COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THREE DIFFERENT PREGNANCY DIAGNOSIS TECHNIQUES IN RABBITS
Seven pluriparous non-gravid does and two matured bucks were utilized for the study. Does were all mated after 30 days of stabilization. Successful mating was confirmed by a recoil, backward or sideway fall and emission of a snorting sound by the male. Pregnancy detection was by weight gain, abdominal palpation and ultrasonography techniques at days 6, 9,13,18,23. Abdominal palpation of does was carried out by gentle palpation of nodule-like tissues in the ventral abdomen. Transcutaneous ultrasonography was performed using ultrasound machine Kaixin KX2000®. Weight gain was monitored using a sensitive weighing scale. Early pregnancy was diagnosed by ultrasonography and abdominal palpation on days 6.00±0.00 and 7.5±1.29 post-copulation respectively. Pregnancy was diagnosed by abdominal palpation in 28.57% of the does on day 6 and increased to 100% on day 9 post-copulation; however diagnosis by ultrasonography was 100% on day 6. The average weight gain was 0.029±0.029kg by day 6; 0.057±0.4 by day 13, which plateaued till parturition. Ultrasonography could therefore be used effectively for pregnancy diagnosis as early as day 6 of gestation in rabbit does while abdominal palpation could serve in absence of ultrasonography by day 9 of gestation. Weight gain is a positive adjunct to other pregnancy diagnostic techniques.
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