Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Uterine lavage

Contributor(s): Ash Phipps , John Tulloch

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Introduction

  • Uterine lavage using saline or a disinfectant is used in for the treatment of uterine disease.
  • The aim of treatment should be to assist the uterus to physically clear infection with minimal trauma to the tissues.
  • Disinfectants that have been used include iodine, chlorhexidine, and cresol derivatives.
  • The disinfectants result in irritation of the uterine wall (endometrial necrosis) which invokes prostaglandin release with subsequent luteolysis and return to estrus with 4-7 days.
  • If there is a corpus luteum present on either ovary at the time of examination and treatment, it is recommended to treat the cow systemically with prostaglandin F2α at the time of uterine lavage.
  • Animals with systemic signs of illness associated with clinical metritis and endometritis will require additional supportive therapies.

Uses

  • To assist in the treatment of metritis, clinical (toxic) metritis, clinical and subclinical endometritis.

Advantages

  • Relatively easy and inexpensive treatment option.  
  • Minimal effect on the endometrial tissues.
  • No milk withhold period will be required to be up on the cow.

Disadvantages

  • Risk of introducing contamination to the vagina and uterus during treatment.
  • Risk of damage to the endometrium that may impact future fertility, especially with high doses of iodine. 

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Good to fair.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • Dini P, Farhoodi M, Hostens M, Van Eetvelde M et al (2015) Effect of uterine lavage on neutrophil counts in postpartum dairy cowsAnimal reproduction science158, pp 25-30 PubMed.
  • Reddy N C S, Bramhaiah K V, Naidu K S & Kumar R V S (2012) Effect of uterine lavage on bacterial count and conception rate in repeat breeder crossbred cows. Indian J. Anim. Reprod 33, pp 59-61.
  • Kasimanickam R, Duffield T F. Foster R A, Gartley C J et al (2005) A comparison of the cytobrush and uterine lavage techniques to evaluate endometrial cytology in clinically normal postpartum dairy cows. Can Vet J, 46 (3), pp 255-259 PubMed.
  • Gilbert R O, Shin S T, Guard C L & Erb H N (1998) Incidence of endometritis and effects on reproductive performance of dairy cows. Theriogenology, 49 (1), pp 251.
  • Pulfer K W & Riese R L (1991) Treatment of Postpartum Metritis in Dairy Cows. Iowa State University Veterinarian 53 (1), pp 6.

Other sources of information

  • Noakes D E (2009) Arthur's veterinary reproduction and obstetrics. 9th Edn. Elsevier Health Sciences.


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