Non-Invasive Diagnosis of Pregnancy and Reproductive Disorders in a Variety of Species by Measuring Fecal Reproductive Hormone Metabolites
To diagnose pregnancy or determine if there is a reproductive disorder in a non-domesticated animal, multiple samples are required over an extended time period. For that reason, blood sampling is not an option because this would require chemical immobilization, unless the animal has been trained to allow voluntary blood sampling. Techniques have been developed to measure the metabolites of reproductive hormones in urine or feces, and this has proved to be an invaluable procedure to:
- Determine seasonality for male/female introductions
- Diagnose pregnancy and forecast parturition
- Evaluate the effectiveness of assisted reproduction protocols such as exogenous hormone delivery and artificial inseminations
- Evaluate fertility/infertility of individual animals. These procedures assist in improving reproductive success and the well-being of animals in managed breeding programs.
Monitoring of Stress in Captive Female Okapi
Using urinary and fecal hormone analyses: This is a collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Bennett of the Dallas Zoo. The results may be useful for improving husbandry of captive okapi.