Selective reduction of fetuses in the bitch using induction of fetal death by ultrasound guidance



BACKGROUND: Unwanted pregnancy termination is a big issue for dog owners. OBJECTIVES: In this study we attempted to reduce the number of fetuses in pregnant bitches through ultrasound-guided induced fetal death. METHODS: The study was performed on 6 privately owned crossbred pregnant bitches, in the second and third trimester of pregnancy, with variable number of fetuses (n=2 to 8). Fetal death was induced by transabdominal injection of potassium chloride (KCl) into the fetal cardiac chamber under ultrasonographic guidance. RESULTS: While selective fetal reduction was successfully achieved in 4 bitches (66.6%) 2 bitches showed complete pregnancy termination. CONCLUSIONS: Data presented in this research provide evidence for possible use of this technique in order to selectively reduce the number of fetuses without whole pregnancy termination in the bitch. Ultrasound-guided induced fetal death seems to be a safe procedure and a viable method for reducing the number of fetuses with no side effect in the bitch.