Cervical dilation and improvement of reproductive performance in fat-tailed ewes via cervical dilator treatments
Objective: To determine the effect of different cervical dilators on cervical dilation and reproductive performance of fat-tailed ewes.Methods: In experiment 1 140 ewes were divided into seven groups with seven different treatments as following: 10 mL normal saline (control group), 100 IU oxytocin (OT group), 100 μg estradiol and 100 IU oxytocin (E2+OT group), 5 mL relaxin (R group), 2 mL sensiblex (SEN group), 200 μg misoprostol (MIS group) or 200 μg dinoprostone (DIN group). In experiment 2, artificial insemination was applied for evaluation of reproductive performance in experimental groups. Results: In experiment 1, the highest cervical dilation was observed in OT (90%) and E2+OT (100%) groups (P<0.05), while no significant differences was found among DIN, MIS, SEN and R groups (80%, 75%, 70% and 65%, respectively). In addition, the lowest cervical dilation was observed in control group. Experiment 2 found no significant differences among control, OT and E2+OT groups. The highest pregnancy rate, parturition rate and lambing rate were observed in OT groups (60%, 60% and 70%, respectively) and E2+OT groups (65%, 60% and 70%, respectively) compared to SEN, R, MIS and DIN groups (P<0.05). Conclusions: Oxytocin treatment alone or with estradiol could be used as a suitable dilator for improving reproductive efficiency during artificial insemination in fat-tailed ewes.