Methods of pregnancy diagnosis in sheep and goat

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Methods of pregnancy diagnosis in sheep and goat By Sulake Fadhil Abbas

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1-Management methods fail to be marked again within 16–19 days. This is a sufficiently reliable sign of pregnancy for most purposes, but subsequent embryonic death will reduce its accuracy, and 20–30% of pregnant ewes will show oestrus during early pregnancy

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Beyond 100 days of gestation the fetus may be palpated through the abdominal wall, and development of the udder is then obvious in primipara . The best way to ballotte the fetus is to have the ewe standing normally and to lift the abdomen repeatedly immediately in front of the udder; the fetus can be felt to drop on to the palpating hand.

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2-Laboratory methods A-Vaginal biopsy The diagnosis depends on the number of layers of vaginal epithelial cells similar where the stratified squamous epithelium of the vaginal mucosa is sensitive to the hormonal changes that occur during the oestrous cycle and pregnancy. By day 26 the typical histological picture is two parallel rows of epithelial cells with condensed darkly staining nuclei.

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B-Milk and plasma progesterone. Plasma and milk progesterone values in pregnant sheep 18–22 days after mating were similar (3.7 ng /ml), whereas in non-pregnant ewes they were 1 ng /ml. C-Rosette inhibition titre (RIT) test. In ewes which were subsequently found to be pregnant, the factor ‘early pregnancy factor’ (EPF) could be demonstrated as early as 24 hours after mating

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3-Clinical methods Radiography Fetuses were detectable from 70 days of gestation. The overall accuracy of the method in detecting pregnancy increases with advancing gestation: 52% between 66 and 95 days to 100% after 96 days .

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4-Other diagnostic methods Palpation of caudal uterine artery. Identification of enlargement of the caudal uterine artery has been reported as a fairly reliable method of diagnosing pregnancy; the technique requires patience and skill. The arteries can be palpated per vaginam as they run outside the anterior vaginal wall at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions. Peritoneoscopy. Phillipo et al. (1971) obtained 91% accuracy of pregnancy detection between 17 and 28 days by means of direct inspection of the uterus and ovaries with a laparoscope , using general anaesthesia .

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Oestrone sulphate is produced by the fetoplacental unit; its presence in plasma or in milk is a positive indication of pregnancy, thus enabling differentiation from pseudopregnancy . Although it has been shown that oestrone sulphate concentrations from 30 days of gestation exceed those in non-pregnant individuals, the earliest optimum time is 50 days or later after service . Goat

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