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Days 1-5, 100 IU eCGa daily;

Day 6, 1000 IU hCGb followed by AI

Day 10, 150 IU FSH; Days 11 to

hCG plus anti-eCG and AI

Days 1-11, 200 IU FSH daily;

hCG plus anti-eCG and AI

Natural cycle monitoring via urinary steroids followed by

2000 IU hCG and AI

Natural cycle monitoring via urinary steroids followed by

AI after the oestrogen peak

Natural cycle monitoring via urinary steroids followed by

AI after the oestrogen peak

Yes plus ultrasound

Yes plus ultrasound

Yes plus ultrasound

Yes plus ultrasound

Yes plus ultrasound

No pregnancy

Possible pregnancy with embryonic absorption

No pregnancy

No pregnancy

Weak oestrus, no pregnancy

Weak oestrus, no pregnancy a eCG, equine chorionic gonadotrophin; b hCG, human chorionic gonadotrophin; c FSH, follicle-stimulating hormone.

breeding season in February. Each ovary was also quiescent as visualised using the TR-500 probe extension, although there was a clear distinction in echogenicity between the cortical and medullar regions (see Fig. 17.6e). Blood vessels in the medulla were visualised by colour-flow Doppler using an ultrasound system ATL HDI 1000 equipped with an intraoperative microscanner (7.0 to 11.0 MHz), which was inserted into the TR-500 probe extension (see Fig. 17.6f). After ovulation induction and AI, the ovary contained at least three corpora lutea, each with a diameter of 5 to 7 mm (see Fig. 17.6g). This finding corresponded to the high urinary progestin concentrations measured on this same day (data

Figure 17.5. Modified drawing (Davis, 1964) of the female urogenital tract showing the regions where the images in Figure 17.6 were generated.

not shown). At this time, a large volume of abdominal fluid (ascites) was found surrounding the ovary (see upper part of Fig. 17.6g). This ascites accumulation was not unlike that observed for the male panda. Although no full-term pregnancies resulted from any of the six AI attempts of the female at the Berlin Zoo, ultrasound imaging suggested a conception followed by embryonic absorption in 1997 (Table 17.1). As seen in Figure 17.6h, cystic degeneration of the endometrium in the cranial part of the uterus resulted from foetal resorption. Cyst size varied from 2 to 8 mm at the time of examination (late September). However, ultrasound conducted during the following breeding season revealed significant healing of the endometrial lesions, with only minor signs of the collapsed endometrial cysts and scar tissue present (see below).

The San Diego Zoo

Both transrectal and transabdominal ultrasound have been used at the San Diego Zoo to assess reproductive integrity and to assist in performing AI (see below). As shown in Figure 17.7, transrectal ultrasound using

Figure 17.6. Ultrasonographic images of an adult female giant panda at the Berlin Zoo. (a) Endoscopic image of the portio cervicalis (Po) and vagina (Va) during AI; (b) ultrasonographic image (TR-150, 7.5 MHz) of the portio (Po, bordered by arrow heads); (c) transrectal sonogram (7.5 MHz) of the cervix (Ce, arrow heads); (d) longitudinal aspect of the uterus (Ut, arrow heads) generated by transrectal ultrasound (TR-250, 7.5 MHz) showing the two layers of the endometrium (En); (e) sonographic image (TR-500, 7.5 MHz) of an inactive ovary (Ov, arrow heads) outside the breeding season; (f) colour-flow Doppler imaging (TR-500, 5.0-9.0 MHz) of the central blood vessels (BV, including veins and arteries) in the medulla a 7.5-MHz rectal transducer was effective in visualising the uterus. Transabdominal visualisation of the reproductive tract was more difficult when conducted prior to the breeding season. In contrast, tract integrity was easier to evaluate at the time of AI (conducted in late March/early April) because of an increased uterine wall thickness associated with oestrus.

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