Multioocyte follicles in domestic dogs: a survey of frequency of occurrence

Payan-Carreira, R.
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Multioocyte follicles (MOFs) or polyovular follicles have been reported infrequent in the ovaries of the bitch, decreasing with the age. In this study, the routine observation of the ovaries allowed to verify that the existence of MOFs was far more frequent than previously reported. Ovaries from 150 genitalia, excised during ovariohysterectomy of bitches of different breeds and ages were used. The mean prevalence of MOFs was 40.7%, and the prevalence was higher in young animals (68.4 and 62.2%, in prepubertal and in bitches under 1 year, respectively). In 7-8 years old bitches, the occurrence decreased to 30.4%, and it decreased again to 14.3% in 10 or more years old bitches. It was also more frequent in mongrels than in pure-breeds (52.3-25.5%, respectively). Most follicles contained 2-3 oocytes, but follicles containing up to 10 oocytes were also observed. When the number of oocytes was higher than 3, oocytes of various morphological appearances could be noticed within the follicle. These observations show that the presence of MOFs can affect the number of oocytes recovered in assisted reproductive protocols and may also influence the ovulation rate and prolificity of these animals.