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Ultrasonographic foetometry and maternal serum progesterone concentrations during pregnancy in Turkish Saanen goats

Yazici, Ebubekir, Ozenc, Erhan, Celik, Haci Ahmet, Ucar, Mehmet
Animal reproduction science 2018 v.197 pp. 93-105
Saanen, birth weight, blood sampling, blood serum, chest, equations, fetus, gestational age, goats, heart, heart rate, kidneys, litter size, placenta, pregnancy, progesterone, twins, ultrasonography, umbilical cord
The objectives of the present study were (1) to generate reliable equations to estimate the gestational age of Saanen goats by measuring embryonic and foetal structures via B–Mode ultrasonography (USG), (2) determine the maternal serum progesterone (P4) concentrations during pregnancy, and (3) compare the relationship between P4 concentrations and gestational age, litter size, and birth weight of kids. Seven pregnant goats were used in this study. Ultrasonographic examinations were performed transrectally from Days 15 to 27 of pregnancy at 3-day intervals and transabdominally from Days 30 to 128 at 7-day intervals. Blood samples were collected daily between Day 15 and 24 of gestation, and weekly from Day 27 to 128 to determine the serum P4 concentrations. Outer placentome diameter, biparietal diameter, occipito-nasal length, chest diameter, foetal heart rate, transversal heart diameter, orbit diameter, umbilical cord diameter, and kidney diameter were highly correlated with gestational age (P < 0.0001). Goats with twins had greater progesterone concentrations than those with a single foetus (P < 0.001). Furthermore, maternal serum progesterone concentrations detected on Days 51, 107, 114, and 128 of gestation were greater in goats carrying twins than those with a single foetus (P < 0.05). A negative correlation was evident between serum progesterone concentrations and birth weights of the kids (r = -0.78; P = 0.007). In conclusion, gestational age can be estimated using ultrasonographic foetometry, and litter size at specific times during pregnancy can be determined based on maternal serum progesterone concentration in Turkish Saanen goats.