Disorders of the Ovaries

15 Disorders of the Ovaries



Diagnosis of ovarian cysts requires demonstration of abnormal persistent hormone production or demonstration of a cystic mass at the area of the ovary. Diagnosis of persistent estrogen secretion usually is made with serial vaginal swabs. Even at high concentrations, estrogen is present in the bloodstream in such small amounts that assay for the hormone in serum is difficult. The characteristic change of vaginal epithelial cells from noncornified to cornified under the influence of estrogen, as described for breeding management (see Chapter 9), is a good bioassay for persistent estrogen production. The longest reported time for normal bitches to be in proestrus and estrus, and therefore the longest time that normal bitches should have cornified vaginal epithelial cells, is 40 days. Any bitch documented to have cornified vaginal cytology for longer than 40 days has persistent estrogen secretion. Progesterone is easily assayed in blood. Normal bitches maintain high concentrations of progesterone in the blood for 60 days after estrus; documentation of high progesterone concentrations beyond that time is indicative of persistent progesterone secretion.

Ovarian cysts may become large enough to be palpable in the abdomen or visible by ultrasound. Definitive diagnosis requires surgical removal of a biopsy specimen or an entire ovary and submission to a pathologist. This is an invasive and expensive procedure and may impair the bitch’s future reproductive potential; thus it is not often employed. Response to treatment often is used for diagnosis; if the dog does not respond to treatment for an ovarian cyst, ovarian neoplasia is more likely to be the cause of the problem.

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Jul 18, 2016 | Posted by in PHARMACOLOGY, TOXICOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS | Comments Off on Disorders of the Ovaries
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