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Ruminant Science 2012; 1(2): 117-119

Hydrometra in goats (Capra hircus): Clinical analysis of 26 cases G N Purohit* and J S Mehta Department of Veterinary Gynecology and Obstetrics, College of Veterinary and Animal Science, Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Bikaner Rajasthan India 334001 Corresponding author email: gnpobs@gmail.com Abstract Hydrometra was diagnosed in 26 goats aged 3 to 6 years at our referral centre from 2001 to 2011. Seven goats presented for pregnancy evaluation were diagnosed to have hydrometra by the ultrasonographic presence of anechoic fluid without fetus and cotyledons at least 40 days after mating. These goats were treated with an IM injection of 125 g of a prostaglandin (Prostodin, Astra Zeneca Pharma) and the uterine fluid was evacuated within 24-48 h of treatment. Clinical diagnosis of hydrometra in another 19 goats presented was based on discharge of copious watery vaginal fluid without presence/ delivery of fetus and its annexes. It was concluded that hydrometra in goats can be diagnosed easily by the sonographic appearance of fluid after 40 days of mating or discharge of plenty of watery fluid discharge without delivery/presence of fetus and its annexes. Key words: Goat, hydrometra, prostaglandins, psuedopregnancy, ultrasonography.

Introduction Hydrometra is an accumulation of aseptic fluid in the uterine lumen devoid of a viable conceptus, but a persistent corpus luteum (Pieterse and Taverne, 1986; Taverne et al, 1995). The volume of fluid can range from less than 1 to more than 8 litres (Mialot et al, 1991). Psuedopregnancy is regarded as being synonymous with hydrometra (Guss, 1977; East, 1983). The affected does are anestrus with elevated progesterone levels often approximating 5 months (Smith, 1986). The condition can occur in unmated anestrus does, both outside and during the breeding season (Taverne et al, 1995). The accumulated uterine fluid is discharged (so-called cloud burst) once the prolonged luteal phase spontaneously comes to an end (Taverne et al, 1995). Lactogenesis occurs in conjunction with such a cloud burst. Hydrometra has been recorded previously in farm settings (Hesselink, 1993a; Wittek et al, 1997; Wittek et al, 1998; Lopes Junior et al, 2004) and clinical data analysis (Purohit et al, 2006). This report records 26 clinical cases of hydrometra in goats at a clinical referral center. Case analysis Retrospective data analysis of goats presented to this referral center (2001-2011) for reproductive clinical complaints revealed that out of 425 goats presented 26 cases (6.12%) were of hydrometra. Goats affected with hydrometra were brought either for reference because of copious watery/mucoid discharge without fetal delivery (n=19) or for pregnancy
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Ruminant Science 2012; 1(2): 117-119


diagnosis (n=7). The age of goats varied from 3 to 6 years. On clinical examination of goats with profuse vaginal discharge fetus was not palpable in any of the goats and 42.10% (8/19) goats evidenced a well developed udder. Streaks of blood were evident in 5.26% of the goats examined. On trans-abdominal ultrasonographic examination (using 4.25 MHz sector transducer Toshbro Shimadzu, Japan) only one goat evidenced slight fluid accumulation in the uterus (Fig 1) whereas all other goats had already discharged the fluid when presented. Clinical therapy in these goats was not specific except an advice to milk the does with well developed udders and refer does subsequently for routine pregnancy diagnosis. A total of 110 goats were referred for pregnancy evaluations during the study period and only 7 goats were found to have hydrometra. Two of these goats showed abdominal enlargement. The diagnosis was based on the presence of fluid in the uterine lumen at least 40 days after mating, in the absence of a fetus and placentomes as described previously (Haibel, 1990; Harsh et al, 2008). Anechoic fluid sacculations could be visualized (Fig 2). These goats were treated with IM administration of 125 g of a prostaglandin carboprost tromethamine (Prostodin, Astra Zeneca Pharma, Bangalore, India). The treated goats discharged the fluid within 24-48 hours of administration of the prostaglandin with an uneventful recovery. Discussion The incidence of hydrometra recorded in previous studies varies from 5.78% (Wittek et al., 1997) to 30.4% (Lopes Junior et al, 2004). In our own previous clinical data evaluation the incidence was 14.3% (Purohit et al, 2006). The incidence of psudeopregnancy in the whole goat population during two consecutive years was 2.04 and 2.88 percent in one study (Mialot et al, 1991). During the present study the age of goats ranged from 3 to 6 years. It has been shown previously that hydrometra is more prevalent in aged goats (Mialot et al, 1991; Hesselink et al, 1993a). The etiology of hydrometra continues to be poorly understood. The role of prolactin in the development of hydrometra in goats has been stressed in some studies (Taverne et al, 1988; Taverne et al, 1995) but not validated in other studies (Kornalijnslijper et al, 1997) which failed to observe any difference in the plasma prolactin of normal and pseudopregnant goats. It has been suggested that fetal death with subsequent fetal resorption and a persistent CL can probably result in hydrometra (Wittek et al, 1998) but the fact that the condition has been observed in unmated anestrus does (Taverne et al, 1995) does not validate this hypothesis. During the present study also 3 household goats kept in close confinement developed hydrometra. Active immunization of Saanen goats against prostaglandin resulted in extension of the lifespan of the CL and development of hydrometra in a proportion of goats (Taverne et al, 1995) suggesting a probable role of mechanisms blocking the release of the uterine luteolysin prostaglandin in the development of hydrometra in goats. The uterine fluid accumulations could be easily evacuated by a single IM administration of a prostaglandin during the present study. It has been previously suggested that the uterine fluid accumulations in goats can be effectively evacuated by the administration of prostaglandins (Hesselink, 1993b; Wittek et al, 1997; Purohit et al, 2006; Purohit et al, 2012) however; the
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prostaglandin used in this study has not been reported previously. It was concluded that in a clinical setting hydrometra in goats can be identified by the sudden discharge of large amount of fluid without fetal presence or its delivery or sonographic presence of fluid without fetus or placentomes 40 days post mating and fluid in the uterus can be effectively evacuated by the administration of prostaglandins. References East NE (1983). Pregnancy toxaemia, abortions and periparturient diseases. The Veterinary Clinics of North America 5:601. Guss SB (1977). management and diseases of dairy goats. Scottsdale, Arizona Dairy Goat Journal Publishing Corporation. Haibel GK (1990) Use of ultrasonography in reproductive management of sheep and goat herds. Veterinary Clinics of North America Food Animal Practice 6:597-613. Harsh MM, Sharma SS and Purohit GN (2008). Sonographic findings during pregnancy in ewes. Veterinary Practitioner 9:17-18. Hesselink JW (1993a). Incidence of hydrometra in dairy goats. Veterinary Record 132:110112. Hesselink JW (1993b). Hydrometra in dairy goats: reproductive performance after treatment with prostaglandins. Veterinary Record 133:186-187. Kornalijnslijper JE, Kemp B, Bevers MM, Van Oord HA and Taverne MAM (1997). Plasma prolactin, growth hormone and progesterone concentrations in pseudopregnant, hysterectomized and pregnant goats. Animal Reproduction Science 49:169-178. Lopes Junior ES, Cruz JF, Teixeira DI, Lima Verde JB, Paula NR, Rodnina D and Freitas VJ (2004). Pusedopregnancy in Saanen goats (Capra hircus) raised in Northeast Brazil. Veterinary Research Communications 28:119-125. Mialot JP, Soboureau L, Gueraud JM, Prengere E, Parezot D, Pirot G, Desquesnel R, Petat M and Chemineau P (1991). La psuedogestation chez la chevre. Observations preliminaries. Record Medicine Veterinary 167:383-390. Pieterse MC and Taverne MAM (1986). Hydrometra in goats: Diagnosis with real time ultrasound and treatment with prostaglandin or oxytoicin. Theriogenology 26:813821. Purohit GN, Gupta AK, Gaur M, Sharma A and Bihani D (2006). Periparturient disorders in goats: a retrospective analysis of 324 cases. Dairy Goat Journal 84:24-33. Purohit GN, Shekher C, Kumar P and Solanki K (2012). Induced termination of pregnancy in domestic farm animals. Iranian Journal of Applied Animal Science 2:1-12.

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