Temporal changes in serum luteinizing hormone following ovariohysterectomy and gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccination in domestic cats
Measurement of circulating luteinizing hormone (LH) concentrations in cats and temporal changes following ovariohysterectomy (OHE) or possibly GnRH vaccination may be informative for assessing their fertility, contraception or sterilization status. In this study, serum LH concentrations were measured in domestic cats (n = 6) immediately prior to and up to 120 days post-OHE. Basal LH concentrations of females previously subjected to OHE (n = 4; ˜1.5 years post-OHE) were compared pre- and post-vaccination with a GnRH immunocontraceptive, and to LH concentrations in intact females. Basal serum LH concentrations (2.67 ± 0.43 ng/ml; mean ± SEM) in intact females increased (p < .01) by 30 days post-OHE (5.65 ± 0.87 ng/ml) but then declined (p < .05) to pre-OHE levels (mean range, 3.26–3.62 ng/ml) at days 60–120 post-OHE. Serum LH (3.84 ± 0.51 ng/ml) in four females ˜1.5 years after OHE tended to be higher (p = .10) than those of intact females prior to OHE. Three months following first or second GnRH immunocontraceptive vaccine treatment, serum LH values in females previously subjected to OHE decreased (p < .05) to concentrations similar to those observed in intact females. Our preliminary results suggest that OHE of domestic cats causes a marked increase in basal LH levels within the first few weeks after ovariohysterectomy followed by a return to pre-OHE basal values over the next several months. Reduced LH concentrations after GnRH vaccine may indicate the effectiveness of the immunocontraceptive in reducing the circulating levels of GnRH, thereby reducing secretion of LH.