Silastic rods containing either melengestrol acetate (MGA) or levonorgestrel (LN) were placed in anestrous white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus borealis) does to evaluate the contraceptive efficacy of the implants over a 2 yr period. Implants of MGA were placed in five does during mid-pregnancy to evaluate the effect of this treatment on pregnancy, parturition and lactation. Pregnancies were not observed in the five animals implanted with MGA during anestrus. Three of five does implanted with LN became pregnant in the first season. Pregnancy was not interrupted in the five pregnant does implanted with MGA and it was necessary to remove the implants and treat the does with an estrogen to achieve parturition. One of five fawns was delivered alive and was raised by the doe. MGA was effective for 2 yr as a contraceptive in white-tailed deer, LN was ineffective as used, and MGA placed in pregnant does delayed or prevented normal parturition and thus should not be used in pregnant deer.
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Vol. 25 • No. 4