The objective of the present study was the measurement of the pregnancy associated hormones progesterone (P4) and pregnanediol-glucuronide (PdG) in saliva, milk and urine of alpacas and their potential use in pregnancy diagnosis. Sample of blood, saliva, milk and urine were obtained from 36 female alpacas before mating and throughout the pregnancy. Concentrations of P4 and PdG were determined using an enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Pregnancy was checked by ultrasonography at any sampling time. The milk samples were also tested using a commercial on-farm progesterone kit which was designed for dairy cattle. EIA-Concentrations of P4 in blood, milk and urine and urine PdG concentrations were significantly higher in pregnant than in not pregnant alpacas. There was no difference in concentrations of P4 or PdG in saliva. The accuracy of the progesterone kit was 90% for diagnosis of pregnancy and 69% for non-pregnancy. However, 70% of the false positive results also showed relatively high P4 milk concentrations in the EIA. Values of P4 in blood and PdG in urine are comparable to previous reports in alpacas and therefore can be confirmed as an indicator for pregnancy. Saliva seems unsuitable in pregnancy diagnosis in alpacas, whereas milk seems to be an adequate alternative. The use of milk and urine would simplify the pregnancy diagnosis in alpacas since in contrast to the current methods (e. g. blood progesterone) the owners can take the samples. The avoidance of blood sampling results in a considerable stress reduction for the animals. P4 measurement in milk and PdG measurement in urine are good alternatives in pregnancy diagnosis during the first month of pregnancy, when a trans-abdominal ultrasonographic examination is not yet reliable. However, since high values of P4 and PdG only show the presence of active luteal tissue and therefore are indirect markers of pregnancy the diagnosis should be confirmed using ultrasound later in pregnancy.
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