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Study of the structure and function of the sheath of tropically adapted bulls and risk factors for preputial eversion and preputial prolapse

Turner, L.B. (2013) Study of the structure and function of the sheath of tropically adapted bulls and risk factors for preputial eversion and preputial prolapse. PhD thesis, University of Queensland.

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Abstract

Preputial prolapse is an obvious condition affecting bulls from many breeds. Unfortunately, the losses in production and welfare concerns associated with preputial prolapse can remain undetected for long periods of time in the extensive beef areas of northern Australia where the bulls are not inspected regularly. Thus, there is a critical need to identify the structural factors predisposing to preputial prolapse in young bulls so that they can be culled early.

Despite there being no firm scientific evidence of an association between preputial eversion and preputial prolapse, it seems logical that the increased exposure of the sensitive prepuce as a consequence of preputial eversion may increase the risk of bulls developing preputial
pathology, in particular preputial prolapse. This may be particularly relevant in Bos indicus bulls as they have a more pendulous sheath and thus eversion of the prepuce may be associated with a greater risk of injury to the prepuce compared to that in Bos taurus bulls. Further, studies of preputial eversion in Bos taurus bulls have concluded that there is an association between polledness and increased prevalence and severity (length of everted prepuce and duration of eversion) of preputial eversion due primarily to the absence or poor development of the caudal preputial muscles. No similar definitive work in Bos indicus bulls has been conducted and thus anatomical studies reported in this thesis were conducted to determine if a similar association occurred in Bos indicus bulls.

A survey of a sample of large beef breeding herds in northern Australia found that preputial prolapse is a significant problem in Bos indicus and Bos indicus derived bulls and affected both young and older bulls. The importance of preputial prolapse confirmed the value of further research into the causes of this problem. A series of anatomical studies confirmed that preputial
eversion in Bos indicus derived bulls was not more prevalent in polled bulls than horned bulls and was not associated with deficiency of the caudal preputial muscles as was established in Bos taurus bulls. An anatomical study of Bos indicus derived bulls with preputial prolapse found
that preputial prolapse occurred in horned bulls of varying ages and these bulls did not have any evidence of deficiency in the caudal preputial muscles. However, preputial prolapse was observed in young polled bulls that had poorly developed or absent caudal preputial muscles. It
was concluded that deficiency of the caudal preputial muscles in polled Bos indicus derived bulls may predispose to preputial prolapse at an early age, but no predisposing anatomical factors were found for horned Bos indicus derived bulls. In these studies, preputial eversion and
preputial prolapse were found in horned Bos indicus derived bulls that did not have any preputial muscle deficiency and it was noted that preputial eversion was not related to the
length of the prepuce.

Further studies confirmed that preputial eversion was linearly and consistently associated with position of the glans penis within the sheath in Bos indicus derived bulls, and movement of the glans penis towards the preputial orifice consistently resulted in preputial eversion in these
bulls. A method to objectively measure the relationship between movement of the glans penis within the sheath and preputial eversion was developed. Studies in humans have linked function of some abdominal muscles to function of the pelvic organs. This relationship was investigated in Bos indicus derived bulls to determine whether the function of specific abdominal muscles affected position of the penis in the sheath. Using the method developed to
objectively measure the relationship between penis movement and preputial eversion, the abdominal muscles that potentially were associated with movement of the glans penis or preputial eversion were examined but no significant relationships were observed.

In the anatomical study of Bos indicus derived bulls not affected with preputial prolapse a more pendulous sheath was associated with increased prevalence of preputial eversion. This relationship was confirmed for horned and polled bulls in the penis movement studies. Bos indicus derived bulls with more pendulous sheaths evert their prepuces more than bulls with less pendulous sheaths thus increasing the risk of damage to the prepuce either from the environment, other bulls, or from them inadvertently stepping on the everted prepuce when they get to their feet. Culling Bos indicus derived bulls with more pendulous sheaths should reduce the incidence of preputial eversion and possibly preputial prolapse. The anatomical study of Bos indicus derived bulls that did not have preputial prolapse demonstrates that there are herds of bulls where the polled bulls do not have any evidence of deficiency of the caudal preputial iv muscles. There is a need to develop a practical and cost effective test to identify polled Bos indicus bulls that have a deficiency in their caudal preputial muscles.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Business groups:Animal Science
Subjects:Animal culture > Cattle
Veterinary medicine
Deposited On:19 Nov 2013 04:04
Last Modified:08 Jun 2015 16:01

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