VetRepro

Stories and thoughts about small animal reproduction and ultrasound


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Extreme Breeding

EVSSAR, as the leading veterinary society on small animal reproduction and as an associate member of FECAVA, salutes WSAVA‘s endorsement on FVE/FECAVA Position Paper on Healthy Breeding!

https://www.fecava.org/en/newsroom/news/news-cat/wsava-endorses-fvefecava-position-paper-on-healthy-breeding.htm

Here you can read and download the FECAVA, FVE Position Paper on breeding healthy dogs.

Just to remember, the discussion of “Ethics in Animal Breeding” has began in 2017, at Vienna, from Prof. W. Farstad! Some very interesting lectures were also given by excellent scientists and experts at Venice, during EVSSAR’s 21st Congress:

-Ethical considerations in small animal reproduction, by H. Ovregaard.
-How do repro experts deal with ethical issues- a survey, by S. Arlt.
-Antibiotics for bacterial infections in veterinary medicine – sustainable use secures future health, by H. SØrum.

All these are nothing more but an excellent starting point.  We promise that we, EVSSAR, will continue to discuss Ethics in our future congresses!

Stay tuned!

Featured image by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

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Serving EVSSAR…

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It is a great honor, a great pleasure and a greater responsibility to continue serving European Veterinary Society for Small Animal Reproduction (EVSSAR) as President after 15 years of membership!

A big thank you to all the members of this great family for trusting me!

Hard work will be continued, as the tradition commands…


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Ethics and small animal reproduction

Helen, a good friend of mine, a vet from Norway, showed me a couple of months ago a video that was viral in Norway. A video trying to inform and “sensitize” owners about the possible problems that brachycephalic breeds of dogs have. You can watch it by just clicking the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oghf4Figs_Q

Indeed, certain breeds of dogs and cats are prone to difficult, obstructive breathing, because of the shape of their head, muzzle and throat. This pathological syndrome is known as “brachycephalic syndrome” and can lead to severe respiratory distress.  According to ACVS (https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/brachycephalic-syndrome), “the term Brachycephalic Syndrome refers to the combination of elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, and everted laryngeal saccules.

So one obvious question someone could have is:

  • Should breeders reproduce animals of brachycephalic breeds the same way they have been doing till today? 

And not only that! In our modern “fast” world, several questions, concerning Ethics and small animal reproduction, arise:

  • Should we spay or not dogs and cats?
  • Which is the most suitable age to spay a dog or a cat?
  • Why retained testicles are so common in dogs and cats?
  • Which way can we avoid inherited diseases?

And further more:

  • Should we choose sex in fetuses?
  • What about cloning of small animals?
  • Cryopreservation of small animal embryos?
  • etc etc etc

And finally, who is leading and who should lead research on reproduction? Big pet-food companies? Pharmaceutical companies? Maybe breeders? Our clients? And is there any place for Ethics? What is the role of Education?

Hot questions! Impossible to answer all of them! But here are the good news: In the forthcoming 20th International Congress of Small Animal Reproduction that will be held in Vienna (Austria) from June 29th to July 1st 2017, the opening speech is exactly what we are talking about: “Ethics in Animal Breeding”, by Prof. W. Farstad! An excellent professor, vet, and breeder as well! This congress is organized by the European Veterinary Society of Small Animal Reproduction (EVSSAR), the largest society for small animal reproduction in Europe (and maybe in the world). EVSSAR aims to support continuing education of veterinarians and to promote research. More details about EVSSAR can be found here: http://www.evssar.org. The scientific program of the congress, in case you are interested, can be found here: http://www.evssar.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/20th-EVSSAR-program.pdf.

So at last, something seems to move… I will be back on the question above soon!

Oh I forgot: HAPPY EASTER!!!


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Small animals’ genital tract: Ultrasound vs microscope

On Sunday 18th of September a day conference “Small animals’ genital tract: Ultrasound vs microscope” was organized by Dr. Constantinos Teliousis  (good old friend) and me at the Hellenic Pasteur Institute in Athens.

More than 120 veterinarians attended the event! And they were satisfied!

All the aspects of ultrasound examination of the male and female genital tract of the dog and cat were covered , by answering the following three questions:
-When to perform ultrasound of the genital tract?
-Why to perform ultrasound?
-And finally how to perform ultrasound?

Normal and pathological sonographic appearance of the prostate, the testicles, the scrotum, the uterus and the ovaries of the dog and cat were presented, with several pictures and videos.

Pathology of the genital tract and the mammary glands of dog and cat was thoroughly covered by Constantinos. Cytological and histological findings of their most common diseases were also briefly reviewed. Constantinos also presented several useful “tips and tricks” for the clinical small animal practitioner!

Finally, a special thanks to our sponsor PetLine for funding and for helping organizing the whole thing!

 


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Proceedings of the ISCFR-EVSSAR Congress – Paris, 2016

The abstracts of the 8th International Symposium on Canine and Feline Reproduction (ISCFR-EVSSAR, Paris 2016) are available on line at IVIS website! If you want to download them, click here! Remember, you have to be registered to IVIS in order to have full access…

This excellent Symposium was the result of skillful and proficient work of the ISCFR International Organizing Committee members Prof. Michelle Kutzler, Prof. Pierre Comizzoli, Prof. Gary England and Prof. John Verstegen, in collaboration with the Scientific Program committee, and the Local Organizing Committee chaired by Prof. Alain Fontbonne and Associate Prof. Karine Reynaud. Of course we have to mention the excellent work of  all the members of the EVSSAR board!

Finally a big big thank you to all the vets from all over the world that participated actively and presented the results of their latest scientific work on all the fields of small animal (and not only) reproduction!

PS: The party organized from the local organizing committee was just awesome!  Thank you guys!

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News from the ISCFR-EVSSAR Congress – Paris, 2016

The 8th Quadrennial International Symposium on Canine and Feline Reproduction which is a  Joint Meeting with the 19th EVSSAR Congress, just finished. It was perfectly organized in Paris, the city of light, from 22 to 25 of June.

The scientific level of all speakers was very high and the program covered all the aspects of small animal reproduction science.

The results of our latest research projects were successfully presented:

– Ultrasound elastography of the normal canine prostate and testicles (G. Mantziaras, G.C. Luvoni).

-First documented report of CHV-1 infection of a pregnant bitch in Greece.  (G. Mantziaras, K. Teliousis, O. Mavropoulou, A. Pseftogas, G.C. Luvoni).

It was also a great chance to meet good friends from all over the word, discuss with them, and have a nice party on Friday night!

Finally, I was one of the three new EVSSAR’s Board members that have been elected during the General Assembly! A big big thank you to all those that honored me with their vote! I promise to do my best and work hard the following years!!!

We’ll be back soon and till than,

Take care of yourselves!


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Twitter and reproduction of rodents. Part 2.

Time has come for the 2nd part…

Chinchillas

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5f/Standardchinchilla.jpg

Chinchillas become sexually mature at an average age of 8 months: females 8.5 months (2-14), and males at 8 (4-12) months.

They are polyestric animals.  Females cycle seasonally (November to May in northern hemisphere). They come in estrus every 28-35 days. They also present postpartum estrus: 12 hours after parturition! Estrus lasts 3-4 days, perineum becomes reddened, the normally tightly closed vagina opens and expels a wax-like plug. Vulval swelling is not present.

Mating occurs biannually. Chinchillas form monogamous pairs or can be kept in harems. Gestation lasts 111-128 days. Pregnancy can be detected by palpation at 90 days. Litters size is 2 (1-6). Parturition occurs early in the morning. Newborns are fully furred and have their eyes open. They weigh 30-50 gr. Weaning occurs at 6-8 weeks, but they are able to eat solid food quite early (from the 1st week) as they are born with teeth!

 

Rats

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Female rats are polyestric animals and they come in estrus every 4-5 days.

Social groups of rats are often formed of multiple males and multiple females. One male is dominant and a linear male hierarchy may form. The species is polygynous, and the dominant male is the most successful breeder. Territories and mates are defended through aggressive behavior.

Rats are able to breed throughout the year if conditions allow. The peak breeding seasons are summer and autumn. Females can produce up to 5 litters in one year. The gestation period ranges between 21 and 29 days, and young rats are able to reproduce within 3 to 5 months of their birth. Babies are born with closed eyes and hairless. Weaning occurs at 3 to 4 weeks of age.

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Pregnancy diagnosis of the rat at the 8th day (Image by George Mantziaras)

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Heart rate estimation of a rat fetus at the 12th day of pregnancy (Image by George Mantziaras) 

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Ultrasound of a rat fetus on the 18th day of pregnancy (Image by George Mantziaras)

 

Mice

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Breeding onset is at about 50 days of age in both females and males. Mice are polyestrous and breed year round. They are spontaneous ovulators. The duration of the estrous cycle is 4–5 days and estrus lasts about 12 hours. Vaginal smears can be used to determine the stage of the estrous cycle. Mating is usually nocturnal and may be confirmed by the presence of a copulatory plug in the vagina up to 24 hours post-copulation. The presence of sperm on a vaginal smear is also a reliable indicator of mating.

Female mice housed together tend to go into anestrus and do not cycle. If exposed to a male mouse or the pheromones of a male mouse, most of the females will go into estrus in about 72 hours.

The average gestation period is 20 days. A fertile postpartum estrus occurs 14–24 hours following parturition, and simultaneous lactation and gestation prolongs gestation 3–10 days owing to delayed implantation. The average litter size is 10–12. Inbred mice tend to have longer gestation periods and smaller litters than outbred and hybrid mice. The young are called pups and weigh 0.5–1.5 g , are hairless, and have closed eyelids and ears.They are weaned at 3 weeks of age.

 

Gerbils

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Gerbils reach sexual maturity at 10 to 16 weeks. They are polyestrous and they cycle every 4-7 days. They form monogamous pairs.

Gerbils will mate for several hours, in frequent short bursts followed by short chases, when the female allows the male to catch her. Once he catches her, the female will squeak and make flick motions to get the male off her. Males will not attack females except in rare circumstances, which may also include them having been separated from their original mates, or widowed. A female may attack a male, but usually he is more than a match for her. Copulatory plugs form in the reproductive tracts of females that hinder subsequent matings. The presence of these copulatory plugs suggests a polygynandrous mating syste

Gerbils may also experience postpartum estrus and delayed implantation, such that a new litter begins developing as soon as the first is weaned. Gestation periods, if females are not lactating, last 3 to 4 weeks, longer if lactating. Overall, litter sizes range from 1 to 13, although litters of 4 to 7 are much more common. Young gerbils are born completely naked and blind. Eyes open about two or three weeks after birth. The young can walk quickly and hop about on all fours at about three weeks. At around one month of age, the young are weaned and independent.

 

Hamsters

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Hamsters reach puberty at the age of 6-8 weeks. They present estrus every 4 days.

Hamsters, as cricetines,  are promiscuous, with males and females both having multiple mates. During mating, a copulatory plug forms and seals the female’s reproductive tract, preventing subsequent males from successfully fertilizing the female’s eggs. A female hamster often drives a male out of her territory soon after mating.

Cricetines are seasonal breeders that mate and raise their litters from February to November. Females bear 2 – 4 litters per year. Gestation is short, lasting 15 to 22 days, and litter sizes average 5 to 7 (1-13). Young hamsters nurse for about three weeks, and are sexually mature at six to eight weeks.

 

That’s all for rodents’ repro for the moment. I’m not sure if there will be a 3rd part. Maybe yes, if you ask for that!

Thanks for reading,

Bye bye till the next time!

George