The effects of alfaprostol (PGF2α analogue) and eCG on reproductive performances in postpartum rabbits

 A. Mollo, M.C. Veronesi, M. Battocchio, F. Cairoli, G. Brecchia, C. Boiti


The aim of this study was to verify the effectiveness of post partum pharmacological oestrus synchronisation with alfaprostol or eCG in improving rabbit doe reproductive performances and to evaluate the incidence of pseudopregnancy in this species. One hundred and eighty commercial hybrid rabbit does, multiparous and lactating, were randomly divided into three groups (n=60) and treated on day 8 post partum (pp) as follows: Group A, 1 mL s.c. vitaminic solution with 200 mg alfaprostol, a synthetic analogue of PGF2a; Group B, 1 mL sc vitaminic solution with 20 I.U eCG; Group C (Control) 1 mL sc vitaminic solution. On day 11 pp (3 days after treatment), all the rabbits were artificially inseminated (AI), and injected with 0.8 mg of buserelin i.m. to induce ovulation. Concurrently, blood samples were taken for progesterone (P4) analysis by RIA with the following schedule: day 8 pp (before treatment), day 11 pp (before AI and the induction of ovulation) and day 16 pp (5 days after AI). Fertility was not influenced by hormonal treatments (71.7% and 71.2% respectively) compared to control (66.1%). Conversely, both PGF2a and eCG hormonal synchronisation treatments increased (P<0.05) litter size. P4 values before treatment on day 8 pp testify to the absence of functional CL (P4<2 ng/mL) in the early post partum period in 98.9% of the does in this breeding farm. Before AI and the induction of ovulation on day 11 pp 5.6% of the does had P4 concentrations, indicating non-oestral status (P4>1 ng/mL). On day 5 after insemination 95.5% had P4 values, which attest to the presence of functional corpora lutea (CL) (P4>2 ng/mL). The results of this study show that as long as rabbitry is properly managed zootechnically and sanitarily, drugs such as alfaprostol and eCG, while not ameliorating fertility rate when used for post partum oestrus sychronisation, can increase litter size.


PGF2a; eCG; reproductive performance

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1. Oestrus induction in primiparous lactating rabbits by a 48 hours mother-litter separation: endocrine and behavioural responses
I. Ilès, Y. Benazzoug, A. Messili, S. Boukhari, C. Boiti
World Rabbit Science  vol: 21  issue: 3  year: 2013  
doi: 10.4995/wrs.2013.1248


 Universitat Politècnica de València


Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)


e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011