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Abortions and reproductive failure in sheep and goats

AuthorsPérez Pérez, Valentín
Issue Date2018
PublisherWorld Veterinary Association
Citation34th World Veterinary Association Congress: 56 (2018)
AbstractReproductive failure is one of the main constraints of small ruminant livestock, associated with heavy economic losses. Regarding female infertility, several reasons can be behind. It could be a herd/flock problem (male infertility, nutritional deficiencies, stress…) or an individual doe problem. In the latter, several situations can occur: failure to stand (persistent himen, doe not in season…) or anomalies in the oestral cycle. Anoestrus can be seasonal but also due to malnutrition, post-kidding of related to pathological changes in the reproductive system such as hydrometra, intersex, fremartinism, etc. Dams that show regular oestrus but have pregnancy failure, can show metritis or vaginitis They are caused by bacteria and placental retention is one of the main predisposing factors. In other cases, infertile animals have irregular oestrus, related to embryonic deaths, persistent corpus luteum, presence of mummified foetuses or metritis. Malformations in the reproductive system usually affect fertility. The most commonly diagnosed in small ruminants are ovarian or paraovarian cysts and uterine aplasia. Abortions are a serious economic threat in most flocks/herds and a health risk since some of them are zoonosis. The causes of most cases of abortions are never determined but it is estimated that only 50% of them are infective in origin. Abortion outbreaks are usually diagnosed more easily than abortion in an individual animal because diagnostic material is more readility availabe and individual abortions are more often due to non-infective causes. In case of abortion the dam has to be fully examined for signs of disease, but abortion may occur sometime after infection and aborting does will show few additional clinical signs. The aborted foetuses and placentae should be examined grossly before submitting to the laboratory. Samples from several animals should be submitted because of the possibility of more than one infectious agent being involved. In our experience, the main causes of abortion are Chlamydophila abortus, Toxoplasma gondii, Coxiella burnetti or Border Disease virus. Other etiological agents such as Campylobacter spp, Salmonella spp, fungi or other bacteria, are more rarely identified. Placental examination, both the intercotyledonary areas and cotyledons, is important to identify lesions associated with the different agents. While bacterial abortions usually show a fibrino-purulent placentitis, in abortions due to Toxoplasma gondii foci of necrosis and calcification appear in the cotyledons. Border disease virus, or other viral agents, usually cause malformations such as cerebellar hypoplasia or arthrogryposis. Submission to the laboratory of a complete clinical history, samples of placenta and foetuses, together with vaginal swabs, pleural fluid of the foetus, sera from the foetus and dams, is advisable in order to get success in the identification of the causative agent of the abortion.
DescriptionConferencia invitada presentada al: 34th World Veterinary Association Congress. Barcelona (España), 5-8 mayo 2018.--CT5.09
Publisher version (URL)http://www.worldvet.org/uploads/docs/wvac_2018_abstractbook.pdf
Appears in Collections:(IGM) Comunicaciones congresos
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