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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Subinvolution of Placenta Sites

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Condition Overview

The uterus normally returns to near-normal size (a process called involution) by 4 - 6 weeks after whelping, and completes the entire process by 12 weeks after birth. During the first 4 - 6 weeks, the dam will have a light pink to bloody vaginal discharge called the lochia.

Symptoms

A vaginal discharge that persists for more than 6 weeks is caused by subinvolution of placental sites (SIPS). These sites, where the placentas formerly attached to the wall of the uterus, are invaded by placenta-like tissue called trophoblasts.

Causes

The trophoblasts prevent the uterus from completing the process of involution. The associated vaginal bleeding is usually mild, but may be heavy enough to cause anemia.

SIPS tends to occur in female dogs younger than 3 years old. There is no breed predisposition. The condition does not cause discomfort. SIPS can be complicated by acute metritis or perforation of the uterus, but this is not common.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis is made by palpating the uterus and feeling lumpiness in the uterine horns. Ultrasonography shows the enlarged horns. Vaginal cytology may disclose trophoblastlike cells.

Treatment

The SIPS-related discharge usually resolves spontaneously. If it persists and you don't plan to breed the dog again, your best option is to have her spayed. When SIPS disappears spontaneously, future fertility is not affected. There is no predisposition for developing SIPS after subsequent litters.

Prevention

There is no prevention for this condition. Spayed females will not suffer this condition.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian for more information regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

1 Comment For "Subinvolution of Placenta Sites"

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Yudda

January 8, 2013 at 4:26PM  Sign In or Join to Comment