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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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

  • Two ovaries

  • Oviducts

  • Uterus

  • Cervix

  • Vagina

  • Vulva

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

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

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

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

Two testicles (Hopefully descended)

If not= Cryptorchid/ Exploratory Sx.

Duct system: Urethra, prostate gland, penis



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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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 !!!






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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