Nigerian Veterinary Journal

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Sonographic diagnosis of pregnancy and study of gestational changes in rabbit-does

S.Y. Idris, H. A. Audu, M. Lawal, P. O. Ibinaiye, S. T. Fadason, B. N. Muazu, O. W. Echekwu


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.

AJOL African Journals Online