Post-partum uterine infection

After every disaster I find myself thinking this is just the calm before the next storm. Every time the storm is closer than expected. And usually worse than the one before.

Day after Venda was born, I told our vet Vipsu wasn't herself. It was Friday. A day later Vipsu had little vaginal discharge. Our vet thought this was quite normal and nothing for me to worry about. I disagreed.

Vet wasn't able to take any blood tests to reassure me because Vipsu had been sedated as Venda was about to have her first plasma treatment. She was coming to see us in few days time anyway, so we could have the blood tests then. 

At sunday things went nice and smooth altough I felt increasingly worried. No one seemed to hear my despair or see what I saw. Especially now when there wasn't any vaginal discharge. Hysteria had turned against me like cries for the boy who cried wolf. I usually wasn't wrong or being hysterical without a reason but it was easy for the vet and everybody else to brand me as crazy.

Next day the vaginal discharge reminded me of molasses. Vipsu's backside was spattered and her tail was plastered with it. I tried to wash it off but it felt like mission impossible.

Her temperature was normal and her gums nice and pink. 

It was late so I called the Hyvinkää equine hospital and asked if they would take us in immediately. They recommended me to wait till the next day and keep calling our regular vet. As it was so late I wasn't expecting her to pick up but she did. I said this is a nightmare turning into reality, I'm sure it's uterine infection, please see us first thing tomorrow. She promised to come.

Morning came. Still no fever or any other ovious signs. Just few spatters from yesterday. Maybe it was just in my head?

Content of the uterus in 6.6.2017

Placenta came out quite quickly after the birth. It was checked out carefully and it was in one piece. Even the vet tought it was all good. I remember thinking this lookes a bit different than last time, but I didn't feel worried.

But something was wrong and there was something inside the uterus. It could have been a drop of blood ending up in the wrong place, maybe a tiniest piece of placenta, anything. What ever it was it had infected the uterus quite bad.

Post-partum uterine infection is always serious and considered life-threatening. It can also lead to laminitis and endotoxemia/sepsis. Common symptoms include vaginal or cervical discharge and fever. Vipsu didn't get feverish at any point. Usually the mare can be considered depressed and it won't eat normally. Vipsu was neither.

Vipsu had an ultrasound which confirmed the diagnosis. Uterine lavage with sterile saline was done three times, once a day. She had multiple oxytocin shots to help drain the uterus, antibiotics and painkillers to prevent laminitis and sepsis.

We dodged the pullet, once again..

- J

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