2004 Volume 50 Issue 4 Pages 391-397
Eighteen cyclic Shiba goats were used in this study. Estrus was synchronized with a single injection of 125 μg of a synthetic analogue of prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) after detection of at least one corpus luteum by B-mode ultrasonography. Blood samples were collected from each animal on days 0, 7 and 21 post-mating for progesterone assay. Animals in estrus were either allowed to be mated by fertile bucks twice during estrus (group I; n=12) or not at all (group II; n=6). Ultrasonographic examinations were performed transrectally or transabdominally using a real-time B-mode scanner equipped with a 7.5 or 5 MHz transducer. All animals exhibited estrus 56.0 ± 2.7 h after injection of PGF2α. The results show that the accuracy of the progesterone assay in diagnosing pregnancy on day 21 after mating was 80% for pregnancy and 100% for non-pregnancy, retrospectively. Ultrasonographic examinations showed that gestational sac and embryos heartbeats were detected on days 20.2 ± 0.6 and 24.3 ± 0.7 of gestation, respectively. Placentomes were detected on day 35.4 ± 1.0 of gestation as small nodules (0.7 ± 0.2 cm in size). At two months pregnancy, skeletal structures like skull, thorax and long bones were clear. Biparietal diameter of the skull and length of long bones could be used as an estimate of gestational age. The accuracy of detection of fetal number using real-time B-mode ultrasonography was 91.7% on day 60 of gestation. In conclusion, progesterone assay at day 21 post-mating (cut-off value, 1 ng/ml) can be used for pregnancy diagnosis in goats. However, B-mode transrectal ultrasonography was more efficient due to detection of embryo and confirmation of its viability by heartbeats. In addition, fetal number and gestational age could be determined only by ultrasonography.