Frequency of Different Estrous Stages in Purpose-bred Beagles: A Retrospective Study

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Abstract

The beagle is a monoestric, nonseasonal breeder with a long estrous cycle. Owing to lengthy stages in individual phases of the estrous cycle, limited group size, and typical group assignment focused on homogenized body weight, dogs in the same stage of the cycle can be inadvertently assigned to one treatment group in toxicity studies potentially leading to erroneous interpretation. This study was conducted to better understand the frequency of the different stages of the cycle and review the associated histological features. Histologic sections of reproductive tissues were reviewed from 102 control dogs from thirty-two GLP studies. The average age of dogs at necropsy was 14.38 months, and the mean terminal body weight was 6.87 kg. Based on histological classification, fifty-five dogs were in anestrus, twenty-eight in diestrus, nine in estrus, five in proestrus, and five were classified as immature. Mean ovarian weights were higher in the estrus stage. This review indicates that more than 80% of the dogs in this study were in the anestrus-diestrus stage, and a small percentage of dogs were immature. Interpretation of drug-induced effects on the morphologic changes in the reproductive tract should be performed with due consideration given to the stage of the cycle and the potential for nonuniform assignment to drug treatment groups.

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