What are Uterine Abnormalities?
Involution of the uterus is the healing process that occurs at placental sites, which are sites where the fetuses’ placentas fasten themselves to the wall of the uterus. The endometrium restores itself to the non-pregnant condition after the placenta detaches from the uterine wall as the puppies are born. This usually doesn’t take longer than five months. However, this process is sometimes delayed or doesn’t happen at all. Subinvolution affects all breeds, typically occurring in dogs under the age of three and/or in dogs that have given birth for the first time. Dogs with subinvolution often appear completely healthy, exhibiting no signs of pain or discomfort. The prognosis is positive, with the condition rarely recurring after subsequent pregnancies. In some cases, your veterinarian will advise you to spay your pet in order to resolve the problem permanently.
Subinvolution of placental sites in female dogs is a condition characterized by the failure of the uterus to shrink back to its normal size following pregnancy and delivery. It’s a fairly common health problem in dogs, with most canines making a speedy recovery.
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Symptoms of Uterine Abnormalities in Dogs
Subinvolution of placental sites is not that easy to recognizes, as dogs usually show no signs of the condition. The only noticeable symptom is a sticky, pinkish vulvar discharge that can be seen even after the six-week postpartum period.
Causes of Uterine Abnormalities in Dogs
The underlying cause of subinvolution is unknown.
Diagnosis of Uterine Abnormalities in Dogs
Due to the fact that there are no obvious symptoms of the condition, your veterinarian should examine your dog several weeks after postpartum. It’s also important to take your dog to your vet if you notice the pinkish discharge from the vulva, as this could be a sign of other reproductive problems.
In order to diagnose subinvolution of placental sites, your veterinarian will first examine your dog to assess your dog’s general health. The veterinary caregiver will then proceed to rule out other illnesses and confirm the condition. Your veterinarian will, therefore, conduct a number of tests to exclude diseases such as brucellosis, uterus infections and inflammation.
Once other illnesses have been eliminated from consideration, the veterinary team will perform several diagnostic tests to evaluate the size of your dog’s uterus and make sure that retained fetuses or placental material are not causing the problem. These include x-rays, abdominal ultrasound and abdominal palpation. Your veterinarian will also order a complete blood count biochemistry profile and urinalysis, but these tests are usually normal in dogs with subinvolution of placental sites. However, a blood count may reveal that your dog is anemic or has an infection.
Treatment of Uterine Abnormalities in Dogs
Sometimes, dogs can recover on their own before or during the estrus cycle. However, if the condition doesn’t resolve naturally, your veterinarian will have to treat your dog. If complications occur, your dog will be anemic and might need a blood transfusion. Keep in mind that there are usually no complications.
If you plan to breed your dog again in the future, your veterinarian will monitor your dog’s recovery until there’s no more discharge. You will have to consult the clinic when you decide to breed your dog, but most dogs experience no problems during and after subsequent pregnancies. On the other hand, if you don’t want to breed your dog again or if the condition is jeopardizing their overall health, your veterinarian will recommend sterilization. Spay surgery, which includes removing both the ovaries and the uterus, might be the best option for some dogs.
Recovery of Uterine Abnormalities in Dogs
Since the most common complication associated with subinvolution is anemia, you have to look out for the symptoms of the condition, which include pale gums and lethargy. It’s also a good idea to conduct laboratory tests to make sure that your pet isn’t anemic. Your veterinarian will evaluate your dog’s discharge every week until it is gone. If the discharge starts to look like pus, a bacterial culture might be ordered. If the results of the culture are positive, your dog will receive antibiotics. If your dog has been spayed, they will most certainly recover without complications. In this case, keep your pet in a crate during the first night following the surgery, provide them a quiet room where they can rest until the anesthesia wears off and isolate them from children and other pets.