Post-Partum Problems in Canines

Topics: Childbirth, Uterus, Vagina Pages: 11 (3997 words) Published: April 18, 2012
International Congress on “Modern Concepts in Canine Health and Diseases of Human Concern” and IX Annual Convention of Indian Society for Advancement of Canine Practice 9th-11th February 2012 Bikaner Rajasthan India Compendium page 139-144

Management of post partum genital complications in the bitch

G N Purohit1, DK Bihani2 and AA Gauri3
1Department of Veterinary Gynecology and Obstetrics
2 Department of Veterinary Medicine College of Veterinary and Animal science Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Science
Bikaner Rajasthan 334001


The post-partum period in the bitch is different from other domestic animals and so are the post-partum genital complications. The incidence of post- partum complications in the bitch appear to be low and two complications appear to be most frequent; the sub-involution of placental sites and metritis. Eclampsia is a metabolic disorder of the post partum period commonly affecting poorly managed bitches and is common in the Pomeranian breed. Placental retention, uterine prolapse/rupture and vaginitis are infrequent in the bitch and their clinical diagnosis is often complicated. Bitch owners and clinicians often prefer ovariohysterectomy when complications do not respond to usual therapy. The incidence, diagnosis and therapeutic approaches for the common genital post-partum complications of the bitch are described.

Key Words: Bitch, eclampsia, metritis, SIPS, uterine prolapse.

Canine post-partum problems are different from other domestic animals. The parturition is prolonged in the bitch (second stage of labor sometimes requiring up to 24 hours) hence the first thing a clinician must look for is the presence of any fetus. A novice owner may think that the whelping is completed when the bitch is taking rest after delivery of a few fetuses and would be worried when the bitch is again straining to deliver the remaining pups. Alternatively, a bitch may deliver a part of the litter and then show no signs of delivery although she may still have some pups retained. In canines, normal postpartum discharge is dark green or greenish black in colour for the first 1 to 2 days which then becomes bloody and persists for 1 or 2 weeks or even up to 1 month. There is usually a lot of discharge for the first 5 to 7 days. It should gradually decrease in volume and become thick and clear or grey by day 10. Abnormal, excessive or foul smelling vaginal discharge may indicate an infection. Discharge having an offensive odour, bright red colour, profuse or lasting longer than 3 weeks requires immediate attention. Post partum haemorrhage

Some degree of post-partum haemorrhage is inevitable but when the blood loss is profuse it is a matter of serious concern. True maternal blood loss should never exceed a slow drip from the vulva and any level greater than this should be investigated (Jackson, 2004). Uterine or vaginal injury resulting from the treatment of dystocia is the most likely source of blood loss. The anterior vagina can only be inspected if a long speculum or paediatric endoscope is available. The bleeding points in the vagina when accessible should be located and standard haemostatic procedures adopted. However, when this is not possible cotton wool soaked with adrenaline must be placed in the vagina. Blood loss when suspected to be of uterine origin, a dose of oxytocin would be helpful in reducing the size of the uterus and stopping the bleeding. Incidence

The incidence of the post partum complications in the bitch appears to be low. At our referral centre the number of bitches presented with some or other complications was merely 17 in a period of two years (Table 1). All except one bitch presented for therapy of eclampsia were of the Pomeranian breed. Retained foetal membrane

This is not a common condition in the bitch but may be difficult to diagnose. Placentae are usually passed within 15 min of a birth of a...
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