The mean ± s.e.m. concentration of oestrone sulphate (OS) in serum from 31 non-pregnant red deer was 2.0±0.2 ng/ml. The value 3 standard deviations above this mean was 6.2 ng/ml which represents the highest serum OS concentration likely to be found in non-pregnant deer. Only 2 out of 40 serum samples obtained from 15 deer between 118 and 182 days pregnant had an OS concentration >6.2 ng/ml, the overall mean ± s.e.m. value for the 40 samples being 2.4±0.3 ng/ml. On days 195 and 209 of gestation, 5 of 10 deer and 7 of 9 deer respectively had serum OS concentrations above 6.2 ng/ml; the mean ± s.e.m. concentrations on days 195 and 209 being 7.2±1.3 ng/ml and 14.9±3.4 ng/ml respectively. These results show that mean serum OS concentrations rise markedly in red deer during late gestation, and that by day 209 serum OS concentrations have risen above 6.2 ng/ml in most hinds. Measuring serum OS concentrations in the last month before expected calving may offer an alternative to ultrasonography for verifying pregnancy status in red deer.

KM, Henderson, and N Beatson

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 59, , 131-133, 1999
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