Use of real time ultrasound to monitor reproductive health of the hyper prolific sow around farrowing.

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Application of real time ultrasound (RTU) for monitoring follicular development, growth and activity of corpora lutea (CL), status of the uterus post weaning and detection of pregnancy in the sow are aspects frequently reported in the scientific literature. Recent as well ongoing research indicated that RTU may be a highly effective tool to monitor also udder problems, such as edema or developing inflammation, and post partum uterine health of the sow. Additionally, RTU can be applied to monitor the body condition of the sow based on fat and muscle depths, and the viability of the fetuses based on heart beats and activity / movements. At term, activity of the CL is linked to colostrum synthesis and their regression can be monitored with RTU. During parturition, RTU may be beneficial as a tool for detecting remnant fetuses and fetal membranes. We have observed in a recent case study using RTU that less than half of the modern hyper prolific sows expelled their placentae within the expected 4 hours after birth of the last piglet and partial or retained placentae occurred in 6% of the sows. Therefore, RTU can be used for diagnosis of retained placenta after parturition as well as diagnosis of metritis and monitoring of uterine involution. The diameter or area and echotexture of the cross-sections of uterine horns indicate if involution is normal or delayed. In conclusion, RTU is considered as a highly useful tool in monitoring reproductive health of the sow around parturition.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReproduction in Domestic Animals
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings

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