Sonographic diagnosis of pregnancy and study of gestational changes in rabbit-does
This study was carried out to evaluate early pregnancy diagnosis using ultrasound and baseline information on the sonographic features of the reproductive cycle of rabbit-doe. Eight adult does, that had kittened at least once and an Ultrasound machine (Medison S600V®) with a 6.5 MHz transcutaneous curve-linear probe, were used for the study. Rabbit-does were mated naturally by the introduction of a doe to a buck. Abdominal regions were shaved liberally from the level of xyphoid cartilage to the pelvic area and aquasonic gel applied. The uterus was scanned on day 5 post-coitus and thereafter on days 7, 12, 15, 20, 25, 27 and 29, using the bladder as a land mark. Embryonic vesicles, visualized as small anechoic (darkened) structures were first seen on day 7 of gestation. Hypoechoic structures within vesicles corresponding to embryo and placenta were seen on day 12 with an increase in size at day 15 of gestation. Bony formation, bi-parietal diameter, vertebrae column, fetal heart and fetal heart rate were visible with progressive gestational age. This study demonstrated that ultrasound can be used effectively to diagnose pregnancy in rabbit-doe as early as day 7 of gestation. Also there is a correlation between the sonographic observable changes with gestational age.
Key words: Ultrasonography, Rabbit, Pregnancy Diagnosis, Gestation.