What is Uterine Prolapse Reduction?
Uterine prolapse reduction is a procedure used in dogs when part of the uterus is visible at the opening of the vagina. This condition most often develops soon after giving birth, particularly if labor was strained or difficult.
The goal of a uterine prolapse reduction is to manually place the uterus back in the abdomen to prevent infection, tissue death (necrosis), and other complications. Spaying the dog is commonly recommended after uterine prolapse, as the condition may recur as long as the uterus is intact.
Uterine Prolapse Reduction Procedure in Dogs
Prior to a uterine prolapse reduction, the veterinarian will want to perform a physical exam. In addition to the exam, there may also be other recommendations. These recommendations may include: blood work, urine culture, x-rays, and/or ultrasounds. These are usually recommended to ensure there are no underlying causes for the uterine prolapse and to check for infection or other complications.
Uterine prolapse reduction can be used as long as the dog’s uterus appears healthy. As long as the dog is not going to be used for breeding in the future, this procedure is quite simple. Prior to the uterine prolapse reduction the dog will receive anesthesia.
Once under anesthesia, the veterinarian will begin the procedure. If most of the uterus is visible, it is cleaned with a sterile lubricant. Then the veterinarian will gently push the uterus back up into the abdomen.
Sometimes it isn’t easy to access the uterus in order to replace it. As a result, the veterinarian may need to perform what is called an episiotomy. This is where the vagina opening must be enlarged with a scalpel.
In most cases, veterinarians will require all uterine prolapse reduction patients to stay at the veterinary clinic for at least 24 hours. This will give the veterinarian a chance to monitor the dog following the procedure.
Follow-up appointments will depend on how detailed the surgery was. In most cases, veterinarians will require a return visit about two to four weeks following surgery.
Efficacy of Uterine Prolapse Reduction in Dogs
Uterine prolapse reduction in dogs is effective for a short time. Many dogs who undergo the procedure will experience another uterine prolapse, unless the uterus is removed via ovariohysterectomy (spaying).
Some owners decide they want to continue to breed their dog after uterine prolapse. In this case, an invasive abdominal surgery may be done to help achieve a complete reduction to the prolapse.
Even following abdominal surgery for uterine prolapse, the condition may return.
Sometimes the uterus tissues may become damaged and even die. In severe cases like this, completely removing the uterus is the best choice. This requires an abdominal surgery. In addition to removing the uterus, the ovaries are also removed for a full spay procedure.
Uterine Prolapse Reduction Recovery in Dogs
After uterine prolapse reduction the dog must be monitored. It is also important to keep the dog from licking the vaginal area. In order to achieve this, you’ll need to make the dog wear an Elizabethan collar.
When a uterine prolapse occurs, veterinarians usually prescribe an antibiotic prior to the reduction procedure. Sometimes an antibiotic is also prescribed following surgery to prevent or treat infection.
Follow-up for uterine prolapse reduction in dogs depends on how involved the procedure was. In most cases, veterinarians like to see dogs return for a follow-up visit around two to four weeks following treatment.
Cost of Uterine Prolapse Reduction in Dogs
Uterine prolapse reduction can be an expensive treatment in dogs. Reducing the uterine prolapse itself may range between $300 to $2,000, depending on whether surgical intervention is required and if treatment is sought on an emergency basis. The price of the treatment will also depend on the cost of living in your area and where the procedure is being done.
There are other cost factors in addition to the uterine prolapse reduction procedure. These may include veterinary exams, blood work, imaging, medications, and/or urine cultures.
Dog Uterine Prolapse Reduction Considerations
Uterine prolapse reduction combined with spaying a female dog results in the best outcome for a dog with uterine prolapse. A prolapsed uterine can be dangerous. In some cases, the uterine prolapse may block the dog’s ability to urinate. As a result, it’s important to correct the prolapse as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, unless the dog is spayed, there is a high chance for the uterus to prolapse again. In general, most dogs do not experience any additional complications following treatment.
Uterine Prolapse Reduction Prevention in Dogs
It may be difficult to prevent uterine prolapse, as it may not be predictable in dogs who have not previously experienced the condition. Careful monitoring of a dog while giving birth and shortly after can help owners identify birthing complications and potential prolapse early, so veterinary intervention can be sought. Early treatment can reduce the likelihood of complications that may call for surgical intervention or permanent sterilization through spaying. Spaying the dog is the only way to make sure that another uterine prolapse does not occur again.