Treatment of long-term anestrous sows with estradiol benzoate and GnRH: Response of serum LH and occurrence of estrus

N. M. Cox, K. L. Esbenshade, J. H. Britt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Seventeen primiparous sows, anestrous for 41 ± 4 days after weaning, received i.m. injections of 500 μg estradiol benzoate (EB) or corn oil. At 48 hr after treatment, LH averaged 12.1 ± 2.6 ng/ml in EB-treated sows and 0.7 ± 0.1 ng/ml in corn oil-treated sows. At 55 hr after EB or corn oil, each sow was given 50 μg gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). Average LH 1 hr after GnRH was 5.7 ± 1.1 and 5.1 ± 0.9 ng/ml in EB- and corn oil-treated sows, respectively. All EB-treated sows exhibited estrus 2.3 ± 0.2 days after treatment and were mated. None of the corn oil-treated sows exhibited estrus and all were slaughtered two weeks after treatment. Examination of reproductive tracts revealed that the ovaries of corn oil-treated sows were small and did not contain corpora lutea. In mated sows, progesterone concentrations in blood two weeks after mating indicated luteal function in eight of the nine animals. Positive pregnancy diagnoses were made in all eight animals; however, only three sows farrowed, with litter sizes of four, five and seven, respectively. Results of the present experiment indicate that the hypothalamus and anterior pituitary of long-term anestrous sows are capable of responding to endocrine stimuli (i.e. estradiol and GnRH). Moreover, estradiol induced estrus and ovulation, but subsequent farrowing rate was only 33 percent and size of litters was small.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-507
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


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