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Appendix A

Gestational Age Estimation


Based on Fetal Measures and
Phenotypic Characteristics

As has been outlined in various chapters of this book, certain pathogens have
a tendency to affect fetuses prototypically. Some affect the fetus by inflicting
predictable lesions whereas other pathogens are known to affect the fetus
within a particular gestational age range. Therefore, it is important to have
scientifically sound data to help determine the age of a fetus when a breeding
or conception date is unknown. Therefore, this appendix includes a series of
tables that aid the diagnostician in determining a gestation age of a fetus in a
particular species. Fetal measures that may be included are crown-to-rump
lengths, fetal weights, size comparisons, and phenotypic or physical
characteristics that, in aggregate, help the diagnostician arrive at an estimated
gestational age.

Table A.1 Gestational age estimates of bovine fetuses.

Relative C–R
Age size Measurement Weight External fetal characteristics

2 mo. Mouse 6 to 8 cm 8 to 30 gm Claw buds and scrotum


present
3 mo. Rat 13 to 17 cm 200 to Hair on lips, chin, and eyelids
400 gm
4 mo. Small cat 22 to 32 cm 1 to 2 kg Fine hair on eyebrows, claws
developed
5 mo. Large cat 30 to 45 cm 3 to 4 kg Hair on eyebrows and lips,
testes in scrotum, teats
developing

(Continued)

Kirkbride’s Diagnosis of Abortion and Neonatal Loss in Animals, Fourth Edition.


Edited by Bradley L. Njaa.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

221

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222 Kirkbride’s Diagnosis of Abortion and Neonatal Loss in Animals

Table A.1 (Continued)

Relative C–R
Age size Measurement Weight External fetal characteristics

6 mo. Small dog, 40 to 60 cm 5 to 10 kg Hair on inside of ear and


beagle around horn pits, tip of tail
and muzzle
7 mo. Dog 55 to 75 cm 8 to 18 kg Hair of metatarsal,
metacarpal, and phalangeal
region of extremities and
beginning on back, long hair
on tip of tail
8 mo. Large dog 60 to 85 cm 15 to 25 kg Fine short hair all over body,
incisor teeth not erupted

(From Veterinary Obstetrics and Genital Diseases Theriogenology, 3rd Edition, 1986, S. Roberts, p. 19).

Table A.2 Gestational age estimates of ovine and caprine fetuses.

Crown to
Gestational Age Rump Length Fetal Detail

>3 to 4 weeks 0.3 to 2 cm Head, body, and limbs are discernable


5 to 6 weeks 2 to 9 cm Hoofs are visible at the end of digits
7 to 9 weeks 9 to 15.5 cm No hair; rumen development near the end of this
gestational period
10 to 13 weeks 15 to 35 cm Large tactile hairs appear on lips and upper eyelids
14 to 18 weeks 35 to 40 cm Eyelashes are well developed, some hair on tail
and head
19 to 21 weeks 40 to 48 cm Fetus becomes fully developed with the body
covered with hair; hoofs complete but soft

Table A.3 Gestational age of porcine fetuses.

Crown-to-rump Approximate fetal


length (mm) age (days)

20 25
27 30
46 40
89 50
135 60
170 70
207 85
270 110

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Table A.4 Gestational age of equine fetuses.

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Weight, C–R Length, and Characteristics of the Equine Fetus

Age in days Weight Fetus Length Fetal and Placental Characteristics

16 0.32 cm
20 0.66 cm
25 0.6–0.85 cm
30 0.2 gm 0.9–1.0 cm Eye, mouth, and limb buds visible, chorionic vesicle present only in uterine horn.
35 1.5 cm
40 1.8–2.2 cm Eyelids and pinnae have appeared.
45 2.0–3.0 cm
50 3.0–3.5 cm
60 10–20 gm 4–7.5 cm (1–3/4–3 in.) Lips, nostrils, and beginning development of feet observed, eyelid partially closed.
Placenta not attached but beginning to go into the body of the uterus.
90 100–180 gm (3–6 oz) 10–14 cm (4–5-3/4 in.) Villi of placenta present but without firm attachment, mammary nipples and hooves
visible, body and horn of uterus both involved and enlarged.
120 700–1,000 gm (1.5–2 lb) 15–20 cm (6–8 in.) External genitalia formed but scrotum is empty, placenta attached, ergots and orbital
areas prominent.
150 1,500–3,000 gm (3–6 lb) 25–37 cm (10–14-1/4 in.) May or may not have fine hair on orbital arch and tip of tail, prepuce not yet developed.
180 3–5 kg (6.5–12.5 lb) 35–60 cm (14–24 in.) Hair on lips, orbital arch, nose, eyelashes, and fine hair, no mane.
210 7–10 kg (15.4–22 lb) 55–70 cm (22–28 in.) Hair on lips, nose, eyebrow, eyelids, edge of ear, tip of tail, back, and mane.
240 12–18 kg (26.4–39 lb) 60–80 cm (24–32 in.) Hair on main and tail, back and distal portion of extremities.
270 20–27 kg (44–59.4 lb) 80–90 cm (32–36 in.) Short fine hair over entire body.
300 25–40 kg (55–88 lb) 70–130 cm (36–52 in.) Body completely covered with short hair, prepuce developed, hair in mane, and tail increased.
330 30–50 kg (66–125 lb) 100–150 cm (40–60 in.) Complete hair coat and hair coat gets its final color, testes descended.

Adapted by Brad Njaa from:


Bergin WC, Gier HT, Frey RA, Marion GB. 1967. Developmental horizons and measurements useful for age determination of equine embryos and fetuses. Proc. Am. Assoc. Equine Pract. pp. 179–196.
Roberts SJ. Veterinary Obstetrics and Genital Diseases. 1971. Ann Arbor, Michigan, Edwards Brothers, Inc.

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Table A.5 Gestational age estimates of canine fetuses.

Age Crown-to-rump
(days) length (mm) External fetal characteristics

20 8 First and second branchial arches present


30 20 Eyelids forming; grooves between digits; pinnae partly
cover external acoustic meatus; five pairs of mammary
primordia present; intestines herniate into umbilical cord
35 35 Eyelids partly cover eyes; pinnae covers acoustic meatus;
digits separated distally; external genitalia differentiated
38 55 Tactile hairs appear on upper lip and above eyes
40 60 Eyelids fused; intestines returned to abdominal cavity;
claws formed
45 80 Body hair forming; color markings appear; digits widely separated
50 118
53 140 Hair covering complete; digital pads present
57 160
57–63 160–185 Gestation complete; birth

(Table extrapolated from graphical data presented in, Evans HE and Sack WO, Prenatal Development of
Domestic and Laboratory Mammals: Growth Curves, External Features and Selected References, Anat.
Histol. Embryol. 2:11–45, 1973.)

Table A.6 Gestational age estimates of feline fetuses.

Age Crown-to-rump
(days) length (mm) External fetal characteristics

18 8 Forelimb bud present; otic vesicle present


20 10 Head touches heart bulge; olfactory pits formed
24–26 18–20 Forelimb digits separate distally; mammary primordial
present; pinnae triangular, projecting rostrally; eyelids
forming; hind limb digits separating distally
27 25 Tongue visible; all digits widely spread; pinnae almost
cover acoustic meatuses
30 35 Claws forming; eyelids almost closed; pinna covers
acoustic meatus
37 60 Tactile hairs present on face
43 80
46 95 Fine hairs appear on body; nose pigmented; claws
hardening at the tips
50 110 Fine hairs cover body; claws white and hard; skin pigmented
55 125
60 143
60–63 143–150 Gestation complete; birth

(Table extrapolated from graphical data presented in, Evans HE and Sack WO, Prenatal Development of
Domestic and Laboratory Mammals: Growth Curves, External Features and Selected References, Anat.
Histol. Embryol. 2:11–45, 1973.)

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