A Review of Advances in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Infectious and Post–Mating-Induced Endometritis in the Mare

Rapid physical uterine clearance is paramount for fertility. Mares that are unable to clear the by-products of insemination or foaling quickly may develop post–mating-induced or acute endometritis. If endometritis is not promptly resolved, the infection can become chronic. Endometritis can be difficult to identify because clinical signs, ultrasonographic and laboratory findings can vary between uterine pathogens. Some micro-organisms are associated with an influx of neutrophils and fluid into the uterine lumen while others are associated with only heavy debris on cytological specimens. Identifying the inciting cause may require more than swabbing the endometrium. Culturing endometrial biopsy tissue or uterine fluids are more sensitive methods for identifying Escherichia coli than culture swab while endometrial cytology identifies twice as many mares with acute inflammation than uterine culture swab. While post–mating-induced endometritis is classically treated with uterine irrigation and ecbolics and acute endometritis is treated with either systemic or intra-uterine antibiotics, these therapies are not always effective in resolving chronic uterine inflammation or infections. Mucolytics can be used to break up mucus produced by an irritated endometrium, steroids can modulate the inflammatory response associated with insemination and buffered chelating agents can remove biofilm, a protective mechanism used primarily by gram-negative organisms and yeast to evade the host immune response.

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