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Complications associated with intrauterine glass marbles in five mares

Mariana Diel de Amorim DVM, DVSc1, Tracey Chenier DVM, DVSc2, Dawne Nairn DVM3, Jodyne Green DVM4, Stephen Manning DVM, MSc5, and Claire Card DVM, PhD6
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  • 1 Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
  • | 2 Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
  • | 3 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 4 Green Mobile Veterinary Services, 3661-15th Ave, Prince George, BC V2N 1A3, Canada.
  • | 5 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 6 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION 5 mares were evaluated because of reproductive complications following long-term (> 1 year) use of intrauterine glass marbles for estrus suppression.

CLINICAL FINDINGS 3 mares had 1 intrauterine glass marble, and 2 mares had 2 intrauterine glass marbles. On examination, 2 mares had signs of chronic endometritis, and 3 had signs of pyometra. Marbles or glass shards adhered to the endometrium were identified by means of hysteroscopy in 3 of 5 mares. Five of 7 marbles had surface imperfections or were broken.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME All patients were treated with uterine lavage and intrauterine and systemic administration of antimicrobials chosen on the basis of results of bacterial culture and susceptibility testing. Two of 5 mares were treated with intrauterine Tris-EDTA. One mare underwent 3 unsuccessful embryo transfer procedures and was subsequently lost to follow-up. One mare was euthanized because of severe vaginal and cervical adhesions and chronic vaginal discharge. Three mares had no apparent signs of reproductive disease at the time of follow-up but were not rebred.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of the present small case series suggested that use of intrauterine glass marbles should be discouraged because of the potential for severe reproductive consequences.

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION 5 mares were evaluated because of reproductive complications following long-term (> 1 year) use of intrauterine glass marbles for estrus suppression.

CLINICAL FINDINGS 3 mares had 1 intrauterine glass marble, and 2 mares had 2 intrauterine glass marbles. On examination, 2 mares had signs of chronic endometritis, and 3 had signs of pyometra. Marbles or glass shards adhered to the endometrium were identified by means of hysteroscopy in 3 of 5 mares. Five of 7 marbles had surface imperfections or were broken.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME All patients were treated with uterine lavage and intrauterine and systemic administration of antimicrobials chosen on the basis of results of bacterial culture and susceptibility testing. Two of 5 mares were treated with intrauterine Tris-EDTA. One mare underwent 3 unsuccessful embryo transfer procedures and was subsequently lost to follow-up. One mare was euthanized because of severe vaginal and cervical adhesions and chronic vaginal discharge. Three mares had no apparent signs of reproductive disease at the time of follow-up but were not rebred.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of the present small case series suggested that use of intrauterine glass marbles should be discouraged because of the potential for severe reproductive consequences.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Diel de Amorim's present address is Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Dr. Nairn's present address is Rangiora Equine Services, 59 Ramsay Rd, Sefton RD7, Rangiora, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Address correspondence to Dr. Diel de Amorim (md649@cornell.edu).