The effectiveness of Ultrasonography in predicting Pregnancy, litter size, viability and embryo/fetal age during first three months post-breeding in Iraqi Shami does




Ultrasonography, pregnancy detection, viability, fetal number, does


This study aimed to evaluate the detection efficiency of early pregnancy by Ultrasonography (ULR), and also to estimate embryo/fetal age, embryo/fetal count and viability in Iraqi Shami Does. Thirty-five mature does were synchronized using progesterone intra-vaginal sponges for 12 days+ equine Chorionic Gonadotrophin (eCG) (500 IU) after sponge removal.  Estrus was detected after two days in only 28 does, therefore, seven does were excluded. All does (n=28) were mated by four breeding bucks. Pregnancy monitoring, embryo/fetus number and developmental stages during the does gestation was carried out with B-mode Transrectal ultrasonography (TRU) (Transrectal probe) on days 17-29 Post mating (PM) using a frequency 6.5-7.5 MHz, and Transabdominal Ultrasonography (TAU) with in days 36-90 PM with frequency 3.5-4.5 MHz. The results revealed that the conception rate was 85.71% (24/28) and the Predicted +value (PV+), Predicted –value (PV-), Sensitivity (Se), Specificity (Sp) and Accuracy (Acc) were low on days 17-20 PM, which recorded 50%, 4%, 12%, 25% and 14% respectively. All detection values between 96-100% in the period 36-50 PM, and 100% in day 60 onwards. The efficiency in predicting embryo/fetal number was 77% and 75% for estimating twin (Se) and singleton (Sp) pregnancies in days 23-29 PM, and the detection parameters reached 100% by day 60, then declined after that. The embryo/fetal viability was 60% in the early gestational period and reached 96% between days 36–50 PM, and 100% after that. The correlation coefficient between embryo/fetal age and Embryonic Vesicle Diameter (EVD), Crown Rump Length (CRL) and Trunk Diameter (TD) was recorded as very high in different gestational ages; R² = 0.99 (23-42 days), R² = 0.97 (23-60 days) and R² = 0.98 (42-90 days). It was concluded that ULR (by using both TRU and TAU) was reliable, very efficient and safe to predict pregnancy, embryo/fetal count, viability and age between days 23-35 and 35-90 PM, respectively.


Download data is not yet available.


Abdelghafar, R.M., Ibrahim, M.T., Abdelrahim, S.M. and Ahmed, B.H. (2010). Sensitivity and specificity of real-time ultrasonography for pregnancy diagnosis and litter size in Saanen goats (Capra hircus): proceeding of the 14th scientific conference. Assiut University, Egypt, 391-402.

Abdullah, R. and Mohd, F.M. (2020). The Foetal Ultrastructural Images Obtained from Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Does Using Transrectal and Transabdominal Probes of Ultrasound Scanner. Journal Of Agrobiotechnology, 11(1S).

Ali, A. and Hayder, M. (2007). Ultrasonographic assessment of embryonic, fetal and placental development in Ossimi sheep. Small Rum. Res., 73(1-3):277- 282.

Alkan, H., Kivrak, M.B., Satilmis, F., Tekindal, M.A. and Dinc, D.A. (2020). Detection of twin pregnancies in ewes by pregnancy-associated glycoprotein assay and transabdominal ultrasonography. Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 7: 106399.

Al-Rawi, H.M. (2014). Monitoring fetal development in sheep by using real-time ultrasonography. Al-Qadisiyah Journal of Veterinary Medicine Sciences, 13(1):11-14.

Amer, H.A. (2010). Ultrasonographic assessment of early pregnancy diagnosis, fetometry and sex determination in goats. Anim. Reprod. Sci., 117 :(3-4):226-231.

Ammar R,M. and Baker T,J. (2021). Accuracy of Flock Pregnancy Diagnosis in Local Iraqi Ewes by A-mode Ultrasound Device.

Andrabi, S.E. and Gulavane, S.U. (2015). Real Time Ultrasonography for Determining Viable Foetal Numbers in Goats. Journal of Animal Research, 5(4):875-878.

Anilkumar, R., Iyue, M., Prema, N. and Sreekumar, C. (2010). Ultrasonographic diagnosis of pregnancy and estimation of fetal numbers in ewes. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, 84(6): 640–642.

Ardakani, M.S., Toosi, B.K., Azizzadeh, M. and Rajabioun, M. (2022). Estimation of gestational age using ultrasonography in Baluchi sheep. In Veterinary Research Forum, 13(2): 257-263.

Barbagianni, M.S., Ioannidi, K.I., Vasileiou, N.G., Mavrogianni, V.S., Orfanou, D.C., Fthenakis, G.C. and Valasi, I. (2017). Ultrasonographic examination of pregnant ewes: from early diagnosis of pregnancy to early prediction of dystocia. Small Ruminant Research, 152:41-55.

Bello, A.A., Voh Jr, A.A., Ogwu, D., Tekdek, L.B. and Ayo, J.O. (2023). Comparison of ultrasonography, progesterone assay, ballottement, and non‐return‐to‐heat with digital rectal palpation technique for early pregnancy diagnosis in Red Sokoto goat. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 58(2):263-271.

Brzozowska, A.,T. Stankiewicz, B. Błaszczyk, P. Chundekkad, J. Udała and N. Wojtasiak. (2022). Ultrasound parameters of early pregnancy and Doppler indices of blood vessels in the placenta and umbilical cord throughout the pregnancy period in sheep. BMC Vet. Res.18 (1):1-16.

Chama, T.H., Matthew, D.A., Chama, J.H. and Bala, D.B. (2019). Economic implications of small ruminant foetal wastage: A case study of Jalingo abattoir, Taraba State. Sokoto Journal of Veterinary Sciences, 17(2):73-76.

Cosentino, I.O., Balaro, M.F., Leal, F.S., Bade, A.L., Côrtes, L.R., Arashiro, E.K., da Fonseca, J.F. and Brandão, F.Z. (2018). Color Doppler ultrasonography for early pregnancy diagnosis in goats. Anim. Reprod, 15(1):1112.

Dawson, L.J., Sahlu, T., Hart, S.P., Detweiler, G., Gipson, T.A., Teh, T.H., Henry, G.A. and Bahr, R.J. (1994). Determination of fetal numbers in Alpine does by real-time ultrasonography. Small Ruminant Research, 14(3),:225-231.

Dana, O.I., Mukhtar, R.H., Mohammed M.O. and Dyary. H.O. (2021). Comparison of a rapid test with bPAG ELISA in pregnancy diagnosis in cows. Iraqi J. Agri. Sci.52 (6): 1475-1481. DOI: 10.36103/ijas.v52i6.1488.

Devi, N.B., Bhuyan, D. and Das, A. (2019). Application of ultrasonic doppler technique for pregnancy diagnosis in local Assam goat. J Pharm Innov, 8:1088-1091.

Elmetwally, M., Rohn, K. and Meinecke-Tillmann, S. (2016). Noninvasive color Doppler sonography of uterine blood flow throughout pregnancy in sheep and goats. Theriogenology, 85(6):1070-1079.

El-Zarkouny, S., Nour El-Din, A.N.M., Ghobashy, H. and AbdelGawad, E.I. (2008). Accuracy of early pregnancy diagnosis and detection of twins using real-time ultrasonography compared to progesterone concentration in Barki goats. Egyptian J. Anim. Prod., 45(2):131-138

Goel, A.k. (1990). Agrawal Kp. Pregnancy diagnosis in goats. Indian Veterinary Medical Journal, 14:77-78.

Goel, A.K. and Sinha, N.K. (1998). Agrawal KP. Pregnancy diagnosis in sheep. Indian Journal of Animal Science, 59:974-976.

Haibel, G.K. (1990). Use of ultrasonography in reproductive management of sheep and goat herds. The Veterinary clinics of North America. Food animal practice, 6(3):597-613.

Hussein, K.A., AL-Mutar, H.A. and Hassan, B.J. (2020). A clinical and ultrasonographical study to investigate the lhr receptor gene and embryonic death out season in sheep. Plant Arch., 20 (2):6329-6333.

Jones, A.K., Gately, R.E., McFadden, K.K., Zinn, S.A., Govoni, K.E. and Reed, S.A. (2016). Transabdominal ultrasound for detection of pregnancy, fetal and placental landmarks, and fetal age before day 45 of gestation in the sheep. Theriogenology, 85(5):939-945.

Karen, A., Samir, H., Ashmawy, T. and El-Sayed, M. (2014). Accuracy of B-mode ultrasonography for diagnosing pregnancy and determination of fetal numbers in different breeds of goats. Anim. Rep. Sci., 147(1-2):25-31.

Karen, A.M., Fattouh, E.S. and Abu-Zeid, S.S. (2009). Estimation of gestational age in Egyptian native goats by ultrasonographic fetometry. Animal Reproduction Science, 114(1-3):167-174.

Kumar, K., Chandolia, R.K., Kumar, S., Pal, M. and Sandeep, K. (2015). Two-dimensional and three-dimensional ultrasonography for pregnancy diagnosis and antenatal fetal development in Beetal goats. Veterinary World, 8(7):835.

Lianou, D.T., Vasileiou, N.G., Michael, C.K., Valasi, I., Mavrogianni, V.S., Caroprese, M. and Fthenakis, G.C. (2022). Patterns of Reproductive Management in Sheep and Goat Farms in Greece. Animal, 12(24):3455.

Mavrogenis, A.P., Antoniades, N.Y. Hooper, R.W. (2006). The Damascus (shami) goat of Cyprus. Animal Genetic Resources/Resources génétiques animales/Recursos genéticos animales, 38:57-65.

Medan, M., Watanabe, G., Absy, G., Sasaki, K., Sharawy, S. and Taya, K. (2004). Early pregnancy diagnosis by means of ultrasonography as a method of improving reproductive efficiency in goats. Anim. Rep. Sci. Rep. Dev., 50(4):391-397

Muhammad, R.S. and Aziz, D.M. (2022a). Estimation of gestational age in Shami goats based on transabdominal ultrasonographic measurements of fetal parameters. Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Sciences, 36(4):839-846.

Muhammad, R.S. and Aziz, D.M. (2021b). Determination of gestational age in Shami goats based on transabdominal ultrasonographic measurements of placentomes and uterine diameter. Al-Anbar J Vet Sci, 14:30-41.

Okorie-Kanu, O.J., Ezenduka, E.V., Okorie-Kanu, C.O., Anyaoha, C.O., Attah, C. A., Ejiofor, T.E. and Onwumere-Idoloh, S.O. (2018). Slaughter of pregnant goats for meat at Nsukka slaughterhouse and its economic implications: A public health concern. Veterinary world, 11(8):1139.

Omontese, B.O., Rekwot, P.I., Ate, I.U., Rwuaan, J.S., Makun, H.J., Mustapha, R.A. and Lawal, M. (2012). Use of ultrasonography for pregnancy diagnosis in Red Sokoto goats. Scientific Journal of Biological Sciences, 1(5):101-106.

Osman, R.M. (2010). Ultrasonography as a diagnostic tool for fetal mortality in goats (Capra hircus) in the Sudan" two case reports". Assiut Veterinary Medical Journal, 56(127):316-322.

Omran, S.N. and K.A. Hussein (2007). Pregnancy diagnosis by ultrasonography in local awassi ewes treated with progesterone and eCG. Iraqi J. Agri. Sci.38 (4):111-117.

Padilla-Rivas, G.R., Sohnrey, B. and Holtz, W. (2005). Early pregnancy detection by real-time ultrasonography in Boer goats. Small Rumin. Res. 58:87–92.

Pagamici, C. and Stephan, R. (2022). Pregnancy in Slaughtered Lambs and Sheep—A Cross-Sectional Study in Three Abattoirs in Switzerland. Animals, 12(10):1328.

Petrujkić, B.T., Cojkić, A., Petrujkić, K., Jeremić, I., Mašulović, D., Dimitrijević, V., Savić, M., Pešić, M. and Beier, R.C. (2016). Transabdominal and transrectal ultrasonography of fetuses in Württemberg ewes: Correlation with gestational age. Animal Science Journal, 87(2):197-201.

Rasheed YM. (2017). Assessment of gestational age in goats by Real-Time Ultrasound measuring the fetal crown-rump length, and bi-parietal diameter. Iraqi J Vet Med., 41(2):106-112.

Reza, M.M., Parvez, M.A. and Faruk, M.O. (2019). Evaluation of pregnancy diagnosis using ultrasonography in goats. Bangladesh Veterinarian, 36(1-2):42-48.

Santos, V.J., Rodriguez, M.G., da Silva, P.D., Mariano, R.S., Taira, A.R., de Almeida, V.T., Uscategui, R.A., Nociti, R.P., Teixeira, P.P., Feliciano, M.A. and Vicente, W. R.R. (2018). B-mode ultrasonography and ecobiometric parameters for assessment of embryonic and fetal development in sheep. Animal reproduction science, 197:193-202.

Sayuti, A., Siregar, T. N., Melia, J., Rahmi, E., Abrar, M., Panjaitan, B. and Daud, R. (2019). Determination of Gestational Age and Observation of Kacang Goat Fetal Development during 60 Days of Pregnancy by Using Transcutaneous Ultrasonography. Jurnal Veteriner, 20(4): 534-540.

Singh, N. S., Gawande, P. G., Mishra, O. P., Nema, R. K., Mishra, U. K., & Singh, M. (2004). Accuracy of ultrasonography in early pregnancy diagnosis in doe. Asian-australasian journal of animal sciences, 17(6):760-768.

Suguna, K., Mehrotra, S., Agarwal, S.K., Hoque, M., Singh, S.K., Shanker, U. and Sarath, T. (2008). Early pregnancy diagnosis and embryonic and fetal development using real time B mode ultrasound in goats. Small Ruminant Research, 80(1-3):80-86.

Verma, S.K., Kailash, K. and Chandolia, R.K. (2014). Detection of fetal viability using real time B mode ultrasonography in Corriedale sheep. Haryana Veterinarian, 53(2):133-134.

Wani, N.A., G.M. Wani, A.M. Mufti and M.Z. Khan. (1998). Ultrasonic pregnancy diagnosis in gaddi goats. Small Rum. Res., 29 (2):239-240.

Yotov, S. (2005). Diagnostics of early pregnancy in Stara Zagora dairy sheep breed. Bulg. J. Vet. Med., 8(1):41-45.




How to Cite

Aboud, Qusay, SettingsYounis, Laith, & SettingsAmeen, Hayman. (2023). The effectiveness of Ultrasonography in predicting Pregnancy, litter size, viability and embryo/fetal age during first three months post-breeding in Iraqi Shami does. University of Thi-Qar Journal of Agricultural Research, 12(2), 218–237.