Hormonal Indicators of Pregnancy in Llamas and Alpacas
Bravo PW, Stewart DR, Lasley BL, Fowler ME
Date of Publication:
1 June 1996
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association,
OBJECTIVE: To determine concentrations of estrone sulfate in serum, estrone sulfate in urine, relaxin in serum, and progesterone in serum in pregnant llamas and alpacas and to assess the potential of these hormones as pregnancy indicators. DESIGN: Prospective study. ANIMALS: 19 parous pregnant camelids (8 llamas and 11 alpacas). PROCEDURE: Estrone sulfate concentrations (in serum and in urine) and progesterone concentrations (in serum) were determined by enzyme immunoassay. Relaxin concentrations (in serum) were measured by radioimmunoassay. Serum and urine samples were collected daily for the first 30 days after breeding and, thereafter, once weekly until parturition. RESULTS: Estrone sulfate concentrations (in serum and in urine) peaked twice during pregnancy. The first took place 21 days after breeding and the second during the last month of pregnancy. Relaxin concentrations increased at 3 months of gestation to > 20 ng/mL, decreased at 5 months to 5 ng/mL, then increased from 8 months of pregnancy until parturition. Progesterone concentrations were detectable 4 days after breeding and were maintained > 2 ng/mL throughout pregnancy. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The first increase in estrone sulfate concentration over basal values may indicate early interaction between mother and embryo, whereas the second increase may reflect fetal viability. Use of estrone sulfate concentration to diagnose pregnancy in llamas and alpacas is highly dependent on time of sampling. Relaxin concentration in serum is a superior indicator of pregnancy after the second month in the Ilama and alpaca because its existence is suggestive of interaction between mother and fetus, and concentrations are greater than basal values for a long period of pregnancy. Progesterone is not a direct product of the embryo or fetus and only indirectly confirms a diagnosis of pregnancy.
Read the rest of the article: http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/8707678
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