What is uterine prolapse?
Uterine prolapse is a life-threatening condition in female animals which describes the protrusion of the uterus. The uterus is a muscular organ that has the role of supporting the development of the embryo and fetus. Uterine prolapse is a rare condition when it comes to small animals and is more often seen in large animals like cows and horses. In small animal veterinary medicine is more often seen in cats rather than in dogs.
Uterine prolapse in dogs and cats is seen almost immediately after parturition (giving birth) and very rarely after spontaneous abortions.
What are the main causes of uterine prolapse?
- dystocia, or difficult birth
- excessive straining by the animal
- inflammation of the uterus
- retained placental tissue
- forced extraction of the fetus, usually by the hand of an untrained human
- pulling of the fetal membranes by force after giving birth
- sometimes, by unknown, idiopathic reasons
Treatment of uterine prolapse
If the animal is of economic value and the prolapsed tissue seems vital then the veterinarian will try to clean the tissue and put it back inside. Most commonly when there is extensive damage to the tissue, an ovariohysterectomy is performed in order to save the animal’s life. There is a third option, a partial amputation and leaving the viable part of the uterus intact for future breeding but this is not recommended.
In the video below, you can see a surgical procedure to fix a uterine prolapse in a shelter dog.
If you liked this video, check out “Feline Intestinal Anastomosis Resection” on our blog.