Basic examination of the reproductive system of a mare should include external conformation evaluation, palpation of internal genitalia per rectum, ultrasonography of the reproductive tract, vaginoscopy, and manual vaginal/cervical/uterine examination. These procedures were described in the first part of this three-part Continuing Education Series. In addition, evaluation of the reproductive system may require performing uterine culture, uterine cytology, and uterine biopsy. Because bacteria may be recovered from the uterus of normal mares that are in estrus, uterine culture should be evaluated in conjunction with uterine cytology to increase the accuracy of diagnosis. Uterine biopsy should be examined in patients with chronic reproductive disorders to document persistent endometrial pathology. More advanced diagnostic procedures, which may require referral to a specialty practice or university, include hysteroscopy, oviductal patency testing, and scintigraphy. These procedures are generally not required during routine reproductive evaluations but are useful when prior diagnostic procedures do not fully describe the condition that is affecting the mare. If a definitive diagnosis is still not achieved after the reproductive system of a mare has been evaluated by these basic and advanced procedures, hormonal evaluation and genetic testing may be required; the third and final article in this series will consider these two diagnostic approaches.
|Number of pages
|Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian
|Published - Sep 1997