Effects of pipothiazine palmitate on handling stress and on the characteristics of semen collected by electroejaculation in bison (Bison bison) bulls.

Toosi, B.M., Gratton, G., McCorkell, R.B., Wynne-Edwards, K.E., Woodbury, M.R., and Lessard, C.J. (2013). "Effects of pipothiazine palmitate on handling stress and on the characteristics of semen collected by electroejaculation in bison (Bison bison) bulls.", Animal Reproduction Science, 138(1-2), pp. 55-63. doi : 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2013.01.012  Access to full text

Abstract

Handling North American bison can pose risk to the handler and evoke stress in the animal. Moreover, this induced stress might affect qualities of semen collected by electroejaculation. The objective of this study was to investigate if a long acting neuroleptic tranquilizer (LAN) would reduce the stress of bison and thereby improve the quality of electroejaculated semen. Eight experimental replicates were conducted between May and November. In each replicate, the same six bison bulls were randomly assigned into LAN-treated (n = 3) and non-treated control (n = 3) groups. Pipothiazine palmitate (Piportil L4) was administered intramuscularly as a single dose of 100 mg in replicates 1–4 or 200 mg in replicates 5–8. Within each replicate, semen was collected by electroejaculation at 4, 6, 11 and 13 days post treatment. Behavioral parameters, sperm morphology and motility parameters were analyzed. A blood sample was collected before each electroejaculation and serum concentrations of testosterone, cortisol and corticosterone were determined. Treatment bulls with 100 mg of Piportil L4 reduced the restraint time and the struggling of bison bulls during handling compared to the control group (P < 0.05). Semen motility parameters and serum concentrations of testosterone, cortisol and corticosterone were not significantly affected when 100 mg of the LAN was administered (P > 0.05). However, giving 200 mg of Piportil L4 reduced the restraint time of bison bulls and the duration of semen collection (P < 0.05). Also, this treatment improved total and progressive sperm motilities when compared to the respective controls (P < 0.05). Interestingly, serum concentration of corticosterone, as an endocrine stress indicator, was decreased after administration of 200 mg of Pipothiazine palmitate, while testosterone concentrations were increased compared to those values in untreated control bulls (corticosterone: 0.10 ± 0.01 compared with 0.15 ± 0.02 ng/mL; testosterone: 9.11 ± 1.68 compared with 5.33 ± 0.74 ng/mL; P < 0.05). In conclusion, this study demonstrated that a treatment dose of 200 mg of Piportil L4 can decrease the behavioral and endocrine stress responses in bison bulls, which indirectly increasing testosterone concentrations and improving semen quality.

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