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Hermes R.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Hildebrandt T.B.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Walzer C.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | Goritz F.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | And 3 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2012

The estrous cycle length in the white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is either 4 or 10 wk. The cause(s) for this variation as well as the poor fertility rate in captivity remains under debate in this species. Most captive adult white rhinoceros undergo long anovulatory periods without luteal activity which are considered a major reason for their low reproductive rate. In this study, the synthetic progestin chlormadinone acetate (CMA) was tested in combination with hCG or the GnRH analogue deslorelin for its efficiency to induce ovulation in fourteen females without luteal activity and in three, regular cycling females. HCG (N = 12), injectable GnRH analogue (N = 8) and GnRH analogue implants (N = 15) were given to induce ovulation after CMA treatment. Treatment success was determined using both transrectal ultrasonography and progesterone metabolite EIA analysis. A preovulatory sized follicle (3.5 ± 0.1 cm) or a corpus luteum (5.1 ± 0.7) was present on the ovary one day after induction in 93.1% of the treatments. Despite this high rate of ovarian response, ovulation rate differed between the study groups. The ovulation rate for hCG, injectable GnRH analogue and GnRH analogue implants was 66.7%, 62.5% and 93.3%, respectively. Ovulation rate in cyclic females treated with GnRH implants was 100% (6/6) compared with 89% (8/9) in females without luteal activity receiving the same treatment. The length of the estrous cycle when induced with hCG was 4 wk (85.7%). The estrous cycle when induced with GnRH analogue was predominantly 10 wk long. Two females without luteal activity treated with GnRH became pregnant. In conclusion, CMA in combination with GnRH analogue implants was highly effective to induce ovulation in white rhinoceroses and thus can contribute to efforts aimed at increasing natural mating and reproductive rates in the captive white rhinoceros population. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.. Source

Luders I.,University of the Western Cape | Tindall B.,Robberg Veterinary Clinic | Young D.,African Elephant Research Unit | van der Horst G.,University of the Western Cape | And 4 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2016

Doses for standing sedation allowing for various procedures in otherwise inaccessible, untrained captive African elephant bulls are presented. Thirty-three standing sedations were performed in 12 males aged 8-30 years (one to four sedations per animal). Each bull received a combination of 0.009 ± 0.002 mg/kg medetomidine and 0.03 ± 0.007 mg/kg butorphanol. Full sedation was reached on average 25.5 min after injection. The addition of hyaluronidase (1000-2000 IU) significantly reduced time to full sedation to 16.5 min (paired t test, P = 0.024). Reversal was induced with intramuscular atipamezole 0.008 (±0.002) and naltrexone 0.035 (±0.015) mg/kg. Recovery took on average 7 min (3-18 min). The medetomidine/butorphanol combination provided safe standing sedation for smaller procedures. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Lueders I.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Taya K.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Taya K.,Gifu University | Watanabe G.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | And 11 more authors.
Biology of Reproduction | Year: 2011

Elephants express two luteinizing hormone (LH) peaks timed 3 wk apart during the follicular phase. This is in marked contrast with the classic mammalian estrous cycle model with its single, ovulation-inducing LH peak. It is not clear why ovulation and a rise in progesterone only occur after the second LH peak in elephants. However, by combining ovarian ultrasound and hormone measurements in five Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), we have found a novel strategy for dominant follicle selection and luteal tissue accumulation. Two distinct waves of follicles develop during the follicular phase, each of which is terminated by an LH peak. At the first (anovulatory) LH surge, the largest follicles measure between 10 and 19.0 mm. At 7 ± 2.4 days before the second (ovulatory) LH surge, luteinization of these large follicles occurs. Simultaneously with luteinized follicle (LUF) formation, immunoreactive (ir) inhibin concentrations rise and stay elevated for 41.8 ± 5.8 days after ovulation and the subsequent rise in progesterone. We have found a significant relationship between LUF diameter and serum ir-inhibin level (r 2 = 0.82, P < 0.001). The results indicate that circulating ir-inhibin concentrations are derived from the luteinized granulosa cells of LUFs. Therefore, it appears that the development of LUFs is a precondition for inhibin secretion, which in turn impacts the selection of the ovulatory follicle. Only now, a single dominant follicle may deviate from the second follicular wave and ovulate after the second LH peak. Thus, elephants have evolved a different strategy for corpus luteum formation and selection of the ovulatory follicle as compared with other mammals. © 2011 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc. Source

Lueders I.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Drews B.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Niemuller C.,Kingfisher International Inc | Gray C.,African Lion Safari | And 5 more authors.
Reproduction, Fertility and Development | Year: 2010

Early embryonic resorption or fetal loss is known to occur occasionally in captive elephants; however, this has mostly been reported anecdotally. The present study documents the case of a 24-year-old, multiparous Asian elephant cow that suffered embryonic death and resorption at around 18 weeks of gestation. From ovulation onwards, this female was sonographically examined 58 times. Blood was collected twice weekly for progestagen determination via enzyme immunoassay. On Day 42 after ovulation, a small quantity of fluid was detected in the uterine horn, which typically indicates the presence of a developing conceptus. Repeated inspections followed what appeared to be a normal pregnancy until Day 116. However, on Day 124, signs of embryonic life were absent. Progestagen concentrations started declining two weeks later, reaching baseline levels one month after embryonic death. Retrospectively, ultrasound examination revealed several abnormalities in the uterine horn. Besides an existing leiomyoma, multiple small cystic structures had formed in the endometrium at the implantation site and later in the placenta. These pathological findings were considered as possible contributors to the early pregnancy failure. PCR for endotheliotropic elephant herpes virus (EEHV) (which had occurred previously in the herd) as well as serology for other infectious organisms known to cause abortion in domestic animals did not yield any positive results. Although no definitive reason was found for this pregnancy to abort, this ultrasonographically and endocrinologically documented study of an early pregnancy loss provides important insights into the resorption process in Asian elephants. © 2010 CSIRO. Source

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