This a condition that is known to happen in female dogs and can often scare the owners, but with a simple procedure it can be easily fixed, if it is treated on time. The procedure that is used to correct this condition is called uterine prolapse reduction and the purpose of it is to manually return the prolapsed uterus to its place, so that necrosis and infection are prevented.
Uterine prolapse is when the uterus, which is a hollow organ that holds the fetus, passes through the vaginal opening and sticks outside. It usually happens after the bitch gives birth to puppies or when a spontaneous abortion happens.
When does it happen in dogs and what are the clinical signs that owners notice?
There are several different reasons why the uterus may protrude from the vagina. Among the most common reasons are:
-forced fetal extraction, especially when the fetus needs to be removed manually
-during uterine inflation which is the result of different reasons
–after birth, when there is retained piece of the placenta
-idiopathic, meaning that there is no known cause for the protrusion
A prolapsed uterus is something that owners notice very easily. Whenever they see their dog licking nervously in the genital area and something pink and unusual is popping outside, they are quick to react and bring their dog to the vet. Other signs include the dog trying to bite itself there, the presence of vaginal discharge, and abdominal pain.
How is uterine prolapse diagnosed?
When the dog is brought to the vet’s office, the first thing they are going to do is a full physical examination. Then they draw out blood for a complete blood count and biochemistry profile. In most cases, the results are within normal range, but there may be signs that are pointing to an infection.
Other examinations included vaginal examination, using a vaginoscopy. The vet needs to be able to differentiate between vaginal and uterine prolapse. In older dogs, the vet may recommend taking a sample for biopsy, just so that cancer can be excluded.
The vet will most certainly perform an ultrasound examination and they may recommend doing x-rays as well.
How is uterine prolapse treated?
The procedure of uterine prolapse reduction is often used to correct this condition, but for that, the dog needs to be healthy. When the dog is put under anesthesia, the first thing that the vet does is clean the exposed uterus, and after that using gentle pressure the uterus is pushed back into the abdomen.
If the bitch is not used in breeding, the vet may also perform or recommend for the dog to be neutered. The reason for that is that this condition may reoccur. However, if the owners want to breed their dog again, then a more complicated surgery may need to be performed, involving a major abdominal opening and sewing of the uterus in place.
The procedure may cost the owner somewhere between $500 and $2000.