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Effects of rumen-protected methionine and choline supplementation on vaginal discharge and uterine cytology of Holstein cows

Skenandore, Cassandra S., Velasco Acosta, Diego A., Zhou, Zheng, Rivelli, Maria I., Corrêa, Márcio N., Luchini, Daniel N., Cardoso, Felipe C.
International Journal of Veterinary Sciences 2017 v.5 no.1 pp. 1-7
Holstein, calving, choline, cows, diet, endometrium, feed intake, limiting amino acids, methionine, milk, neutrophils, phosphatidylcholines, rumen, secretion, smell, total mixed rations
Methionine is one of the most limiting amino acids in dairy diets and low feed intake around the time of calving could lead to decreased synthesis of phosphatidylcholine. An alternative pathway for phosphatidylcholine is to have choline as a precursor. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of feeding rumen-protected methionine and choline pre – and postpartum on reproduction of Holstein cows. Seventy-two Holstein cows were randomly assigned to four treatments from 21days before calving to 30days in milk (DIM): supplementation with rumen-protected methionine (MET; n=20, received 0.08% of the dry matter (DM) of the diet/d as methionine, Smartamine M® to a Lys:Met=2.9:1), rumen-protected choline (CHO; n=17, received 60g/d choline, Reassure), both rumen protected methionine and choline (MIX; n=19, received 0.08% of the DM of the diet/d as methionine to a Lys:Met=2.9:1 and 60g/d choline), or no supplementation to serve as control (CON; n=16, fed total mixed ration with a Lys:Met=3.5:1). Cows were evaluated at 4, 7, 10, 13, 15, 17, and 30d after calving for the presence of secretion using the Metricheck® device. On 15, 30, and 72d after calving, the uterine endometrium of all cows was sampled using a cytological brush and streaked onto slides for analysis of the presence of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN). We hypothesized that cows supplemented with methionine would have lower metricheck smell scores and lower rates of PMN than non-supplemented cows. On d 30, a treatment difference was detected using the metricheck score and smell (P<0.04), with treatment MIX (score=0.38) having a lower score than CHO (score=2.11). Supplementing cows with rumen-protected methionine may have a beneficial effect on cows’ uterine health.