B-mode ultrasonographic examination of the accessory sex glands of boars.Theriogenology. 2002 May; 57(8):2003-13.T
Thorough examinations of the reproductive system of boars are generally not performed on normal boars to be used for breeding; only boars with problems undergo a form of a breeding soundness examination. In order for veterinarians to identify pathological conditions, the normal architecture of the accessory sex glands needs to be described. The purpose of this study was to use B-mode ultrasonography to describe the accessory sex glands in the boar and to see if transrectal ultrasonography would be a viable option in which to obtain this data. Initially, cross-sectional saline bath examinations of accessory sex glands were performed on crossbred boar reproductive tracts (n = 4) using B-mode ultrasonography equipped with a 5 MHz dual frequency linear array transducer. In situ examinations were also performed on terminal line crossbred boars (n = 16) ranging in age from 10 to 23 months old using the same ultrasound methodology; four boars were under general anesthesia and the remaining 12 were standing in crates. Eight boars were abstinent for 2 days and the other eight had ejaculates collected 2 h prior to examination. The paired bulbourethral glands are best described as a long oval gland with a uniformly echogenic appearance with a large anechoic space in the center of the gland extending most of its length. The walls of the vesicular glands were found to be thin, with the parenchyma having multiple small echolucent areas that appeared to merge and form a central canal. The prostate gland was best identified as a pecan-sized gland with a uniform echogenic appearance. Visualization of the prostate gland was accomplished with more proficiency using the saline bath ultrasonography as compared to in situ examinations. All of the accessory sex glands could be examined using both methodologies of ultrasonographic examination with a 5 MHz frequency linear array transducer. It was determined that each accessory sex gland could be recognized, and differences between ejaculated and nonejaculated boars could be identified. The results of this study demonstrate that transrectal ultrasonography can be used as a diagnostic aid in assessing the accessory sex glands of boars.