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A new technique for repeated biopsies of the mammary gland in dairy cows allotted to Latin-square design studies

de Lima, L. S., Martineau, E., De Marchi, F.E., Palin, M.F., dos Santos, G.T. and Petit, H.V. (2016) A new technique for repeated biopsies of the mammary gland in dairy cows allotted to Latin-square design studies. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research 80(3): 225-229. PMCID: PMC4924557

Abstract

The objective of this study was to develop a technique for carrying out repeated biopsies of the mammary gland of lactating dairy cows that provides enough material to monitor enzyme activities and gene expression in mammary secretory tissue. A total of 16 Holstein cows were subjected to 4 mammary biopsies each at 3-week intervals for a total of 64 biopsies. A 0.75-cm incision was made through the skin and subcutaneous tissue of the mammary gland and a trocar and cannula were inserted using a circular motion. The trocar was withdrawn and a syringe was plugged into the base of the cannula to create a vacuum for sampling mammary tissue. To reduce bleeding, hand pressure was put on the surgery site after biopsy and skin closure and ice was applied for at least 2 h after the biopsy using a cow bra. The entire procedure took an average of 25 min. Two attempts were usually enough to obtain 800 mg of tissue. Visual examination of milk samples 10 d after the biopsy indicated no trace of blood, except in samples from 2 cows. All wounds healed without infection and subcutaneous hematomas resorbed within 7 d. There was no incidence of mastitis throughout the lactation. This technique provides a new tool for biopsy of the mammary gland condary complications leading to illness or death are always a risk with any procedure, this biopsyrepeated at short intervals with the main effect being a decrease in milk production. Although se technique was carried out without complications to the health of animals and with no incidence of mastitis during the lactation.

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