Reproductive system diseases
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REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM DISEASES. By Jeannie Stall, R.V.T. Credits: 1. Common Diseases of Companion Animals by Alleice Summers 2. Livestock Disease Prevention by Joe Harper Clip Art Candi Davis photo. Female Reproductive System . Two ovaries Oviducts Uterus Cervix Vagina Vulva.

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Reproductive system diseases


By Jeannie Stall, R.V.T.


1. Common Diseases of Companion Animals by Alleice Summers

2. Livestock Disease Prevention by Joe Harper

Clip Art

Candi Davis photo

Female reproductive system

Female Reproductive System

  • Two ovaries

  • Oviducts

  • Uterus

  • Cervix

  • Vagina

  • Vulva

Vaginal diseases

Vaginal Diseases

  • Juvenile Vaginitis:

    Common issue in young puppies

    Clinical signs: vulvar discharge

    Trt: Rx Systemic antibiotics

  • Adult Vaginitis:

    Causes: Viral, bacterial, anatomical issues, injury,

    contact irritants (chemical)



Due to exaggerated changes in normal hormones of a

non-pregnant female ( Progesterone & Prolactin)

Clinical signs: ~ 6-12 wks. post-estrus, wt. gain, enlarged mammary glands (even to the point of producing milk), & vaginal discharge, carry stuffed toys around, nesting, “mothering behavior”, ~ 1-3 wks. Duration

Cure: OHE sx.



  • Bacterial infection in the uterus

  • ~ Within 60 days of heat cycle

    Can be “Open” or “Closed”

    “Closed”- Cervix narrows d/t

    infection & inflammation, pus

    builds up/uterus can rupture

    “Open”- Infection drains via cervix

    Signs: Dehydration, Neutrophilic left shift, elev. ALK,BUN,TP

    Best Treatment : OHE sx. (dehydrated/azotemia concerns)

Pregnancy disorders

Pregnancy Disorders

Abortion- During gestation- Brucellosis - ZOONOTIC

Fetal Reabsorption- During gestation/viral

Fetal death- During gestation

Dystocia- K9/cats:> 4 hr. labor w/o birth,

difficult delivery/presentation (breech)/

> normal size, uterine fatigue, narrow

birth canal…..

Mastitis- Mammary gland inflam./infection

Puerperal tetany- Eclampsia

Inappropriate maternal behavior

Inappropriate Maternal Behavior

Aggressive (towards newborns)- Kill/cannibalize

Indifference- No licking/caring/warm snuggle

“Clutz” ( steps or lays on newborns)

  • Do not continue to breed this female

    “Cure” /Trt: OHE sx.

Lactation issues

Lactation Issues

Agalactia- No milk production

Galactostasis- Milk stasis (swollen mamm. glands)

Mastitis- Most common issue, septic inflammation of mamm. glands, single or

multiple gland involvement

Trt:Agalactia- Oxytocin

Mastitis-Rx antibiotics,

warm compresses, milk out glands

Male reproductive system

Male Reproductive System

Two testicles (Hopefully descended)

If not= Cryptorchid/ Exploratory Sx.

Duct system: Urethra, prostate gland, penis



Prostate gland issues

Prostate Gland Issues

Only accessory sex gland in dog-

Produces fluid to carry & protect sperm

Prostate Dz. more common in dog than cat

Hyperplasia issues seen intact males /

Hormones amplify issue- Advise neuter sx.

Prostatitis- Bacterial infection of gland

Trt: Long-term Rx of antibiotics

Best option: Neuter to decrease hormone levels




Testicular- More common in dogs

Cryptorchids & inguinal hernia cases more susceptible

Trt: Neuter sx.

Penile- Rare in cats and dogs, however……

Transmissible Venereal Tumor is seen in K9


Ovarian, Uterine, Cervical, Vaginal & Vulvar

Trt: Surgical removal along with OHE sx.

Mammary- K9 & cats / In K9, risk increases with each heat

Trt: Surgical removal along with OHE sx.

Equine reproduction

Equine Reproduction

Heat cycle every 21 days w/ 5-7 day estrus

Ovulate 24 – 48 hours before end of estrus

Only has a 60 – 75 % Reproductive efficiency

Cystic ovary = Colic-like symptoms

Trt: Banamine

Equine abortions

Equine Abortions

Causes: Bacterial or Viral


E. coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella, Actinobacillus

Clin. Signs:

Abortion, discharge, premature milk let-down,

Mare returns to estrus

Trt: Uterine Flush w/antibiotics

Rx Systemic antibiotics

Viral abortions

Viral Abortions

Most common cause: Equine Herpesvirus type-1 ( EHV-1 )

Most occur in last trimester (Day 224-336)

Involves multiple mares on same farm

Diagnosis- Isolate virus from aborted fetal tissues/placenta


Killed vx. administered to preg. mares

@ 5, 7 & 9 mo. of gestation

Contagious equine metritis

Contagious Equine Metritis

Cause: Gram - bacteria : Talorellaequigenitalis

Passed from Stallion to mare at breeding

Clin. Signs: Lg. vol. discharge 10 to 14 days post breeding

Diagnosis: Bacterial C/S samples (Stud & Mare)

Trt: Chlorhexidine flush SID x 7 days-Stud/Mare

Antibiotics not greatly effective



Difficult labor & birth- Usually w/ 1st foal

2nd stage of labor (rupture of amniotic sac to foal delivery)

- should be < 20 min., as placenta breaks from maternal

blood supply early in labor process

Causes: Large foal for mare’s size , Twins

Malpresentation (Breech,Twisted)

Trt: Re-position foal/ Fetotomy/ C-section

> Risk of loosing mare & foal



4 classifications: the classification number = barren risk

Causes: Freq. breedings / chronic infections

ie: E.coli, Streptococcus zooepidemicus, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella,

Anatomical vulva issues/ STD’s / Old age tissue changes

Clinical signs: +/- vulvar discharge, Failure to conceive

Fluid accumulation in uterus

Trt: Uterine lavage w/ antibiotics , Rx Oxytocin,

Sx. correction of anatomical issues (Caslick’s operation)

Retained placenta

Retained Placenta

Placenta (afterbirth) should pass 3 – 6 hours post foaling

Retained due to dystocia, torn placenta, ineffective contractions

Clin. signs: Vaginal discharge, Placental membranes extending

from vulva > 3 hrs. post foaling,

Laminitis > 48 hours post foaling, systemic illness

Trt: Oxytocin to stimulate uterine contractions , lavage,

systemic antibiotics, Banamine to bind endotoxins

Ovarian tumors

Ovarian Tumors

Clin. signs:

Granulosa cell = Constant estrus

Thecal cell = Aggressive behavior


Very Painful - Use caution when working w/ mare !!!!

Trt: Sx. to excise ovary

Uterine issues

Uterine issues

Uterine Artery Rupture: Rare but life threatening

Causes: Friable tissues in older mare,

straining during foaling, fetal pressure

Trt: Sedation, dark & quiet stall,

Guarded Prognosis d/t potential “bleed out”

Uterine Prolapse: Seen after rough delivery -

mare continues to strain

Trt: Apply Hypertonic saline to moisten & “shrink” tissue to

facilitate re-insertion of uterus

Rx Oxytocin , Sedation/anesth. , Systemic Ab.

Rectal tear

Rectal Tear

Graded on I - IV scale ( IV most severe )

Causes: Foaling injury or rectal palpation injury (most often)

  • ALWAYS Discuss rectal palpation procedure’s risk factor

    with horse’s owner PRIOR TO Rectal exam!!

    Clin. signs: Blood on palpation sleeve, colic symptoms,


    Trt: Emergency surgical repair of tear / Rx Banamine,

    +/- IV fluids / Feed soft, wet diet

Fescue toxicosis

Fescue Toxicosis

Ingestion of endophyte-infested tall fescue grasses (Ergovaline)

Creates vasoconstriction & prolactin inhibition

Clin. signs: Extended gestation (up to 13 months),

dysmature foals ( sm. for gestestional age),

thickened placentas, agalactia,

weak foals d/t lack of colostrum

Trt: Take mares off fescue pastures 60-90 days before foaling,

Assist mare w/foaling, Tube feed foal,

Provide colostrum to foal,

Domperidone (Dopamine antaganist)

Stallion reproductive issues

Stallion Reproductive Issues

Cryptorchid: One/both testes not descended into scrotum

by 6 mo. - 2 yrs. of age

Just as in other species, DO NOT use this male for breeding

Castration required. MUST remove retained testicle, also.

Penile tumors: Likely squamous cell carcinoma / sarcoid

Penile paralysis: Non-retractable penis

Causes: Rx Acepromazine,

Sacral nerve injury (3rd-4th), Trauma

Rabies / EHV-1

Sheep goats cattle

Sheep ,Goats & Cattle

Dystocia - No progression of labor within 30 minutes

Due to: Malpresentation, Uterine fatigue caused by large fetus or multiple births, Undilated cervix (“ringwomb”),

Prolapses-Uterine & vaginal > common in sheep than goats. * Hypocalcemia a factor in uterine prolapses

* Nutritional issues a factor in vaginal prolapses

Trt: Hyperosmotic solution to shrink tissue for replacement,

purse-string suture or similar device



******** ZOONOTIC ISSUES ********* 

Campylobacter (Vibriosis): Route of transmission = ingested

Still births, late-term abortions, weak lambs

Trt: Penicillin, Streptomycin, Tetracycline

Chlamydia psittaci(Chlamydia): Transmitted via uterine fluids

Pigeons & sparrows are reservoirs.

Trt: Tetracycline (esp. in late gestation)

Brucella sp. (Brucellosis): A.K.A. “Bang’s Dz.” in cattle

Transmitted via ingestion, localizes in tissues & can pass in sperm

Trt: NONE -- Cull infected animals from flock or herd !!!


Zoonotic issues






Udder inflammation :

Infectious :(E.coli, Klebsiella, Mycoplasma or Pseudomonas) or


Clin. signs: Swollen, red, warm udder / Septicemia

Thick, discolored milk/ Gangrenous udder

Trt: C/S results for best Ab. choice

Intramammary infusions

Systemic Ab.

Severe cases = Sx. amputation

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