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Uterine Abnormalities in Dogs

Subinvolution of Placental Sites in Dogs

Involution of the uterus is the process by which the uterus contracts to its non-pregnant size after the delivery of the young. This usually takes 12-15 weeks to complete. Subinvolution, on the other hand, is the failure or delay in this normal process. This problem is more common in female dogs that are younger than three years of age, and/or in dogs that have experienced their first litter. All breeds are equally susceptible to this problem.

This is usually not a significant health problem, but because it resembles other reproductive problems, it must be checked by a veterinarian and differentiated as such.

Symptoms and Types

Generally, no systemic signs are present in these dogs. The only complaint is a sticky discharge from the vulva (vaginal opening) that goes beyond the six-week postpartum period, which provokes the owner to seek medical advice.

Causes

Unknown, but young and/or inexperienced dogs appear to be at increased risk.

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian will take background medical history and will also conduct a physical examination to evaluate your dog's overall health. The results of the routine laboratory tests include a complete blood count (CBC), biochemistry profile, and urinalysis, all of which are typically normal in these patients. Diagnostic imaging should be used to view the internal abdomen; X-rays may reveal a thick walled uterus.

 
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