Use of real-time B-mode ultrasound for pregnancy diagnosis and measurement of fetal growth rate in captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

Abstract

Real-time ultrasonography was used to detect pregnancy in 4 captive bottle-nose dolphins. Pregnancy was readily confirmed from around the 4th month of gestation by imaging fetal fluids and fetal movement. Periodic examination permitted monitoring of the viability of the fetuses by observation of their heart beat and movement, and serial measurements of skull diameter (occipito-frontal axis) and thoracic diameter was possible. A growth curve for these measurements was plotted.

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