Have I made a boo boo? I'm breeding my mare in Feb. of next year, and had the vet out yesterday to do a culture just so we could fix any problem ahead of time incase she had one. He ultrasounded her as well for a reproductive soundness exam, but I'm not sure that what he said made sense... "her uterus looks & feels extremely healthy, along with her follicle"... and then he said, but she's infected. he said he could see the pus in her uterus?(ETA: he did not LOOK in her uterus lol, we were looking at the ultrasound when he said this) now this guy is younger, & if her culture comes back positive i'm taking her to a more competent vet to fix it.... but does this make sense? when i had her ultrasounded earlier this year, the vet(an actual repro. vet) said NOTHING about this "pus", and said she had the all clear.
so i come home, i'm reading up on cultures & what to do if they're infected etc, and i read that a culture is useless without a cytology smear, basically. my mare went out of heat today!
ergh... is it true? a culture is worthless without a cytology smear?
Jackie...Jos is the best one to answer this one but I know with my personal experience that in 2005 I had my mare have a repo check before breeding her. A Culture was done and came back clear we bred, she got pregnant and carried the foal full term to day 356 and delivered a still born filly, it was a red bag delivery, there was an infection in her uterus. Now there is no way to tell if it was there when we bred or sometime during the latter part of her pregnancy but I had a vet that specializes in reproduction and when we had her assessed for rebreeding she did a culture and a cytology smear, culture was fine but the smear showed an infection. She was flushed with antibiotics and then re tested and when she was clear we re bred and she delivered a healthy filly in July of this year. So I would strongly advise you to take the time to have a cytology smear done. You can always short cycle the mare to open up the cervix again. Good luck!!!
thanks for your post Jan. :D i will definitely get a cytology smear done now.. i'm so worried. someone from another forum just told me that if there is pus in the uterus on the u/s then she will probably not be able to be bred/covered again. i'm so confused because it wasn't there two months ago and if it was it definitely didn't show up on the u/s... any other advice, please? what can come back on the culture/how would you treat all of this?
Jackie...again am not an expert at all...but I am a little confused why the vet would say there was "pus"? On my mare the "inflammation" looked like fluid on the ultrasound. It's not a bad thing that you did a culture, very neccesary, just you need to also do a cytology smear. Both need to be done to be sure of what you are dealing with. I have not heard of an infection that could not be treated and resolved with antibiotics. My mare was treated found cleared and then we AI'd and followed the Oxytocin protocal that Jos has on this site because my mare had clearance issues after being bred. I really think you should try and find a repo specialist in your area to help you with getting your mare into breeding condition. On the positive note you are working on this now and not right before breeding time so you do have some time to resolve the issues. Take a deep breath...the roller coaster ride of breeding is just left the station
thank you jan, that makes me feel alot better...someone had mentioned it was probably Pyometra.. or something.. not my vet.. but they said if you could see pus on the ultrasound it was most likely that and she would be infertile.. But I don't know how competent this vet is. He kept pointing at black stuff on the ultrasound, and I thought black was supposed to be good.. Plus, he was like... her uterus "feels" really really good..reading about pyometra wouldn't it feel swollen? so ....*confusion*. What do you guys think about that?
Also, does she have to be in heat to get a culture/cytology? >_< Someone told me she didn't but I thought they did..
eta: i am going to send her to a breeding facility in five days so they can just tell me straight up but i'd still like to know what you guys think, please.
It's difficult to give a definitive opinion on this, so I am going to offer some generalities that hopefully will help when coupled with other information which has not been posted here.
Pus in the uterus can be identified with ultrasound, and as pus is nothing more than inflammatory white blood cells, if it has indeed been identified accurately, creating a cytology smear is somewhat academic, as all it is going to show is... inflammatory white blood cells (which have already been identified!). Hence this would be one situation where a cytology smear probably wouldn't be necessary to back up the culture findings... If it was indeed pus that was identified on the u/s.
If the mare was unsuccessfully bred earlier this year, then it is possible that what was seen on the u/s was pus - if there was a significant infection present. The fact that there was no pus present on an earlier u/s does not necessarily mean that there would not be pus there later, especially if the mare had been bred in the meantime.
Significant volumes of pus in the uterus would indeed be pyometra, but that should be easily identifiable on ultrasound, and the uterus would not feel healthy but, as you note, enlarged.
In the event that there is pus in the uterus - even if it is pyometra - that does not necessarily mean that the mare cannot be successfully bred again, although it will mean that there will be a need for treatment and resolution.
Overall, if you are not comfortable with the diagnosis you have received to date, get a second opinion. It might be cheapest in the long run...
There are viable arguments to be made both for and against the need for the mare to be in estrus when a uterine swab is taken. My personal preference is to have the mare in estrus, but not to the point that would preclude performing a swab during diestrus if needed. One point that is worthy of consideration is that if the mare is swabbed during diestrus a luteolytic dose of prostaglandin should be given to cause the mare to return to estrus following the swabbing in case any contaminant is introduced during the swabbing process. In order for that to be successful, she must be at least 6 days post previous ovulation.
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