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Superfoetation in osmanbadi does.


Superfoetation is the condition that arises when an animal already pregnant mates, ovulates and conceives a second fetus or second litter. Superfoetation is suspected when fetuses of different size are born together. Superfoetation is commonly observed in bitches than other farm animals. Superfoetation is rare in goats while common in dogs (Arthur et al., 1989). Superfetation is suspected when fetuses of different sizes are born together or when two fetuses or two litters are born at widely separated times.

History and Observation

Two, four year old Osmanbadi goats were presented with history of failure of parturition. The goats were found restlessness, off feed with increased respiration and pulse rate. In first case one live fetus was expelled before, one hour and in second case complete failure of parturition was reported.


In first case, vaginal examination revealed complete dilatation of cervix, by applying traction one dead premature female and a live male fetus was removed. In second case, one premature dead female fetus and two live male fetuses were removed (Fig 1 and 2). After relieving the dystocia, cases were treated as per treatment. Both cases were recovered timely.


Superfetation is quite rare. A bred doe may come into estrus, usually at heat period following conception and conceive additional offspring. Any additional embryos are carried with already-established pregnancy. The fetuses conceived on first cycle are sometimes delivered and second part of litter is delivered three weeks later. There are documented cases of 'embryonic diapause' in sows (Jackson, 1993), and anecdotal cases in goats and sheep.

In general there is considerable doubt about superfetation, however, Vandeplassche et al. (1968) have produced convincing proof that it does occur in double parturitions of sows. Markandeya et al. (2004) reported a rare case of twin pregnancy that terminated in double parturition (13 days apart) in a heifer which discussed the consideration of possible superfoetation. However in present cases, there was difference in size of fetuses.

It was concluded that in both superfoetation cases, female fetus was premature and underdeveloped whereas males were live and fully mature.


Arthur, G.H., Noakes, D.E. and Pearson, H. (1989). Veterinary Reproduction and Obstetrics. 6thedn, ELBS publication, BailliereTindall, London p. 123-24.

Jackson, P.G.G. (1993). Handbook of Veterinary Obstetrics. W.B. Saunders Company Ltd., London. p. 16.

Markandeya N.M., Bhikane A.U., Kadam N.S., Bharkad G.P. and Moregaonkar S.D. (2004). Double parturition and freemartinism with suspected superfoetation in a nondescript heifer. Intas Polivet 5: 194-96.

Vandeplassche M., Vandevelde A., Delanote M. and Ghekiere P. (1968). Tijdshr Diergeneesk. 93: 19.

D.S. Raghuwanshi (1), A.D. Patil and P.S. Narwade

Department of Animal Reproduction, Gynaecology and Obstetrics College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU) Udgir--413517 (Maharashatra)

(1.) Associate Professor and Corresponding author. E-mail:

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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Raghuwanshi, D.S.; Patil, A.D.; Narwade, P.S.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 1, 2014
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