Efficacy of short-term administration of altrenogest to postpone ovulation in mares
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Estrogen from a growing follicle stimulates the preovulatory surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) while progesterone (P) is known to suppress LH. The possibility exists that administration of P, in the presence of an ovulatory follicle, would sufficiently suppress LH and, therefore, delay ovulation. The objective of this research was to elucidate the potential for oral administration of altrenogest (17-Allyl-17ß-hydroxyestra-4,9,11-trien-3-one) to postpone ovulation of a preovulatory follicle (35 mm) for approximately two days. Fourteen light-horse mares, ranging in age from two to 19 years, were randomly assigned to one of three treatments (A -.044 mg/kg BW altrenogest for two days; B - .088 mg/kg BW altrenogest for two days; and C- no altrenogest). Mares began treatment when a 35-mm or greater follicle was observed via real-time transrectal ultrasonography. Both number of days until ovulation and follicular maintenance differed between treated and control mares. Number of days until ovulation was increased (P<.05) for mares in treatment A when compared with the control mares. Follicular diameter maintenance, a measurement of follicular diameter throughout treatment, also increased (P<.05) formates in treatment A when compared with the control mares. Mean LH concentration was not different between mares treated with altrenogest at either treatment dose when compared with the control mares. Pregnancy rates and embryonic vesicle size change were also measured to determine potential effects of altrenogest administration. No differences (P>.05) were found in either characteristic. Short-term administration of altrenogest increased the number of days to ovulation. Further study is warranted to prove conclusively that altrenogest increases follicular maintenance, alters the preovulatory LH surge, and has no detrimental effects upon reproductive efficiency.
author list (cited authors)
James, A. N., Vogelsang, M. M., Forrest, D. W., & Stott, G. G.