Determining the Gestational Age of Crioulo Mares Based on a Fetal Ocular Measure

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Abstract

The practice of covering in herds is often used in Crioulo breeding farms, thus not allowing the determination of ovulation dates and the early detection of pregnancies. This fact complicates the estimation of gestational age after 70 days of conception. This study aimed to evaluate the diameter of the fetal orbits of Crioulo mares to develop a formula to estimate a gestational date. Measurements of 164 fetal ocular orbits were performed in 124 Crioulo mares with gestational ages ranging between 119 and 341 days. The current study observed a linear growth pattern of Crioulo fetal orbits up to 341 days of gestation. Thus, obtaining a suitable linear regression model to determine the gestational age of Crioulo mares based on fetal ocular orbit diameter measure is possible. The obtained model was y = 8.3756x + 11.90, where y represents the gestational age in days, and x represents the diameter of the fetal ocular orbit in millimeters. This formula had an r2 of 0.985 (P < .001). We conclude that this model allows researchers and veterinarians to accurately estimate the gestational age of Crioulo mares between 4 and 11 months of pregnancy.

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