Visualizing the reproductive tract of the female pig usingreal-time ultrasonography

Robert V. Knox, MS, PhD; Gary C. Althouse, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl.ACT

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The availability of inexpensive, lightweight, portable ultrasoundmachines will greatly facilitate the use of reproductive imagingin the female pig and may prove useful in making management decisionsbased on an accurate diagnosis of the reproductive status of thesow or gilt at any point in time. Real-time ultrasonography (RTU)using 3.5 and 5.0 MHz transducers transabdominally or 5.0 and7.5 MHz transducers transrectally can allow the practitioner todetermine the pregnancy and estrous status of breeding femalesin commercial herds. In our experience, less structural detailwas visually revealed with transabdominal RTU when assessing theovary or uterus during the estrous cycle or early pregnancy. Incontrast, transrectal ultrasound allowed faster and more detailedmeans of assessing fine reproductive structures of varying echogenicity(follicles, corpora hemorrhagica [CH], and corpora lutea [CL])and the conceptus components of early pregnancy (day 16-20). Inthis article, transrectal and transabdominal procedures are describedin detail, and image specificity, quality, and ease of imagingof the female reproductive tract is considered. Reference sonogramsare provided.

Keywords: real-time, ultrasound, ovaries, uterus, pregnancy

RIS citationCite as: Knox RV, Althouse GC. Visualizing the reproductive tract of the female pig usingreal-time ultrasonography. J Swine Health Prod 1999;7(5):207-215.

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