Diagnostic Services

Hormones associated with reproduction & adrenal function are easily measured non-invasively in urine and faeces and we've established an endocrine laboratory with the capacity to measure these hormones.

What kind of diagnostic questions can you answer using reproductive hormone assessment?

  • Are my animals seasonal breeders? 
  • Has my animal reached puberty? 
  • Is my animal cycling on a regular basis or is she acyclic? 
  • When will be the optimal time for introduction of the female to the male? 
  • Is my animal pregnant? 
  • When will my animal give birth? 
  • Has the chosen method of contraception been effective?

For example, female black rhinos are very particular about when males can approach them for breeding; therefore, introductions between the male and female need to be perfectly timed to avoid aggression.

The above graph illustrates how we were able to use faecal hormone assessment to successfully time the introduction of the male and female rhino, diagnose pregnancy and predict parturition (giving birth). The result was a healthy baby black rhino.

What kind of diagnostic questions can you answer using adrenal hormone assessment?

Adrenal hormone (or ‘stress hormone’) analysis is commonly used in assessing animal welfare. The Reproduction & Welfare Research Unit offers assays to measure these hormones but usually only as part of a collaborative research project. You can find examples of published research using hormone assessments here.

Our hormone assays can be used for a wide range of wildlife and domestic species. Please view some examples of species we have worked with.

Please contact us before sending any samples for analysis.

Useful downloads

You can also download a sample submission form here: Word .doc version or PDF version

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