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(AR 405)



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Reoccurring period of sexual receptivity which is associated with the ripening in the ovaries of one or more Graafian follicles and culminates in the shedding of one or more ova.

Phases of Estrus Cycle

Traditionally, estrus cycle is divided into a number of phases. 1. Proestrus - It is the phase immediately preceding estrus. - It is characterized by a marked increase in activity of reproductive system. - It is the period of rapid follicular growth under gonadotropin stimulation and regression of corpus luteum of previous cycle. Hallmarks of reproductive organs: - The uterus enlarges very slightly; the endometrium becomes congested and edematous, and its glands show evidence of increased secretory activity. - The vaginal mucosa becomes hyperemic

2. Estrus
It is the period of sexual receptivity during which mating & ovulation occurs. The animal usually seeks out the male and stands for him to mount her. Duration of estrus in influenced by breeding age, specie variation and ambient temperature; cow in hot environment has shorter period (about 10-12 hrs) than a cow in a cold climate (18 hrs). Hallmarks of reproductive organs: - The uterine, cervical and vaginal glands secrete increased amounts of mucus. - The vaginal epithelium and endometrium become hyperemic and congested. - The cervix is relaxed.

Follicular Phase: Pro-estrus and estrus are frequently referred to collectively as the
follicular phase of the cycle. During pro-estrus and estrus there is follicular growth in the absence of functional CL, the main ovarian hormones produced being estrogens

3. Metestrus
It is a transitional period between ovulation and full development of CL. The granulosa cells of the ovulated follicle give rise to lutein cells which are responsible for the formation of the corpus luteum. Hallmarks of reproductive organs: - There is reduction in the amount of secretion from the uterine, cervical and vaginal glands.

4. Diestrus
- It is the period of corpus luteum. - The reproductive organs are under dominant influence of progesterone. Hallmarks of reproductive organs: - The uterine glands undergo hyperplasia and hypertrophy. - The cervix becomes constricted. - The secretions of genital tract are scant and sticky. - The vaginal mucosa becomes pale.


Luteal phase: The period of estrus cycle when there is a functional corpus luteum is
sometimes referred to as the luteal phase of the cycle.

5. Anestrus
It is the prolonged period of sexual rest during which the genital system is mainly quiescent. - Follicular development is minimal; the corpora lutea, although identifiable, have regressed and are non-functional. Hallmarks of reproductive organs: - Secretions are scanty and tenacious; cervix is constricted and the vaginal mucosa is pale. Other facts: - Anestrus is the normal physiological state of reproductive function in; prepubertal, aged animals, pregnant animals and postpartum period. - It also occurs as pathological condition caused by a variety of factors include: Nutritional deficiencies, environmental influence causing endocrine imbalance, ovarian disorders, infectious diseases causing early embryonic death and abortion.

A Birds Eye View on Estrus Cycle OVARIAN PICTURE

Developing follicles on ovary Small regressed corpus luteum Slight tonicity in uterus Cervix is slightly dilated Pink to red swollen vulva Fully developed follicle(s) near to ovulate Marked tonicity in uterus Cervix is dilated; stringy transparent mucus arises from vulva. Other estrus signs must be under consideration Corpus hemorrhagicum on ovary Ovulation depression (fossa) may find on ovary Small follicles; of first wave of follicles Uterus becomes flaccid Cervix is tightly closed Fully developed corpus luteum Developing follicles may find on ovary Uterus becomes flaccid Cervix is tightly closed




Signs of Heat
Primary sign: - Stand to be mounted by other herd mate (standing heat) and attempt to mount on other cows 3


Secondary signs: - Nervousness and restlessness; reduction in the milk production - Roughened tail head - Dirty streaks and marks on lower hips - Vulva is swollen; due to which wrinkles disappears - Frequent urination and clear transparent stringy mucus discharge from vulva. Internal Changes: - Dilatation of cervix - Marked tonicity in uterus - Fully matured (Graafian) follicle(s) on ovary - Hyperemic vagina - Increased secretory activity of uterine, cervical and vaginal glands.

Duration of phases of estrus cycle in domestic animals

Phase/stage Estrus cycle (d) Proestrus (d) Estrus (hrs) Metestrus (d) Diestrus (d) Ovulation time Cow 21 3-4 12 - 18 3-4 10 - 14 10-12 hrs after end of estrus Ewe 17 2 -3 24 -36 2-3 10 -12 Late estrus Mare 22 2 -3 4-8 (d) 2- 3 10 -12 1-2 days before end of estrus Doe 21 2 -3 30-40 2- 3 13 -15 1 -2 hrs after end of estrus

Techniques of pregnancy diagnosis are divided into three categories: (i) Return to the estrus (ii) Direct method; also know as clinical method (iii) Indirect method; also called immunological method Direct Method Rectal palpation Ultrasonography Mammogenesis Indirect Method Hormones Progesterone Estrone sulphate PMSG Preg. Associated factors Early preg. factor Preg. associated protein Visual observation Fetal ballottement

Rectal palpation is the fastest, cheapest, easiest and more accurate method of pregnancy diagnosis. 4


Anatomical Features for rectal palpation of reproductive tract

The reproductive tract of bovine is suspended with the dorsal body wall with the help of broad ligament. The posterior part of the tract is located in the pelvic cavity (vagina, cervix and some part of uterus) whilst the anterior part of tract hangs over the pelvic brim (horn uteri, oviduct and ovaries) and suspended in the abdominal cavity. The reproductive tract is located immediately below the rectum. The rectal wall of the cow is so strong that chances of tearing are minimal. The rectum of the cow allows to grasp the reproductive tract structures Pregnancy diagnosis Artificial insamination Embryo transferring and flushing As diagnostic aid in uterine and other genital organs disorders. To determine the suitability of the animal for breeding To inspect the status of genital organs; ovarian picture As clinical diagnosis of cystic ovarian disorder

Indications for rectal palpation

Findings in Rectal Palpation

Cervix: It is a landmark structure in bovine for palpator. It is recognized as a firm, rope like structure (cervical rings; give a typical feeling) lying on the mid line of the pelvic floor. The size of the cervix varies with the age, stage of the reproductive cycle and state of the reproductive tract (either normal or abnormal). In normal non-pregnant adult animals, it ranges from 7 to 10cm in length and 3 to 4 cm in diameter. Increased in age, number of parturition and any infection in reproductive tract results in larger size of the cervix. Uterus: It can be examined by following the cervix forward. To do so, the cervix is grasped in hand so that fingers lie over the tract and thumb underneath it. The external bifurcation where two horns of uterus separate each other can be palpated. Both uterine horns should be roughly of the same size. This does not happen in late pregnancy and early postpartum period. They vary greatly in size depending on the reproductive state of the animal. Ovaries: Ovaries are located on each the side of the uterus at variable distance. Once located, ovaries can be grasped with fingers and then move your fingers along the entire surface of ovary and palpate the structure (if any) on the ovary by using thumb. Fully developed follicles gives feelings of a blister like fluid filled structure but CL is liver like which is protruded from the surface of the ovary. Just after ovulation, it is possible that you may find ovulation fossa on the ovary. Note: oviducts are not found by rectal palpation unless some pathological condition develops.

Size of Fetus
Age of fetus 2 month 3 month 4 month 5 month Size (resemblance) Mouse Rat Small cat Large cat


6 month 7 month to onward

Beagle dog Parts of the fetus may be palpated

Fetal Membrane Slip Test

Time to perform 32 days 45 days 60 days 70 days Result Small thread in 1 horn Small strings in 1 horn Strings in both horns Large strings in both horns

Size of Placentomes
Gestation 75 days 100 days 115 days 125 days 150 days 180 days Size of placentome (cm) 1 1.5 1.5 2.5 2.5 3.0 3.0 4.0 4.0 5.0 5.0 6.0 Resemblance Pea size Dime Nickle Quarter Half dollar Silver dollar

Palpable structure during different stages of pregnancy

Stage (day) 35 40 45 -50 60 90 120 150 Ut. Position Pelvic floor Pelvic floor Pelvis / abd Abdomen Abdomen Abdomen Ut. Diameter (cm) Slightly enlarged 5.0 6.5 6.5 7.0 8.0 10.0 12.0 18.0 Palpable structures Uterine asymmetry, +ve fetal membrane slip test Same as above Same as above Small placentomes, fetus Samll placentomes, fetus, freemitis Fetus, freemitis

Estimation of Stages of Pregnancy

30 days - Asymmetry of uterine horn (slightly) - Presence of corpus luteum (CL) on ovary - +ve membrane slip test - Amniotic vesicle pea size - Uterus in pelvic cavity 35-40 days - Uterus is at the floor of the pelvic cavity - Thinning of uterine wall - +ve membrane slip test - Presence of corpus luteum on ovary - Amniotic vesicle Hen egg yolk size 45 -60 days - Gravid horn somewhat enlarged - Fetus attached to the uterine wall - Amniotic vesicle small egg of hen. 60-90 days - Uterine horn is about 3 inches in diameter


- Placentomes (1-1.5 cm) pea size - Fetus is about 6 inches long = rat like - Uterus located on the floor of pelvic brim

120 days
- Fetus is about 10-12 inches long = Small cat like - Freemitis is a hallmark feature - Uterus is descended down in the abdomen - Placentomes - 1.5-2.5 cm 150 days - Fetus; large cat like - Palpation of uterus is difficult due to descending in abdomen - Freemitis is a hallmark feature - Placentomes - Quarter size 180 days - Fetus size; beagle dog - Freemitis is palpable - Placentomes (5.0-6.0 cm) Silver dollar - Uterus is descended in the abdominal cavity 210-270 days - Freemitis is a hallmark feature - Fetus parts are also palpated - Fetus ascend again in the pelvic cavity

Methods of pregnancy diagnosis in the cow

Methods Early pregnancy factor (EPF)/early conception factor (ECF) Realtime ultrasound (direct imaging) Failure to return to estrus and persistence of corpus luteum Progesterone conc. in plasma and milk Assay of pregnancy specific protein B (PSPB) Palpation of the atlantochorion (membrane slip test) Unilateral corneal enlargement, thinning of uterine wall and fluidfilled fluctuation of enlarged horns Palpation of early fetus when the amnion loses its turgidity Palpation of the caruncle/cotyledons (placentomes) Presence of freemitis Oestrone sulphate in the blood or milk Palpation of the fetus Earliest time 3 days 13 days 21 days 21-24 days 24 days 33 days 35 days 45-60 days 80 days 85 days 105 days 120 days

Source: Arthurs Veterinary Reproduction; Page 87

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Suggested Reading: - Read out other topics; such as anestrus, endometritis, pyometra, prolapse, torsion uteri etc. along with diagnostic features and treatment of these conditions. - For further reading; read out your practical notes of AR403 (Repro Clinic -1) Note: Compiler will take no responsibility, if any unintentional mistake found by reader. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Compiled and Presented by: Muhammad Sajjad Hussain Student of DVM 8th semester