Retained Placenta in Dogs
A retained placenta, or retained afterbirth, occurs when the placenta (the sac surrounding an unborn puppy) is not passed out of the mother’s uterus along with the puppy.
Symptoms and Types
- Green discharge from vulva that continues
- Fever (in some cases)
- Systemic disease (in some cases)
The placenta is retained in the uterus rather than being expelled with or shortly after the birth of the puppy.
History of a recent birth with a physical examination finding of a green discharge from the vulva is supportive of a diagnosis of retained placenta. Your veterinarian may recommend routine blood testing, though these results may be normal. Vaginal cytology may also be recommended. Your veterinarian may need to take X-rays and/or perform an ultrasound of the uterus. In some cases, exploratory surgery may be necessary.
Oxytocin may be administered in an attempt to pass the retained placenta and calcium gluconate may be administered prior to the injection of oxytocin. If medical treatment with oxytocin is unsuccessful, surgery to remove the retained placenta from the uterus may be necessary. Ovariohysterectomy (spay) may be recommended if your dog is not to be bred again.
Acute metritis (inflammation of the uterus) may develop if the placenta is not passed/removed and may need to be treated as well.
To take the ovaries and uterus out of female animals; makes them unable to reproduce.
The hollow bodily organ that holds the embryo and fetus and provides nourishment; only found in female animals.
The genitalia of a female; found on the outside
A medical condition in which the mother animal fails to expel the placenta
The organ of mammals that comes while a female is pregnant; may also be referred to as afterbirth
A condition in which the uterus becomes inflamed
A type of hormone that is released during parturition that aids in the contraction of the uterus and causes milk to be released
Found attached to the fetus while en utero; expelled upon birth of the fetus. Term used to refer to the placenta.