The effect of intramuscular injection of dinoprost or gonadotropin-releasing hormone in dairy cows on beef quality. Academic Article uri icon


  • Intramuscular injections of drugs and vaccines cause tissue damage and subsequent effects on tenderness and consumer acceptability of beef. In the 2007 National Market Cow and Bull Beef Quality Audit, 100% of plants reported fabricating subprimal cuts such as rib eyes and tenderloins from cow and bull carcasses. Dairy beef quality should therefore be a consideration when injections are given to dairy animals. The discussion about injection site reactions and tenderness has focused on vaccines and antimicrobial drugs with little concern for the effects of reproductive hormones. The objective of this study was to quantify antemortem the effects of semimembranosis/semitendinosis muscle injection of dinoprost and GnRH in lactating dairy cows by estimating the weight of tissue damaged and comparing that with a drug known to cause extensive tissue damage, flunixin meglumine. Tissue damage was estimated from previously reported equations for grams of muscle tissue damage based on area under the curve of serum concentrations of the muscle enzyme creatine kinase over time. Dinoprost and flunixin injection both caused a significantly increased estimate of muscle tissue damaged compared with needle only (P = 0.0351 and 0.0355, respectively). Dinoprost and flunixin caused a marginally significant increased muscle tissue damage compared with GnRH (P = 0.1394 and 0.1475, respectively). No statistically significant difference was found between the estimated weight of muscle tissue damaged by flunixin compared with dinoprost (P = 1.0000), or by saline compared with GnRH (P = 0.7736) or needle only (P = 0.4902). The assumption that reproductive hormones are less damaging than vaccines and antimicrobial drugs should be examined more closely, including postmortem evaluation of injection site lesions and effects on tenderness.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Fajt, V. R., Wagner, S. A., Pederson, L. L., & Norby, B.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Fajt, VR||Wagner, SA||Pederson, LL||Norby, B

publication date

  • June 2011