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Determination of fetal numbers in Alpine does by real-time ultrasonography

L. J. Dawson, T. Sahlu, S. P. Hart, G. Detweiler, T. A. Gipson, T. H. Teh, G. A. Henry, and R. J. Bahr

Small Ruminant Research 14:225-231. 1994.

Pregnancy diagnosis was carried out in Alpine does using a real-time ultrasound instrument equipped with a 5 MHz sector array probe. Eighty Alpine does were examined 5 and 7 wk after breeding. Does were restrained while standing, and the transducer probe was placed on the hairless caudal ventral abdominal wall cranial to the udder. Non-pregnant does were readily and accurately recognized at 5 and 7 wk after breeding. Number of fetuses per doe at 5 wk of gestation was different (P < 0.02) from the number of kids born because of underprediction of the number of triplets (three vs. eight sets); at 7 wk of gestation it was similar (P > 0.2) to the number born. Accuracy for determining singles, twins, and triplets at 5 wk of gestation was 44, 73, and 67%, respectively; at 7 wk of gestation it was 82, 89, and 100%, respectively. This accuracy is similar to that reported in ewes. It was concluded that real-time ultrasonography scanning by the transabdominal route is a reliable method for early pregnancy diagnoses in goats. The technique also enables accurate separation of does carrying singles, twins, and triplets as early as 7 wk in gestation. Such information can be useful for improved nutritional management.


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