Animal Health & Disease Management

Freemartinism

Freemartinism

This is one of the most common reproductive abnormalities, mainly congenital, affecting female cattle. It occurs when both male and female conceptus are present in the same uterus. In cattle there is a tendency for the placenta of twin fetuses to merge, thereby causing the circulatory system of the twins to become interconnected. This often affects the development of the female sex organs of the female twin probably due to the androgens of the male blood circulation. 

Diagnosis 

 

  • History of twin male and female calves.
  • Failure of estrus to occur.

 

Prevention and Control

  • Culling of freemartin heifers. 

Treatment 

  • None.

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