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Online Journal of Veterinary Research

Volume 23 (5):345-354, 2019.

Effect of 5 and 12 day post mating human chorionic gonadotropin on embryonic mortality and serum progesterone in ewes


Mohammad AY, Hussein KA.


Department of Surgery and Obstetrics, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Baghdad.



Mohammad AY, Hussein KA., Effect of 5 and 12 day post mating human chorionic gonadotropin on embryonic mortality and serum progesterone in ewes, Onl J Vet Res., 23 (5):345-354, 2019. Estrus was synchronized in 30 ewes by intra vaginal sponges of 60mg progesterone for 9 days followed by injection of 500IU intramuscular (IM) pregnant mare serum gonadotropin (PMSG) at time of sponge removal. Groups of same 10 ewes were mated with rams and injected intramuscular (IM) 300 IU human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) IM 5 and 12 days after. Ten controls were given saline IM. Blood samples were collected for progesterone 2h before and 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 24 and 48 hours after HCG injection and then weekly to 90d of pregnancy. Embryo mortality and pregnancy was diagnosed by ultrasonography weekly to day 90 of pregnancy. Embryonic mortality was ~24% in ewes given HCG at 5 days, ~29% at 12d and 42% in controls and fertility ~100, 90 and 90%, respectively. Serum progesterone was similar in all groups before and after HCG to 24h but in those given HCG at 5 days at 48h increased (P> 0.05) to ~18 0.3ng/ml compared with controls (~14 0.9ng/ml) and ~34 + 2.12ng/ml at day 72 compared with controls (~21 2.26ng/ml). In those given HCG at day 12 progesterone had increased by 24h to ~28 1.49ng/ml compared with ~20 0.8ng/ml to peak at day 65 (36.23 1.65) compare with controls 31 1.99. The ultrasounds gave accurate estimation of embryo age and vitality. Our results suggest that administration of HCG 5-12 days post mating could reduce early embryonic mortality and increase blood progesterone in ewes.


Key words: hCG, ewe, embryonic mortality, ultrasound, progesterone.