability.
The probability to produce ≥4 litters during a lifetime was significantly lower for sows giving birth to ≤8, 15 and ≥17 piglets in total in their first parity litter compared to sows giving birth to 13 piglets. Except for the group of sows having a small (≤11 piglets born in total) first parity litter size in combination with a medium (12–14 piglets born in total) second parity litter size, all other groups were significantly associated with an impaired ability to stay ≥4 litters compared to sows having a medium both first and second parity litter size. There were differences in removal reason between sows having small, medium or large first parities litter sizes.
Associations between litter sizes in low parities and sow stayability were found. Our results indicate that aiming for keeping sows giving birth to a medium-sized litter, with approximately 12–14 piglets born in total may improve sows stayability and decrease the risk of unplanned removal. This should be considered when planning breeding strategy and annual removal in Swedish commercial piglets producing herds.
PMCID: PMC4875734  PMID: 27207437
Productivity; Performance; Welfare; Health; Removal reason; Mortality
2.  Culling patterns in selected Minnesota swine breeding herds. 
This investigation was conducted to study culling patterns in swine breeding herds. Data were obtained from 89 Minnesota swine breeding herds and included 5918 sows and 1324 gilts for a total of 7242 culled femaled. Each producer was involved for 12 consecutive months. They were asked to record every female that was removed from the herd, the reason for its culling and its parity. The annual culling rate for the sample averaged 50%, but varied considerably between herds ranging from 15% to 85%. Culled females had produced an average of 3.77 litters. Half of the females culled did not produce more than three litters. Reproductive failure accounted for 32% of all removals. The average parity of the females culled in that category was only 2.37: almost 33% were gilts. Failure to conceive represented 75% of all females culled for reproductive failure. Proportionally, culling as a result of anestrus was higher in gilts. It accounted for 33% of all gilts culled for reproductive failure which was twice as much as for sows. Inadequate performance accounted for 17% of all removals. These sows had produced an average of 5.11 litters. These results indicated that few animals were culled on the basis of first litter performance. Old age comprised 14% of all removals and the average parity at culling for this category was 7.11. Death accounted for 12% and the average parity for these females was 3.40. Locomotor problems and peripartum problems were the cause of 28% and 23% of all deaths, respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
PMCID: PMC1255374  PMID: 3453273
3.  Effects of bovine leukemia virus infection on production and reproduction in dairy cattle. 
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) infection on production, reproduction and longevity in dairy cattle. The study population was a commercial Holstein dairy herd of approximately 400 milking cows. Cattle were tested for antibodies to BLV at least annually for three years and when culled. Four groups of culled cows were compared: seronegative cows (n = 79), seropositive cows without lymphocytosis (n = 176), seropositive cows with lymphocytosis (> or = 9,000 lymphocytes/microliter) (n = 74), and seropositive cows with lymphosarcoma (n = 29). Seropositive groups of cows were bred more times and had longer calving intervals than seronegative cows. The seropositive groups had greater 305-day ME (mature equivalent) FCM (3.5% fat-corrected milk) per lactation and were older when culled than seronegative cows. However, the percent fat per lactation was greater in seronegative cows. In the last complete lactation, differences in 305-day ME FCM, days open and cull age between groups were reduced and none were significant (p > 0.05). In the cull lactation, only cows with lymphocytosis had reduced milk production relative to seronegative cows, although this difference was not significant. After adjustment for initial production and reproductive values, only seropositive nonlymphocytotic cows were culled at a significantly older age than seronegative cattle. Lymphocytotic cows were culled four months younger on average than nonlymphocytotic seropositive cows. Hence, BLV infected cows had greater milk production on average than uninfected cows. Adverse effects of BLV infection were primarily limited to lymphocytotic cows which were culled earlier and had reduced milk production in the cull lactation.
PMCID: PMC1263558  PMID: 1477797
4.  Enhancement of growth performance in pre-weaning suckling Boer kids supplemented with creep feed containing alfalfa 
Veterinary World  2015;8(6):718-722.
This study examined the effects of creep feed (CF) supplementation (with or without Alfalfa) on the pre-weaning growth performance of nursing goat kids.
Materials and Methods:
A total of forty eight (48), 7 days old, single born kids (live weight 4.4±0.09 kg) were divided into three treatment groups, each containing eight males and eight females. All three groups had access to their dams’ milk (DM). The kids from the first treatment group had free access to CF containing alfalfa (CFA) while those from the second group had free access to CF without alfalfa. The third treatment group (control) had access to their DM only. All three groups were kept isolated from the dams from 800 to 1200 h and from 1400 to 1800 h while having access to CF.
Total weight gain and average daily gain of kids from CFA group (11.2±0.36 kg, 145.2±4.64 g) was significantly higher (p<0.05) than kids from CF (7.9±0.49 kg, 102.9±6.43 g) and DM (5.5±0.43 kg, 71.1±5.56 g) groups. The weaning weight of kids from CFA group (15.6±0.39 kg) was significantly higher (p<0.05) than those from CF (12.1±0.56 kg) and DM (9.9±0.59 kg) groups.
This result shows that supplementation of CF combined with alfalfa from birth to weaning enhances growth performance of cross-bred Boer goat kids.
PMCID: PMC4825271  PMID: 27065636
boer; creep feed; growth performance; pre-weaning; alfalfa
5.  Impact of Mated Female Nonproductive Days in Breeding Herd after Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Outbreak 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(1):e0147316.
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is an important pathogen that has a significant economic impact on the swine industry by imposing a high rate of mortality in suckling piglets. However, limited information on the productivity values of gilts and sows infected with PEDV is available. Here, we evaluate the productivity index in gilts and sows during the 1-year period before (19 January 2013 to 18 January 2014) and after (19 January 2014 to 18 January 2015) a PEDV outbreak from a 2000-sow breeding herd in Taiwan. The farrowing rate (FR), return rate (RR), total pigs born per litter (TB), pigs born alive per litter (BA), weaning pigs per litter (WPL), pre-weaning mortality, percentage of sows mated by 7 days after weaning, weaning to first service interval (WFSI), mated female nonproductive days (NPDs), replacement rate of sows and sow culling rate were compared using productive records. The FR (-9.6%), RR (+9.8%), TB (-1.6), BA (-1.1), WPL (-1.1), sows mated by 7 days after weaning (-6.9%), WFSI (+0.8 days), NPDs (+6.9 days) and sow culling rate (+7.2%) were significantly different between the 1-year pre-PEDV outbreak period and the post-PEDV outbreak period. Impacts of the PEDV infection on the reproductive performance were more severe in pregnant gilts than in sows. In conclusion, these findings indicate that the outbreak of PEDV caused an increase in the rate of NPDs in breeding herds.
PMCID: PMC4714882  PMID: 26771383
6.  Causes of culling in dairy cows and its relation to age at culling and interval from calving in Shiraz, Southern Iran 
Veterinary Research Forum  2012;3(4):233-237.
This study was designed to investigate causes of culling in industrial dairy herds in Fars province and to describe the pattern of reason-specific culling with respect to age of animal and interval from calving to culling. A total number of 9 dairy herds were selected for the study and information about culling reasons, birth date, last calving date and culling date was collected for culled cows during 2005-2006. Infertility (32.6% of all culls) was the most prevalent reason of culling followed by mastitis (6.5%). The time interval from last calving to culling averaged 240 days (SD = 176) and nearly 28% of cows were culled in the first 100 days after calving. Mean age of animals at culling was 6 years (SD = 2.7) and median was 5.7 years. In Cox proportional hazard model for calving to culling interval, infertility (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.26) showed lower risk whereas mastitis (HR = 2.40), left displaced abomasum (HR = 2.60) and peripartum problems (HR = 2.60) had higher risk of culling compared with voluntary cull. In the Cox model for age at culling, risk of culling was significantly higher for infertility (HR = 1.70), left displaced abomasum (HR = 3.15), and peripartum problems (HR = 2.10) compared with voluntary culling. In conclusion, farmers tend to keep infertile cows for longer period from calving to culling while infertile cows are generally culled at younger age. Also, early culling appeared to have a high proportion of culls in the studied herds.
PMCID: PMC4313041  PMID: 25653764
Dairy herds; Cox model; Culling; Infertility; Iran
7.  Heritability of longevity in Large White and Landrace sows using continuous time and grouped data models 
Using conventional measurements of lifetime, it is not possible to differentiate between productive and non-productive days during a sow's lifetime and this can lead to estimated breeding values favoring less productive animals. By rescaling the time axis from continuous to several discrete classes, grouped survival data (discrete survival time) models can be used instead.
The productive life length of 12319 Large White and 9833 Landrace sows was analyzed with continuous scale and grouped data models. Random effect of herd*year, fixed effects of interaction between parity and relative number of piglets, age at first farrowing and annual herd size change were included in the analysis. The genetic component was estimated from sire, sire-maternal grandsire, sire-dam, sire-maternal grandsire and animal models, and the heritabilities computed for each model type in both breeds.
If age at first farrowing was under 43 weeks or above 60 weeks, the risk of culling sows increased. An interaction between parity and relative litter size was observed, expressed by limited culling during first parity and severe risk increase of culling sows having small litters later in life. In the Landrace breed, heritabilities ranged between 0.05 and 0.08 (s.e. 0.014-0.020) for the continuous and between 0.07 and 0.11 (s.e. 0.016-0.023) for the grouped data models, and in the Large White breed, they ranged between 0.08 and 0.14 (s.e. 0.012-0.026) for the continuous and between 0.08 and 0.13 (s.e. 0.012-0.025) for the grouped data models.
Heritabilities for length of productive life were similar with continuous time and grouped data models in both breeds. Based on these results and because grouped data models better reflect the economical needs in meat animals, we conclude that grouped data models are more appropriate in pig.
PMCID: PMC2879236  PMID: 20465803
8.  Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
Executive Summary
In July 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) evidentiary framework, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding treatment strategies for patients with COPD. This project emerged from a request by the Health System Strategy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that MAS provide them with an evidentiary platform on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions.
After an initial review of health technology assessments and systematic reviews of COPD literature, and consultation with experts, MAS identified the following topics for analysis: vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal), smoking cessation, multidisciplinary care, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure, hospital-at-home for acute exacerbations of COPD, and telehealth (including telemonitoring and telephone support). Evidence-based analyses were prepared for each of these topics. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed where appropriate. In addition, a review of the qualitative literature on patient, caregiver, and provider perspectives on living and dying with COPD was conducted, as were reviews of the qualitative literature on each of the technologies included in these analyses.
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Evidentiary Framework
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Community-Based Multidisciplinary Care for Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Long-term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Hospital-at-Home Programs for Patients With Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using an Ontario Policy Model
Experiences of Living and Dying With COPD: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Qualitative Empirical Literature
For more information on the qualitative review, please contact Mita Giacomini at:
For more information on the economic analysis, please visit the PATH website:
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative has produced an associated report on patient preference for mechanical ventilation. For more information, please visit the THETA website:
The objective of this evidence-based analysis was to examine the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) in the following patient populations: patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF) due to acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); weaning of COPD patients from invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV); and prevention of or treatment of recurrent respiratory failure in COPD patients after extubation from IMV.
Clinical Need and Target Population
Acute Hypercapnic Respiratory Failure
Respiratory failure occurs when the respiratory system cannot oxygenate the blood and/or remove carbon dioxide from the blood. It can be either acute or chronic and is classified as either hypoxemic (type I) or hypercapnic (type II) respiratory failure. Acute hypercapnic respiratory failure frequently occurs in COPD patients experiencing acute exacerbations of COPD, so this is the focus of this evidence-based analysis. Hypercapnic respiratory failure occurs due to a decrease in the drive to breathe, typically due to increased work to breathe in COPD patients.
There are several treatment options for ARF. Usual medical care (UMC) attempts to facilitate adequate oxygenation and treat the cause of the exacerbation, and typically consists of supplemental oxygen, and a variety of medications such as bronchodilators, corticosteroids, and antibiotics. The failure rate of UMC is high and has been estimated to occur in 10% to 50% of cases.
The alternative is mechanical ventilation, either invasive or noninvasive. Invasive mechanical ventilation involves sedating the patient, creating an artificial airway through endotracheal intubation, and attaching the patient to a ventilator. While this provides airway protection and direct access to drain sputum, it can lead to substantial morbidity, including tracheal injuries and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).
While both positive and negative pressure noninvasive ventilation exists, noninvasive negative pressure ventilation such as the iron lung is no longer in use in Ontario. Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation provides ventilatory support through a facial or nasal mask and reduces inspiratory work. Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation can often be used intermittently for short periods of time to treat respiratory failure, which allows patients to continue to eat, drink, talk, and participate in their own treatment decisions. In addition, patients do not require sedation, airway defence mechanisms and swallowing functions are maintained, trauma to the trachea and larynx are avoided, and the risk for VAP is reduced. Common complications are damage to facial and nasal skin, higher incidence of gastric distension with aspiration risk, sleeping disorders, and conjunctivitis. In addition, NPPV does not allow direct access to the airway to drain secretions and requires patients to cooperate, and due to potential discomfort, compliance and tolerance may be low.
In addition to treating ARF, NPPV can be used to wean patients from IMV through the gradual removal of ventilation support until the patient can breathe spontaneously. Five to 30% of patients have difficultly weaning. Tapering levels of ventilatory support to wean patients from IMV can be achieved using IMV or NPPV. The use of NPPV helps to reduce the risk of VAP by shortening the time the patient is intubated.
Following extubation from IMV, ARF may recur, leading to extubation failure and the need for reintubation, which has been associated with increased risk of nosocomial pneumonia and mortality. To avoid these complications, NPPV has been proposed to help prevent ARF recurrence and/or to treat respiratory failure when it recurs, thereby preventing the need for reintubation.
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and safety of NPPV for the treatment of acute hypercapnic respiratory failure due to acute exacerbations of COPD compared with
usual medical care, and
invasive mechanical ventilation?
What is the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and safety of NPPV compared with IMV in COPD patients after IMV for the following purposes:
weaning COPD patients from IMV,
preventing ARF in COPD patients after extubation from IMV, and
treating ARF in COPD patients after extubation from IMV?
Research Methods
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on December 3, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, OVID EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Wiley Cochrane, and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination/International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2004 until December 3, 2010. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search.
Since there were numerous studies that examined the effectiveness of NPPV for the treatment of ARF due to exacerbations of COPD published before 2004, pre-2004 trials which met the inclusion/exclusion criteria for this evidence-based review were identified by hand-searching reference lists of included studies and systematic reviews.
Inclusion Criteria
English language full-reports;
health technology assessments, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and randomized controlled trials (RCTs);
studies performed exclusively in patients with a diagnosis of COPD or studies performed with patients with a mix of conditions if results are reported for COPD patients separately;
patient population: (Question 1) patients with acute hypercapnic respiratory failure due to an exacerbation of COPD; (Question 2a) COPD patients being weaned from IMV; (Questions 2b and 2c) COPD patients who have been extubated from IMV.
Exclusion Criteria
< 18 years of age
animal studies
duplicate publications
grey literature
studies examining noninvasive negative pressure ventilation
studies comparing modes of ventilation
studies comparing patient-ventilation interfaces
studies examining outcomes not listed below, such as physiologic effects including heart rate, arterial blood gases, and blood pressure
Outcomes of Interest
intubation rates
length of stay (intensive care unit [ICU] and hospital)
health-related quality of life
duration of mechanical ventilation
weaning failure
NPPV tolerance and compliance
Statistical Methods
When possible, results were pooled using Review Manager 5 Version 5.1, otherwise, the results were summarized descriptively. Dichotomous data were pooled into relative risks using random effects models and continuous data were pooled using weighted mean differences with a random effects model. Analyses using data from RCTs were done using intention-to-treat protocols; P values < 0.05 were considered significant. A priori subgroup analyses were planned for severity of respiratory failure, location of treatment (ICU or hospital ward), and mode of ventilation with additional subgroups as needed based on the literature. Post hoc sample size calculations were performed using STATA 10.1.
Quality of Evidence
The quality of each included study was assessed taking into consideration allocation concealment, randomization, blinding, power/sample size, withdrawals/dropouts, and intention-to-treat analyses.
The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria. The following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Findings
NPPV for the Treatment of ARF due to Acute Exacerbations of COPD
NPPV Plus Usual Medical Care Versus Usual Medical Care Alone for First Line Treatment
A total of 1,000 participants were included in 11 RCTs1; the sample size ranged from 23 to 342. The mean age of the participants ranged from approximately 60 to 72 years of age. Based on either the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) COPD stage criteria or the mean percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), 4 of the studies included people with severe COPD, and there was inadequate information to classify the remaining 7 studies by COPD severity. The severity of the respiratory failure was classified into 4 categories using the study population mean pH level as follows: mild (pH ≥ 7.35), moderate (7.30 ≤ pH < 7.35), severe (7.25 ≤ pH < 7.30), and very severe (pH < 7.25). Based on these categories, 3 studies included patients with a mild respiratory failure, 3 with moderate respiratory failure, 4 with severe respiratory failure, and 1 with very severe respiratory failure.
The studies were conducted either in the ICU (3 of 11 studies) or general or respiratory wards (8 of 11 studies) in hospitals, with patients in the NPPV group receiving bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) ventilatory support, except in 2 studies, which used pressure support ventilation and volume cycled ventilation, respectively. Patients received ventilation through nasal, facial, or oronasal masks. All studies specified a protocol or schedule for NPPV delivery, but this varied substantially across the studies. For example, some studies restricted the amount of ventilation per day (e.g., 6 hours per day) and the number of days it was offered (e.g., maximum of 3 days); whereas, other studies provided patients with ventilation for as long as they could tolerate it and recommended it for much longer periods of time (e.g., 7 to 10 days). These differences are an important source of clinical heterogeneity between the studies. In addition to NPPV, all patients in the NPPV group also received UMC. Usual medical care varied between the studies, but common medications included supplemental oxygen, bronchodilators, corticosteroids, antibiotics, diuretics, and respiratory stimulators.
The individual quality of the studies ranged. Common methodological issues included lack of blinding and allocation concealment, and small sample sizes.
Need for Endotracheal Intubation
Eleven studies reported the need for endotracheal intubation as an outcome. The pooled results showed a significant reduction in the need for endotracheal intubation in the NPPV plus UMC group compared with the UMC alone group (relative risk [RR], 0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28−0.50). When subgrouped by severity of respiratory failure, the results remained significant for the mild, severe, and very severe respiratory failure groups.
GRADE: moderate
Inhospital Mortality
Nine studies reported inhospital mortality as an outcome. The pooled results showed a significant reduction in inhospital mortality in the NPPV plus UMC group compared with the UMC group (RR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.35−0.81). When subgrouped by severity of respiratory failure, the results remained significant for the moderate and severe respiratory failure groups.
GRADE: moderate
Hospital Length of Stay
Eleven studies reported hospital length of stay (LOS) as an outcome. The pooled results showed a significant decrease in the mean length of stay for the NPPV plus UMC group compared with the UMC alone group (weighted mean difference [WMD], −2.68 days; 95% CI, −4.41 to −0.94 days). When subgrouped by severity of respiratory failure, the results remained significant for the mild, severe, and very severe respiratory failure groups.
GRADE: moderate
Five studies reported complications. Common complications in the NPPV plus UMC group included pneumonia, gastrointestinal disorders or bleeds, skin abrasions, eye irritation, gastric insufflation, and sepsis. Similar complications were observed in the UMC group including pneumonia, sepsis, gastrointestinal disorders or bleeds, pneumothorax, and complicated endotracheal intubations. Many of the more serious complications in both groups occurred in those patients who required endotracheal intubation. Three of the studies compared complications in the NPPV plus UMC and UMC groups. While the data could not be pooled, overall, the NPPV plus UMC group experienced fewer complications than the UMC group.
GRADE: low
Eight studies reported patient tolerance or compliance with NPPV as an outcome. NPPV intolerance ranged from 5% to 29%. NPPV tolerance was generally higher for patients with more severe respiratory failure. Compliance with the NPPV protocol was reported by 2 studies, which showed compliance decreases over time, even over short periods such as 3 days.
NPPV Versus IMV for the Treatment of Patients Who Failed Usual Medical Care
A total of 205 participants were included in 2 studies; the sample sizes of these studies were 49 and 156. The mean age of the patients was 71 to 73 years of age in 1 study, and the median age was 54 to 58 years of age in the second study. Based on either the GOLD COPD stage criteria or the mean percent predicted FEV1, patients in 1 study had very severe COPD. The COPD severity could not be classified in the second study. Both studies had study populations with a mean pH less than 7.23, which was classified as very severe respiratory failure in this analysis. One study enrolled patients with ARF due to acute exacerbations of COPD who had failed medical therapy. The patient population was not clearly defined in the second study, and it was not clear whether they had to have failed medical therapy before entry into the study.
Both studies were conducted in the ICU. Patients in the NPPV group received BiPAP ventilatory support through nasal or full facial masks. Patients in the IMV group received pressure support ventilation.
Common methodological issues included small sample size, lack of blinding, and unclear methods of randomization and allocation concealment. Due to the uncertainty about whether both studies included the same patient population and substantial differences in the direction and significance of the results, the results of the studies were not pooled.
Both studies reported ICU mortality. Neither study showed a significant difference in ICU mortality between the NPPV and IMV groups, but 1 study showed a higher mortality rate in the NPPV group (21.7% vs. 11.5%) while the other study showed a lower mortality rate in the NPPV group (5.1% vs. 6.4%). One study reported 1-year mortality and showed a nonsignificant reduction in mortality in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (26.1% vs. 46.1%).
GRADE: low to very low
Intensive Care Unit Length of Stay
Both studies reported LOS in the ICU. The results were inconsistent. One study showed a statistically significant shorter LOS in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (5 ± 1.35 days vs. 9.29 ± 3 days; P < 0.001); whereas, the other study showed a nonsignificantly longer LOS in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (22 ± 19 days vs. 21 ± 20 days; P = 0.86).
GRADE: very low
Duration of Mechanical Ventilation
Both studies reported the duration of mechanical ventilation (including both invasive and noninvasive ventilation). The results were inconsistent. One study showed a statistically significant shorter duration of mechanical ventilation in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (3.92 ± 1.08 days vs. 7.17 ± 2.22 days; P < 0.001); whereas, the other study showed a nonsignificantly longer duration of mechanical ventilation in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (16 ± 19 days vs. 15 ± 21 days; P = 0.86). GRADE: very low
Both studies reported ventilator-associated pneumonia and tracheotomies. Both showed a reduction in ventilator-associated pneumonia in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group, but the results were only significant in 1 study (13% vs. 34.6%, P = 0.07; and 6.4% vs. 37.2%, P < 0.001, respectively). Similarly, both studies showed a reduction in tracheotomies in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group, but the results were only significant in 1 study (13% vs. 23.1%, P = 0.29; and 6.4% vs. 34.6%; P < 0.001).
GRADE: very low
Other Outcomes
One of the studies followed patients for 12 months. At the end of follow-up, patients in the NPPV group had a significantly lower rate of needing de novo oxygen supplementation at home. In addition, the IMV group experienced significant increases in functional limitations due to COPD, while no increase was seen in the NPPV group. Finally, no significant differences were observed for hospital readmissions, ICU readmissions, and patients with an open tracheotomy, between the NPPV and IMV groups.
NPPV for Weaning COPD Patients From IMV
A total of 80 participants were included in the 2 RCTs; the sample sizes of the studies were 30 and 50 patients. The mean age of the participants ranged from 58 to 69 years of age. Based on either the GOLD COPD stage criteria or the mean percent predicted FEV1, both studies included patients with very severe COPD. Both studies also included patients with very severe respiratory failure (mean pH of the study populations was less than 7.23). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients receiving IMV were enrolled in the study if they failed a T-piece weaning trial (spontaneous breathing test), so they could not be directly extubated from IMV.
Both studies were conducted in the ICU. Patients in the NPPV group received weaning using either BiPAP or pressure support ventilation NPPV through a face mask, and patients in the IMV weaning group received pressure support ventilation. In both cases, weaning was achieved by tapering the ventilation level.
The individual quality of the studies ranged. Common methodological problems included unclear randomization methods and allocation concealment, lack of blinding, and small sample size.
Both studies reported mortality as an outcome. The pooled results showed a significant reduction in ICU mortality in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (RR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.23−0.97; P = 0.04).
GRADE: moderate
Intensive Care Unit Length of Stay
Both studies reported ICU LOS as an outcome. The pooled results showed a nonsignificant reduction in ICU LOS in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (WMD, −5.21 days; 95% CI, −11.60 to 1.18 days).
GRADE: low
Duration of Mechanical Ventilation
Both studies reported duration of mechanical ventilation (including both invasive and noninvasive ventilation) as an outcome. The pooled results showed a nonsignificant reduction in duration of mechanical ventilation (WMD, −3.55 days; 95% CI, −8.55 to 1.44 days).
GRADE: low
Nosocomial Pneumonia
Both studies reported nosocominal pneumonia as an outcome. The pooled results showed a significant reduction in nosocomial pneumonia in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group (RR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.03−0.71; P = 0.02).
GRADE: moderate
Weaning Failure
One study reported a significant reduction in weaning failure in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group, but the results were not reported in the publication. In this study, 1 of 25 patients in the NPPV group and 2 of 25 patients in the IMV group could not be weaned after 60 days in the ICU.
NPPV After Extubation of COPD Patients From IMV
The literature was reviewed to identify studies examining the effectiveness of NPPV compared with UMC in preventing recurrence of ARF after extubation from IMV or treating acute ARF which has recurred after extubation from IMV. No studies that included only COPD patients or reported results for COPD patients separately were identified for the prevention of ARF postextubation.
One study was identified for the treatment of ARF in COPD patients that recurred within 48 hours of extubation from IMV. This study included 221 patients, of whom 23 had COPD. A post hoc subgroup analysis was conducted examining the rate of reintubation in the COPD patients only. A nonsignificant reduction in the rate of reintubation was observed in the NPPV group compared with the UMC group (7 of 14 patients vs. 6 of 9 patients, P = 0.67). GRADE: low
NPPV Plus UMC Versus UMC Alone for First Line Treatment of ARF due to Acute Exacerbations of COPD
Moderate quality of evidence showed that compared with UMC, NPPV plus UMC significantly reduced the need for endotracheal intubation, inhospital mortality, and the mean length of hospital stay.
Low quality of evidence showed a lower rate of complications in the NPPV plus UMC group compared with the UMC group.
NPPV Versus IMV for the Treatment of ARF in Patients Who Have Failed UMC
Due to inconsistent and low to very low quality of evidence, there was insufficient evidence to draw conclusions on the comparison of NPPV versus IMV for patients who failed UMC.
NPPV for Weaning COPD Patients From IMV
Moderate quality of evidence showed that weaning COPD patients from IMV using NPPV results in significant reductions in mortality, nosocomial pneumonia, and weaning failure compared with weaning with IMV.
Low quality of evidence showed a nonsignificant reduction in the mean LOS and mean duration of mechanical ventilation in the NPPV group compared with the IMV group.
NPPV for the Treatment of ARF in COPD Patients After Extubation From IMV
Low quality of evidence showed a nonsignificant reduction in the rate of reintubation in the NPPV group compared with the UMC group; however, there was inadequate evidence to draw conclusions on the effectiveness of NPPV for the treatment of ARF in COPD patients after extubation from IMV
PMCID: PMC3384377  PMID: 23074436
9.  Effects of kefir on coccidial oocysts excretion and performance of dairy goat kids following weaning 
The aim of this study was to investigate effects of kefir, a traditional source of probiotic, on coccidial oocysts excretion and on the performance of dairy goat kids following weaning. Twin kids were randomly allocated to one of two groups at weaning. Kids of the first group received 20 ml of kefir daily for 6 weeks (KEF), while kids in the control group were given a placebo (CON). Individual faecal samples were regularly (n = 18 per kid) taken to quantify the number of coccidial oocysts per gram of faeces (OpG). There were no differences between the groups in terms of body weight development (P > 0.05) and feed consumption. Kids of both groups were not able to consume enough feed to meet their nutrient requirements during the first 3 weeks following weaning. KEF had a lower frequency of OpG positive samples than CON (P = 0.043). Kefir did not affect the maximum oocyst excretion and age of the kids at the highest oocyst excretion (P > 0.05). KEF shed numerically 35% lower coccidial oocysts than the controls, which corresponded to a statistical tendency (P = 0.074) in lowering Log-OpG in comparison to CON. While KEF had a lower frequency of OpG positive samples and tended to shed lower OPG by around one-third, the frequency of diarrhea, level of highest oocyst excretion, and performance of the kids remained unaffected. Therefore, it is concluded that overall effects of kefir do not have a significant impact on sub-clinical infection and performance in weaned kids under relatively high-hygienic farming conditions.
PMCID: PMC3345116  PMID: 22189816
Growth; Host nutrition; Parasite; Probiotic; Sub-clinical coccidiosis; Life Sciences; Zoology; Veterinary Medicine
10.  Low seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in Boer goats in Missouri 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:421.
Goats are known reservoirs of Coxiella burnetii, the etiologic agent of Q fever. However, there has been very little research on the prevalence of C. burnetii exposure and risk in meat goats farmed in the US. Banked serum samples were secondarily tested for C. burnetii specific antibodies.
The animal and herd-level seroprevalence estimates for C. burnetii were 1.2% (3/249) and 4.2% (1/24) respectively. Within-herd seroprevalence ranged from 0% to 1.2%.
This study indicates that seroprevalence of C. burnetii in Boer goats raised in Missouri was low, but it does not preclude the existence of a higher level of infection in Missouri’s meat goat herds. This result is inconclusive because this study was disadvantaged by the small number of individual animal and herds tested, which compromised the statistical power of this study to detect a possible higher seroprevalence of C. burnetii in this population, if present. More research is warranted to corroborate the preliminary findings reported here in order to determine the public health significance C. burnetii infection risks associated with contemporary goat production systems in the US.
PMCID: PMC4102339  PMID: 24994554
Coxiella burnetii; Goats; Q fever; Missouri; United States
11.  Risk of tuberculosis cattle herd breakdowns in Ireland: effects of badger culling effort, density and historic large-scale interventions 
Veterinary Research  2014;45(1):109.
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) continues to be a problem in cattle herds in Ireland and Britain. It has been suggested that failure to eradicate this disease is related to the presence of a wildlife reservoir (the badger). A large-scale project was undertaken in the Republic of Ireland during 1997–2002 to assess whether badger removal could contribute to reducing risk of cattle herd breakdowns in four areas. During the period of that “four area” study, there was a significant decrease in risk in intensively culled (removal) areas relative to reference areas. In the present study, we revisit these areas to assess if there were any residual area effects of this former intervention a decade on (2007–2012). Over the study period there was an overall declining trend in bTB breakdown risk to cattle herds. Cattle herds within former removal areas experienced significantly reduced risk of breakdown relative to herds within former reference areas or herds within non-treatment areas (OR: 0.53; P < 0.001). Increased herd breakdown risk was associated with increasing herd size (OR: 1.92-2.03; P < 0.001) and herd bTB history (OR: 2.25-2.40; P < 0.001). There was increased risk of herd breakdowns in areas with higher badger densities, but this association was only significant early in the study (PD*YEAR interaction; P < 0.001). Badgers were culled in areas with higher cattle bTB risk (targeted culling). Risk tended to decline with cumulative culling effort only in three counties, but increased in the fourth (Donegal). Culling badgers is not seen as a viable long-term strategy. However, mixed policy options with biosecurity and badger vaccination, may help in managing cattle breakdown risk.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13567-014-0109-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4230509  PMID: 25344430
12.  Trends in cow numbers and culling rate in the Irish cattle population, 2003 to 2006 
Irish Veterinary Journal  2008;61(7):455-463.
Cows are the main economic production units of Ireland's cattle industry. Therefore, demographic information, including overall numbers and survival rates, are relevant to the Irish agricultural industry. However, few data are available on the demographics of cows within a national population, either in Ireland or elsewhere, despite the recent development of comprehensive national cattle databases in many EU Member States. This study has sought: to determine the rate of cow culling from the national herd; to determine the rate of culling by type (dairy, beef), age, method of exit, date of exit and interval between last calving and exit; to calculate the national cow on-farm mortality rate; and to compare the Irish rates with published data from other countries. This work was conducted using data recorded in the national Cattle Movement Monitoring System (CMMS). Culling refers to the exit of cows from the national herd, as a result of death but regardless of reason, and cow-culling rate was calculated as the number of cow exits (as defined above) each year divided by the number of calf births in the same year. Culling rate was determined by type (dairy or beef), date of birth, method of exit (slaughter or on-farm death), month of exit and interval between last calving and exit. The average cow-culling rate during 2003 to 2006 was 19.6% (21.3% for dairy, 18% for beef). While comparisons must be treated with caution, it concluded that the overall rates of culling in Ireland fell within published internationally accepted norms. The on-farm mortality rate of 3.2-4.1% was similar to that reported in comparable studies.
PMCID: PMC3113867  PMID: 21851717
abattoir slaughter; CMMS; cull cow; national herd turnover rate; on-farm-death; population balance
13.  Relationships between type and longevity in the Holstein breed 
The relationship between type traits and longevity was studied in the French Holstein breed using a survival analysis model. In this model, the phenotypic value adjusted for systematic fixed effects, the estimated breeding value, or the residual value (defined as the difference between the adjusted phenotypic value and the estimated breeding value) of the cow for each type trait was included as a risk factor. This was done separately for two subpopulations (registered and nonregistered herds) and with or without adjustment for production traits, i.e., considering true or functional longevity. For both types of herds, udder traits (and above all, udder depth) clearly influenced the length of productive life. There seemed to be a more pronounced voluntary culling on type traits in registered herds. The correction for the within herd-year class of production traits, as a way to approximate functional longevity, increased the importance of udder traits and decreased the weight of capacity traits. The same results were obtained when the phenotypic value of the cow for type was replaced by her estimated breeding value, whereas residuals had little impact. The relationship between longevity and type traits was most often nonlinear, in particular for udder traits, but in this study, no trait with a clear intermediate optimum was found.
PMCID: PMC2705382  PMID: 11268313
longevity; type traits; survival analysis; nonlinearity; dairy cattle
14.  Low reproductive performance and high sow mortality in a pig breeding herd: a case study 
Irish Veterinary Journal  2008;61(12):818-826.
Sow performance is a key component of the productivity of commercial pig farms. Reproductive failure in the sow is common in pig production. For every 100 sows served, 89 should farrow. In absence of specific diseases such as porcine parvovirus, pseudo-rabies, swine fever, leptospirosis and brucellosis, management failures are the most important causes of loss. A syndrome associated with reproductive inefficiency, and post-service vaginal discharge and high sow mortality in a commercial pig farm is described. Pregnancy failures exceeded 20% and sow mortality exceeded 12% for two consecutive years. The abnormal post-service vaginal discharge rate was 1.7% during the period of investigation.
An investigation involving an analysis of farm records, a review of breeding management practices, clinical examinations, laboratory analysis and examination of urogenital organs was conducted.
The main contributing factors found were a sub-optimal gilt breeding management, an inadequate culling policy in combination with a sub-optimal culling rate and the presence of cystitis in more than 1% of the urogenital organs examined. The high sow mortality rate was related to an aged breeding herd.
A control programme was recommended based on management changes involving oestrus detection, movement of gilts post-service, hygiene in the service area, boar exposure post-service and urinary acidification. This programme failed to increase the farrowing rate due to incomplete implementation of the recommendations made. The farrowing rate increased to 86.5% subsequent to a farm manager change in January 2005, which resulted in complete implementation of the control programme.
PMCID: PMC3113876  PMID: 21851706
cystitis; farrowing rate; sow; vulval discharge
15.  Association analysis between variants in KISS1 gene and litter size in goats 
BMC Genetics  2013;14:63.
Kisspeptins are the peptide products of KISS1 gene, which operate via the G - protein-coupled receptor GPR54. These peptides have emerged as essential upstream regulators of neurons secreting gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), the major hypothalamic node for the stimulatory control of the hypothalamic–pituitary– gonadal (HPG) axis. The present study detected the polymorphisms of caprine KISS1 gene in three goat breeds and investigated the associations between these genetic markers and litter size.
Three goat breeds (n = 680) were used to detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the coding regions with their intron–exon boundaries and the proximal flanking regions of KISS1 gene by DNA sequencing and PCR–RFLP. Eleven novel SNPs (g.384G>A, g.1147T>C, g.1417G>A, g.1428_1429delG, g.2124C>T, g.2270C>T, g.2489T>C, g.2510G>A, g.2540C>T, g.3864_3865delCA and g.3885_3886insACCCC) were identified. It was shown that Xinong Saanen and Guanzhong goat breeds were in Hardy-Weinberg disequilibrium at g.384G>A locus (P < 0.05). Both g.2510G>A and g.2540C>T loci were closely linked in Xinong Saanen (SN), Guanzhong (GZ) and Boer (BG) goat breeds (r2 > 0.33). The g.384G>A, g.2489T>C, g.2510G>A and g.2540C>T SNPs were associated with litter size (P<0.05). Individuals with AATTAATT combinative genotype of SN breed (SC) and TTAATT combinative genotype of BG breed (BC) had higher litter size than those with other combinative genotypes in average parity. The results extend the spectrum of genetic variation of the caprine KISS1 gene, which might contribute to goat genetic resources and breeding.
This study explored the genetic polymorphism of KISS1 gene, and indicated that four SNPs may play an important role in litter size. Their genetic mechanism of reproduction in goat breeds should be further investigated. The female goats with SC1 (AATTAATT) and BC7 (TTAATT) had higher litter size than those with other combinative genotypes in average parity and could be used for the development of new breeds of prolific goats. Further research on a large number of animals is required to confirm the link with increased prolificacy in goats.
PMCID: PMC3734198  PMID: 23915023
Combinative genotype; SNP; PCR-RFLP; Candidate gene
16.  Effects of Weaning and Spatial Enrichment on Behavior of Turkish Saanen Goat Kids 
As is in all economic activities, the highest yield per unit area is the main goal in animal production, while addressing the temperamental needs of animals often is ignored. Animal welfare is not only an ethical fact; it also has an economic value. Spatial environmental enrichment contributes positively to animal welfare by addressing their behavioral and mental requirements. The present study was conducted to determine the effects of weaning and spatial environmental arrangements on behaviors of goat-kids. Experimental groups were arranged in structured and unstructured spatial environments. Roughage feeder, semi-automatic concentrate feeder, bunk, bridge, and wood block were placed in the structured environment. No equipment was placed in the unstructured environment and paddock sides were enclosed with an iron sheet to prevent bipedal stance and to provide environmental isolation. In the study 10 male and 10 female Turkish Saanen goat kids were used in each group. Spatial environmental arrangements did not have significant impacts on the growth performance of kids (p>0.05). All objects in the structured group were accepted by the kids. Average use ratios of roughage feeder, semi-automatic concentrate feeder, bunk, bridge and wood block were observed as 19.3%, 14.0%, 12.6%, 3.8%, and 0.7%, respectively. There were significant differences between before- and after-weaning in use of all objects except for underneath bridge (p≤0.05). Concentrate feed consumption, locomotion, and resting behaviors in kids showed significant differences by structural group and growth period. Roughage consumption was similar between groups, while it differed by growth period (p≤0.05). Interaction frequency was significantly higher in structured group (p = 0.0023). Playing behavior significantly differentiated based on the growth period rather than on groups (p≤0.05). Playing behavior significantly decreased after weaning. Abnormal oral activity was significantly higher in the structured group before weaning (p≤0.05). Despite there being no installations facilitating climbing and bipedal stance, the kids of the unstructured group were able to exhibit 1/3 as much bipedal stance behavior as the kids of the structured group through leaning over slippery paddock wall or over their groupmates. Bipedal stance behavior of unstructured group was similar before and after weaning, while bipedal stance behavior before weaning was about 2 times that of after weaning in structured group. It was concluded that unstructured environmental arrangement limited the behavior repertoire of the goat kids.
PMCID: PMC4852256  PMID: 26954169
Environmental Enrichment; Turkish Saanen; Growth; Bipedal Stance; Animal Welfare
17.  Polymorphism and association of growth hormone gene with growth traits in Sirohi and Barbari breeds of goat 
Veterinary World  2015;8(3):382-387.
The aim was to study the polymorphism of exon 2 and exon 3 of growth hormone (GH) gene, to test the polymorphic variants for Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium and to investigate association of these polymorphisms with chest girth and paunch girth in Sirohi and Barbari breeds of goat.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 80 kids involving forty each of Sirohi and Barbari breeds of goat were included in the study. A good quality genomic DNA isolated from the whole blood using standard protocol were used for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and products obtained on restriction digestion of amplicon with enzyme HaeIII were separated on 2% agarose gel, and documented in a gel doc system. The chest girth and paunch girth of kids at birth and weekly intervals up to 4 weeks of age and subsequently at 2 months, 3 months and 6 months of age were recorded. Allele frequency and genotype distribution of polymorphism were tested for Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium by program me Genepop package. Association between different genetic variants on chest girth and paunch girth were analyzed by least squares analysis employing suitable statistical model.
The PCR product of genomic DNA isolated from kids of Sirohi and Barbari breeds of goat on digestion with the restriction enzyme HaeIII revealed two genotypic variants viz., AB and BB. None of the two breeds was in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium for these variants. The least squares analysis of variance revealed non-significant effect of GH genotype and breed × genotype interaction on chest girth and paunch girth from birth to 180 days of age. The effect of breed was highly significant (p<0.01) at all ages.
The present study showed that both the breeds were polymorphic at the exon 2 and exon 3 loci of GH gene under study with respect to HaeIII restriction endonuclease. None of the breeds was in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium for this region of GH gene. In the present study, no significant association between GH genotype and chest girth and paunch girth could be established but comparatively higher chest girth and paunch girth were observed for AB genotype across the breeds.
PMCID: PMC4774847  PMID: 27047101
Barbari; growth hormone gene; goat; polymorphism; polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism; Sirohi
18.  Variability of resistance in Black Bengal goats naturally infected with Haemonchus contortus 
A total 290 Black Bengal goats (6 buck, 109 doe and 175 kids born from 11 sires) were studied to evaluate the variability of resistance in Black Bengal goats naturally infected with Haemonchus contortus. The variability of resistance in Black Bengal goat was studied for both genetic and non-genetic factors like village, sex, age dam, sire, dam resistance group and offspring resistance group. Male kids have slightly higher resistance than female kids although it was not significant. Resistance of kids was increased as age increases and kid population showed significantly different resistance status among the offspring resistant groups. The doe population showed significantly different LEPG as per the resistance group in all the collections. The present study found that the resistance of kids under sire were varied significantly and observed that the kids under sire 1, 6–8 were significantly more resistant than the kids of the sire 2, 5 and 11 in 3rd collection and it is also noticed that maternal genetic effect has a very little impact on resistance of kids. Males (buck) were most resistant and the kids were least resistant and the resistance of dam was in between the male and kids population.
PMCID: PMC4328021  PMID: 25698865
Haemonchus contortus; Black Bengal goats; Variability of resistance and genetic and non-genetic factors
19.  Sow wastage: reasons for and effect on productivity. 
The purpose of this study was to examine the reasons for, the rate and the effect of sow culling on productivity. Sow removal or wastage was investigated by means of producer questionnaires and by detailed production data recorded on 30 swine farms for two years. The sow removal rate was high (mean = 44.2%) with a wide herd-to-herd variation (range = 16% to 100%), and correlated negatively with litter size. Reproductive failure was the most common cause of culling cited by producers. It was concluded that sows on many Ontario farms were being culled prior to reaching their reproductive potential.
PMCID: PMC1255191  PMID: 3756675
20.  Effects of Oils Rich in Linoleic and α-Linolenic Acids on Fatty Acid Profile and Gene Expression in Goat Meat 
Nutrients  2014;6(9):3913-3928.
Alteration of the lipid content and fatty acid (FA) composition of foods can result in a healthier product. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of flaxseed oil or sunflower oil in the goat diet on fatty acid composition of muscle and expression of lipogenic genes in the semitendinosus (ST) muscle. Twenty-one entire male Boer kid goats were fed diets containing different levels of linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (LNA) for 100 days. Inclusion of flaxseed oil increased (p < 0.05) the α-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3) concentration in the ST muscle. The diet high in α-linolenic acid (p < 0.05) decreased the arachidonic acid (C20:4n-6) and conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) c-9 t-11 content in the ST muscle. There was a significant (p < 0.05) upregulation of PPARα and PPARγ gene expression and downregulation of stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) gene in the ST muscle for the high α-linolenic acid group compared with the low α-linolenic acid group. The results of the present study show that flaxseed oil as a source of α-linolenic acid can be incorporated into the diets of goats to enrich goat meat with n-3 fatty acids, upregulate the PPARα and PPARγ, and downregulate the SCD gene expression.
PMCID: PMC4179195  PMID: 25255382
flaxseed oil; omega-3 fatty acid; gene expression; lipogenic genes; goat meat
21.  Boar culling in swine breeding herds in Minnesota 
The Canadian Veterinary Journal  1990;31(8):581-583.
This investigation was conducted to study boar culling patterns in swine breeding herds. Data were obtained from 84 swine breeding herds and included 440 boars that were culled. Each producer was involved for 12 consecutive months, and recorded every boar that was removed from the herd, the date, and the reason for culling. The annual culling rate for the 84 farms averaged 59.4% ± 6.4 (SEM). The correlation coefficient between boar and sow culling was 0.52 (p <0.0001). Removal was the result of being overweight (47%), reproductive problems (18%), leg problems (12%), death (7%), and other diseases (4%). From the annual culling rate, the average breeding life of boars was estimated at 20 months. From this study, we concluded that the annual culling rate for boars in commercial herds was high and related to several different factors.
PMCID: PMC1480838  PMID: 17423646
22.  Advancing parity is associated with high milk production at the cost of body condition and increased periparturient disorders in dairy herds 
Journal of Veterinary Science  2006;7(2):161-166.
The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of parity on milk production, body condition change, periparturient health, and culling in Korean dairy herds. The data utilized included; milk yield, body condition score, cow parity, calving condition, periparturient disorders, culling, and reproductive status, which were recorded from 1290 calvings in eight dairy herds. The mean milk yield in cows over 305 days increased with increasing parity (p < 0.01). Cows with parities of 3, 4, and 5 or higher lost more body condition than those with a parity of 1 during month 1 of lactation (p < 0.01), and body condition recovery by cows with parities of 4 and 5 or higher was slower (p < 0.01) than recovery by cows with parities of 1, 2, or 3 until month 3 of lactation. The risk of retained placenta, metabolic disorder, and endometritis also increased with advancing parity (p < 0.05). Moreover, the incidence of ovarian cysts was lower in cows with a parity of one than in cows with greater parities (p < 0.01). Culling rate due to reproductive failure also increased with advancing parity (p < 0.01). These results suggest that parity increases milk yield, body condition loss during early lactation, the risk of periparturient disorders, and culling due to reproductive failure in dairy herds.
PMCID: PMC3242109  PMID: 16645342
body condition; culling; milk yield; parity; peritparturient disorder
23.  Direct and indirect effects of Johne's disease on farm and animal productivity in an Irish dairy herd 
Irish Veterinary Journal  2009;62(8):526-532.
Johne's disease (JD) is caused by infection with the organism Mycobacterium avium spp. paratuberculosis, leading to chronic diarrhoea and ill thrift in adult cattle. JD is considered to adversely affect farm performance and profitability. This retrospective case study was undertaken on a single commercial dairy herd in the south west of Ireland. Animal production records were interrogated to assess the effect of JD on milk yield (total kg per lactation), somatic cell count (the geometric mean over the lactation), reasons for culling, cull price and changes in herd parity structure over time. JD groups were defined using clinical signs and test results. One control animal was matched to each case animal on parity number and year. Specific lactations (clinical, pre-clinical and test-positive only) from 1994 to 2004 were compared between JD case and control cows. A significantly lower milk yield (1259.3 kg/lactation) was noted from cows with clinical JD in comparison to their matched control group. Clinical animals had an average cull price of €516 less than animals culled without signs of clinical disease. In contrast, little effect was noted for sub-clinical infections. These direct effects of JD infections, in combination with increased culling for infertility and increasing replacement rates, had a negative impact on farm production. Results from this study provide preliminary information regarding the effects of JD status on both herd and animal-level performance in Ireland.
PMCID: PMC3113779  PMID: 21851739
clinical symtoms; culling; dairy cows; disease impacts; Johne's Disease; milk yield
24.  Gastrointestinal nematodes and anthelmintic resistance in Danish goat herds☆  
Parasite  2014;21:37.
The prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in Danish goats and the presence of anthelmintic resistance (AR) in 10 selected herds were investigated during April–September 2012. All Danish herds (n = 137) with 10 or more adult goats were invited to participate, and of these 27 herds met the inclusion criterion of more than 10 young kids never treated with anthelmintics. Questionnaire data on management were collected, and faecal samples from 252 kids were analysed by the McMaster technique. From all herds with a mean faecal egg count (FEC) above 300 eggs per g of faeces, pooled samples were stained with peanut agglutinin (PNA) for specific detection of Haemonchus contortus. Strongyle eggs were detected with an individual prevalence of 69%, including Nematodirus battus (3.6%) and other Nematodirus species (15.0%). Eimeria spp. were observed in 99.6% of the kids. H. contortus was found in 11 of 12 (92%) tested herds. Anthelmintics were used in 89% of the herds with mean treatment frequencies of 0.96 and 0.89 treatments per year for kids and adults, respectively. In 2011, new animals were introduced into 44% of the herds of which 25% practised quarantine anthelmintic treatments. In 10 herds the presence of AR was analysed by egg hatch assay and FEC reduction tests using ivermectin (0.3 mg/kg) or fenbendazole (10.0 mg/kg). AR against both fenbendazole and ivermectin was detected in seven herds; AR against fenbendazole in one herd, and AR against ivermectin in another herd. In conclusion, resistance to the most commonly used anthelmintics is widespread in larger goat herds throughout Denmark.
PMCID: PMC4115478  PMID: 25076056
Goat; Parasites; Nematode; Parasite control; Herd management; Anthelmintic resistance
25.  Factors Associated with Mastitis in Ontario Dairy Herds: A Case Control Study 
Data from Ontario dairy cattle herds which had had a high average milk gel index for 1978 (cases) and from other herds which had had a low average during the same period (controls) were collected and analyzed using case control techniques. The purpose of the study was to contrast factors of husbandry and management between the two groups and to determine the relative contribution of each of these factors on mastitis (as determined indirectly by the milk gel index) at the herd level.
Control herds had higher average production levels than did case herds, shipping 1807 litres more milk per cow per year. Milk from control herds averaged 0.06 percentage points higher in butterfat, 0.19 percentage points higher in lactose and 0.05 percentage points lower in total protein. However, many factors can influence production, therefore these latter differences, in both shipped milk and composition, can not be attributed solely to differences in the prevalence of mastitis between the two groups.
Control herds were more likely to use teat dip, receive regular veterinary service, use dry cow antibiotic preparations and have knowledge concerning subclinical mastitis than were case herds. Control herds also tended to raise more of their own replacements, have a higher culling rate for reasons of low production and have a more modernized dairy operation. Case herds, on the other hand, were more likely to scrutinize foremilk, use more milking units per operator and wait longer between the start of stimulation and attachment of the milking unit.
The study confirms, under natural field conditions, the importance of integrated mastitis control practices and also reaffirms the relative importance of practices such as the use of teat dips and dry cow antibiotic preparations.
PMCID: PMC1320089  PMID: 7448625

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