Can a cow be "stuck on cycle"?

Asked July 27, 2015, 11:09 AM EDT

I had never heard this phrase until a neighbor talked about her cow being stuck on cycle, or in perpetual estrus. Is this even possible? Thanks.

Bastrop County Texas beef cattle breeding and genetics herd health beef reproduction

1 Response

Yes. Such cattle are called "cystic." There are two types of cysts: follicular and luteal. Follicular cysts generate a lot of estrogen so the animal appears to be in heat for an extended time (until the cyst ruptures naturally or hormone treatments are effective). Luteal cysts produce a lot of progesterone. These animals do not come into heat and act as though pregnant (no cycling). Again, a hormone injection can usually remedy the situation. These cysts can easily be diagnosed with an ultrasound machine, by blood testing, or more commonly by a competent veterinarian performing a reproductive exam on the animal.