The reproductive tracts of 22 Friesian dairy cows were examined from seven to 35 days after insemination using a real time B-mode ultrasound scanner with a 7.5 MHz transducer. The earliest detection of pregnancy was at nine days when a vesicle was imaged within the lumen of the uterine horn. The early conceptus was seen at day 13 within the vesicle and these structures were followed ultrasonically until day 35. There was a sudden enlargement of the vesicle at day 19 and a heart beat was detected in the embryo at day 22. The allantois was imaged at day 23 and the amnion by day 29. The embryonic outline was clearly defined by day 33 when the body cavities could be discerned. This ability to determine pregnancy at an early stage should prove to be a useful technique in investigating the problems associated with early embryonic death in cattle.
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