Article Text

Ultrasonography as an aid to controlled breeding in the llama (Lama glama)
  1. DA Bourke,
  2. CL Adam and
  3. CE Kyle


An ultrasonic linear array scanner with a transrectal probe was used to observe ovarian and uterine changes associated with the reproductive cycle in llamas. 'Waves' of follicular development and regression occurred in unstimulated females, during which the dominant follicle reached a maximum size of 9 to 13 mm; both ovaries were equally active. Ovulation was induced by mating in 80 per cent of cases, and when mating was accompanied by the administration of human chorionic gonadotrophin the ovulation rate increased to 90 per cent and the time to ovulation decreased from two to three days to one to two days. Some spontaneous ovulations occurred. Corpora lutea reached a maximum size of 12 mm (non-pregnant) or 14 mm (pregnant) after seven or 16 days, respectively. The lifespan of the corpus luteum was approximately 11 days in non-pregnant llamas and the regression time was advanced by the administration of prostaglandin or embryo recovery. Pregnancy could be diagnosed as early as 19 days after mating.

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