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The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of cystic ovarian follicles (COFs) occurring after puerperium on fertility and the effect of their treatment with progesterone releasing device on reproductive performance in dairy cows. The study was carried out in 3 herds of Polish Holstein-Friesian cows under herd health program. COFs were diagnosed by ultrasound above 60 days p.p. They were defined as follicular structures with a diameter > 2.5 cm in the absence of a corpus luteum at two repeated examinations at the 14-days interval. On the day of COF diagnosis blood samples were collected to measure progesterone (P4) concentration. On the basis of the wall thickness measurement and progesterone concentration at the first examination, the COFs were differentiated into follicular and luteal cysts. The experimental group consisted of 23 animals with COF. The cows were treated with PRID Delta (Ceva Animal Health, Poland), containing 1.55 g of progesterone, for 7 days. The cows without oestrus signs within 14 days after treatment were re-examinated. If COF persisted, the cows were treated again with PRID Delta. The treatment was repeated maximum three times. Fifteen cows with ovarian cysts were left untreated and served as a control group. The cows with COF were matched to healthy cows without COF. The cows with COF had worse fertility performances compared to cows without COF. There were significant (p<0.05) differences in conception rates, number of services per conception and days open between these groups. Compared with non-treated cows with COF, in cows with COF treated with PRID Delta conceptions rates and number of services per conception were similar, but the days open were significantly (p<0.05) lower in cows treated than in non-treated (183.3 days vs. 277.6 days). There were no differences in reproductive performances between the follicular and luteal cysts in treated and non-treated cows. In conclusion, the results of our study confirm the negative impact of COF after puerperium on fertility in dairy cows. Furthermore the results indicate the usefulness of PRID Delta for the treatment of COF occurring after the puerperium regardless of cysts type.
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