As part of a study to develop contraceptive methods for white‐tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), it was necessary to terminate pregnancies in some does. The abortifacient chosen was PGF2α. At 76 days or less of gestation, PGF2α administration (10 mg i.m.) did not decrease mean serum progesterone (P) concentrations, and only one doe of 13 aborted. Re‐administration of PGF2α (15 mg i.m.) on approximately day 97 of gestation (21 days after the first injection) did not alter mean serum P concentrations 6 days postinjection, and only one doe of 11 aborted. A third injection of PGF2α (25 mg i.v.) on approximately day 113 of gestation (16 days after the second injection) tended to decrease mean P concentrations by 1.4 ng/ml 2 days following treatment, and no doe of 11 aborted. A fourth injection of PGF2α (50 mg i.m.) on approximately day 124 of gestation (11 days after the third injection) decreased mean P concentrations by 2.9 ng/ml 2 days following treatment (P < 0.05), and two of 11 does aborted. Finally, a combination of 50 mg PGF2α and 15 mg betamethasone was administered i.m. to the remaining pregnant does on approximately day 140 of gestation (16 days after the fourth injection). Mean serum P concentrations decreased from 4.8 ± 0.4 ng/ml to 0.7 ± 0.2 ng/ml 3 days postinjection, a mean decrease of 4.1 ng/ml (P < 0.05). This treatment induced abortion in five of seven does. These data suggest that PGF2α alone, at a dose that causes luteolysis and pregnancy termination in cows and goats, does not do so in pregnant white‐tailed deer. However, a combination of betamethasone and PGF2α may prove to be an effective lu‐teolytic agent or abortifacient for white‐tailed deer. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Odocoileus virginianus