Treatment with a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug after calving did not improve milk production, health, or reproduction parameters in pasture-grazed dairy cows

S. Meier, N. V. Priest, C. R. Burke, J. K. Kay, S. McDougall, M. D. Mitchell, C. G. Walker, A. Heiser, J. J. Loor, J. R. Roche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research results have indicated an increase in pregnancy rate in pasture-grazed cows treated with a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) 3 to 4. wk postcalving, when a high proportion of nucleated cells from within the uterus were polymorphonucleated; however, no effect on milk production was detected. It was hypothesized that this lack of effect on milk production was because the administration of the NSAID was too late after calving. The aims of the current study were to evaluate the timing of administering a propionic acid-derived NSAID (i.e., carprofen) on milk production, metabolic status, uterine health, and reproductive performance. Six-hundred and thirty-nine cows (134 primiparous and 505 multiparous) calving between July 4 and September 5, 2012, in 2 herds (herd 1: n. = 228; herd 2: n. = 411) were enrolled. Using a randomized block design, cows were allocated to 1 of 3 treatment groups as they calved: (1) no treatment (control; n. = 221), (2) NSAID administered on d 1, 3, and 5 postcalving (early; n. = 214), and (3) NSAID administered on d 19, 21, and 23 postcalving (late; n. = 204). Milk production and composition, and body condition were determined weekly. Blood was sampled at 4 time points (1 precalving and 3 postcalving) to determine the effects of treatment on indicators of metabolic health and energy status. Uterine health was determined by measuring the proportion of nucleated cells that were polymorphonucleated following cytobrush sampling of the uterus between d 13 to 24 and d 30 to 49 postcalving. Irrespective of timing of application, NSAID did not affect milk production, body weight, or body condition during early lactation. Treatment with an NSAID 19 to 23. d postcalving increased the proportion of cows submitted for breeding during the first 3. wk of the seasonal breeding program (control: 85%, early: 83%, and late: 92%), but did not affect conception or pregnancy rates. No detectable effect of treatment on uterine health or circulating metabolites and minerals existed, although cows in the early NSAID treatment group had marginally lower serum β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations (0.1. mmol/L) than the other groups between 2 and 26. d in milk. In conclusion, administration of this particular NSAID at either 1 or 3. wk after calving did not improve milk production, indicators of health, or reproductive performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2932-2943
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Health
  • Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug
  • Reproduction
  • Transition cow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Treatment with a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug after calving did not improve milk production, health, or reproduction parameters in pasture-grazed dairy cows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this