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Nig. Vet. J.. 2016; 37(3): 133-139


Sheriff Yusuf Idris, Hassan Abdullahi Audu, Maruf Lawal, Philip Ibinaiye, Samuel Tanko Fadason, Muazu Bappa, Ochife Wilson Echekwu.


Rabbit pregnancy is traditionally diagnosed by palpation of the uterus through the abdominal wall on day 10 - 12 post coitus by experienced practitioners. This experiment was aimed 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 a Medison S600V® Ultrasound machine 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. Their uteri were scanned on the 5th day post coitus and thereafter on day 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 more 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

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