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Ultrasonographic characteristics of the reproductive tract and serum progesterone and estradiol concentrations in captive female red wolves (Canis rufus) with and without reproductive tract disease

Kadie M. AndersonPoint Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, 5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407.

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Mandi W. SchookCleveland Metroparks Zoo, 4200 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, OH 44109.

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Karen L. GoodrowePoint Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, 5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407.

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William T. WaddellPoint Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, 5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To describe ultrasonographic characteristics of the reproductive tract and serum progesterone and estradiol concentrations in captive female red wolves (Canis rufus) with and without reproductive tract disease.

DESIGN Prospective study.

ANIMALS 13 adult female red wolves.

PROCEDURES Wolves with varying parity and history of contraceptive treatment were anesthetized to facilitate ultrasonographic examination and measurement of the reproductive tract and blood collection for determination of serum progesterone and estradiol concentrations in December 2011 and June 2012. Additionally, during the December evaluation, fine-needle aspirate samples of the uterus were obtained for cytologic evaluation. Measurements were compared between wolves with and without reproductive tract disease and between wolves that had and had not received a contraceptive.

RESULTS 7 of 13 wolves had or developed reproductive tract disease during the study. Ranges for measurements of reproductive tract structures overlapped between ultrasonographically normal and abnormal tracts, but measurements for abnormal tracts were generally greater than those for normal tracts. The ultrasonographic diagnosis was consistent with the histologic diagnosis for reproductive tracts obtained from wolves that were sterilized, were euthanized, or died during the study. Cytologic results for fine-needle aspirate samples of the uterus and serum progesterone and estradiol concentrations were unable to distinguish wolves with and without reproductive tract disease. Reproductive tract disease was not associated with parity or contraceptive administration.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The ultrasonographic images, reproductive tract measurements, and descriptions of reproductive tract lesions provided in this study can be used as diagnostic guidelines for the treatment and management of red wolves with reproductive tract disease.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To describe ultrasonographic characteristics of the reproductive tract and serum progesterone and estradiol concentrations in captive female red wolves (Canis rufus) with and without reproductive tract disease.

DESIGN Prospective study.

ANIMALS 13 adult female red wolves.

PROCEDURES Wolves with varying parity and history of contraceptive treatment were anesthetized to facilitate ultrasonographic examination and measurement of the reproductive tract and blood collection for determination of serum progesterone and estradiol concentrations in December 2011 and June 2012. Additionally, during the December evaluation, fine-needle aspirate samples of the uterus were obtained for cytologic evaluation. Measurements were compared between wolves with and without reproductive tract disease and between wolves that had and had not received a contraceptive.

RESULTS 7 of 13 wolves had or developed reproductive tract disease during the study. Ranges for measurements of reproductive tract structures overlapped between ultrasonographically normal and abnormal tracts, but measurements for abnormal tracts were generally greater than those for normal tracts. The ultrasonographic diagnosis was consistent with the histologic diagnosis for reproductive tracts obtained from wolves that were sterilized, were euthanized, or died during the study. Cytologic results for fine-needle aspirate samples of the uterus and serum progesterone and estradiol concentrations were unable to distinguish wolves with and without reproductive tract disease. Reproductive tract disease was not associated with parity or contraceptive administration.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The ultrasonographic images, reproductive tract measurements, and descriptions of reproductive tract lesions provided in this study can be used as diagnostic guidelines for the treatment and management of red wolves with reproductive tract disease.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Table s1 (PDF 660 kb)

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Anderson (wyldvet@gmail.com).