Cystic Cows: Using Progesterone Implants

Among the most difficult animals to get pregnant are the cystic cows. These days, cystic cows can be difficult to detect. They are usually found at pregnancy check because they failed to display heats. Gone are the days when the cystic cows would behave like “nymphomaniacs”, allowing easy detection.


The average rate of cystic cows on Canadian farms is approximately 15%. A cyst will cause an increase of 22 to 64 extra days open at an average estimated cost of $137 per occurrence. Finding and treating these cows early will save you valuable days open.


Research, by William Silvia at the University of Kentucky, has shown that a progesterone implant (CIDR or PRID) will increase the conception rate of cystic cows. Cysts are formed in cows with low blood progesterone. These cows either have poor or non-existent CLs on their ovaries, preventing the normal progesterone levels needed for ovulation.


The use of GnRH (Fertiline) and Prostaglandin (Estrumate, Lutalyse) 7 to 10 days later has been the treatment of choice for cysts for many years. While this can be an effective treatment for some cows, in other cows the cyst will regress and will then be replaced by another cyst. By adding a progesterone implant to the treatment protocol, the next heat cycle is more likely to be a fertile one.

Example of Cyst Treatment Using Ovsynch (GLG) with a Progesterone Implant:




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