Postpartum metritis in Dogs (Canis) | Vetlexicon
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Postpartum metritis

ISSN 2398-2942


Synonym(s): Acute metritis

Introduction

  • Cause: most commonly Gram-negative bacteria.
  • Signs: acute postpartum illness in the bitch.
  • Diagnosis: uterine discharge, cytology and culture, abdominal ultrasound.
  • Treatment: antibiotics and uterine ecbolics, supportive care.
  • Prognosis: generally good.

Presenting signs

  • Acute infection of the postpartum uterus should be suspected if maternal lethargy, anorexia, decreased lactation and poor mothering are reported and are accompanied by fever and malodorous vulvar discharge.

Age predisposition

  • Unlike pyometra Pyometra, not reported to have increased incidence with age.

Breed/Species predisposition

  • Can be associated with dystocia Dystocia.
  • Brachycephalic dog breeds could be predisposed, as could females with smaller than normal litter size and/or oversized fetuses from prolonged gestation.

Public Health considerations

  • Human exposure to bacterial pathogens.
  • Good hygiene indicated when handling the bitch, nest materials and newborns.

Cost considerations

  • Moderate.

Special risks

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Overgrowth of the causative bacteria in the uterine wall and lumen, most commonly E. coli Escherichia coli.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Endometritis is serious and sometimes preceded by dystocia Dystocia, contaminated obstetrical manipulations, or retained fetuses and/or placentae Retention of fetal membranes and fetus.
  • In some cases no predisposing factor can be identified.

Specific

  • Recent (within less than a week, usually 2-3 days) whelping.

Pathophysiology

  • Bacteria normally found in → uterus → proliferate in lochia → endotoxin release → :
    • Interference with ADH (see pyometra complex Pyometra ) → dehydration, uremia.
    • Pathogen chemotaxis → neutrophilia → pooling of neutrophils in uterus → left shift leukogram.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Lection J, Cornelius A J, Moxon R et al (2021) Incidence and risk factors for canine mastitis and metritis in two guide dog populations. Anim Repro Sci. 231,106802 PubMed.
  • Rosenberg L M, Marinoff J, Crouch E E et al (2020) Uterine perforation secondary to metritis and placenta percreta in a postpartum bitch. Can Vet J 61 (6), 584 PubMed.
  • Fresno L, Marco A, Calvo M A et al (2014) Fibrino-purulent necrotizing metritis as a post-surgical complication after a prolonged delivery in a bitch: a case report. Int J Vet Med Res Rep IBIMA.
  • Orfanou C D, Ververidis N H, Fthenakis C G (2008) Post-partum pathological conditions in the bitch-Part I. J Hell Vet Med Soc 59 (2), 111-25 eJournals.
  • Orfanou D C, Ververidis H N, Boscos C M, Fthenakis G C (2010) Post-partum pathological conditions in the bitch-Part II. J Hell Vet Med Soc 59 (2), 126 Mendeley.
  • Davidson A P & Baker T W (2009) Reproductive ultrasound of the bitch and queen. Topics comp anim med 24 (2), 55-63 PubMed.
  • Davidson A P, Baker T W (2009) Reproductive ultrasound of the bitch and queen. Topics comp anim med 24 (2), 64-70 PubMed.
  • Grundy S A & Davidson A P (2004) Theriogenology question of the month. J Am Vet Med Assoc 224 (6), 844-7 PubMed.
  • Ferretti L M, Newell S M, Graham J P, Roberts G D (2000) Radiographic and ultrasonographic evaluation of the normal feline postpartum uterus. Veterinary radiology & ultrasound. 41 (3), 287-91 PubMed.
  • Watts J R & Wright P J (1995) Investigating uterine disease in the bitch: uterine cannulation for cytology, microbiology and hysteroscopy. JSAP 36 (5), 201-206 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Schlafer D H 2012 Diseases of the canine uterus. Reproduction in Domestic Animals. pp318-322.
  • Davidson A (2010) Problems during and after parturition. BSAVA manual of canine and feline reproduction and neonatology. pp. 121-134.
  • Magne M L (1986) Acute metritis in the bitch. Current Therapy in Theriogenology. 2nd edn. Morrow D A (ed). London: W B Saunders.