Clinical Signs of Pyometra in Production Animals
Pyometra is characterized by the accumulation of purulent or mucopurulent exudate in the uterus. In cows, it is invariably accompanied by the persistence of an active corpus luteum and interruption of the estrous cycle. In affected mares, the cervix is often fibrotic, inelastic, affected with transluminal adhesions, or otherwise impaired. Mares may continue to cycle regularly, or the cycle may be interrupted. Discharge from the genital tract may be absent or intermittent and corresponding to periods of estrus. In general, affected animals do not exhibit any systemic signs of illness, but affected mares may be in poor condition. In both cows and mares, pyometra must be distinguished carefully from pregnancy before beginning treatment.
Treatment of Pyometra in Production Animals
In cows, the treatment of choice for pyometra is the administration of PGF2-alpha or its analogs at normal luteolytic doses. Expulsion of exudate and bacterial clearance of the uterus follows in ~80% of treated cases. Although the first-service conception rate after treatment may be low, most cows may be expected to conceive within three or four inseminations. The treatment may need to be repeated in ~20% of cows. No intrauterine treatment is recommended in conjunction with the prostaglandin.
In mares, lavage of the uterus using large volumes of fluid is recommended; however, the condition frequently recurs, and permanent cure in these cases requires hysterectomy or wedge resection of the cervix to allow continual uterine drainage, a salvage procedure that allows the continued use of the mare but renders it infertile.
Pyometra is seen in small ruminants, swine, and other species; diagnosis is rendered more difficult by animal size and management practices. If pyometra is diagnosed, evacuation of the uterus is recommended.
The major uterine diseases affecting production animal species are metritis Metritis in Production Animals In cows, metritis is a common polymicrobial disease, especially within the first 2 weeks after parturition. Acute puerperal metritis refers to a severe postpartum uterine infection that results... read more , endometritis Endometritis in Production Animals Endometritis is defined as an inflammatory disease that affects the endometrium, leading to accumulation of purulent contents or sometimes just polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs). In cows, the disease... read more , and pyometra Pyometra in Production Animals Pyometra is characterized by the accumulation of purulent or mucopurulent exudate in the uterus. In cows, it is invariably accompanied by the persistence of an active corpus luteum and interruption... read more .
Acute puerperal metritis is characterized by an enlarged uterus and fetid, watery, reddish-brownish uterine discharge with signs of illness such as decreased milk production, inappetence, depression, and fever.
Contagious equine metritis, an acute venereal infection caused by Taylorella equigenitalis, is a reportable disease.