The prolonged exposure to the relatively high levels of
progesterone has the effect of enlarging the glands that
line the uterus and increase fluid production (cystic endometrial
hyperplasia). This process will proceed throughout their
life until a considerable amount of fluid may be present
within the lumen of the uterus. This then often provides
the perfect environment for an opportunistic infection to
flourish and cause the life threatening condition known
Since most of these processes continue throughout the patient's
life unnoticed both patient and owner become blissfully
unaware of the hidden danger. So it was with "Bess"
who led an enviable and idyllic life aboard a narrow boat
(Sneklifter) on the Ashby canal.
At the ripe old age of 13 years her owners had simply assumed
that she was getting old preferring to doze and watch the
scenery pass by! It was only when the classic symptom of
a purulent discharge from her vulva became apparent that
she realised she needed urgent veterinary attention.
One of the difficulties with a residence that is constantly
on the move is knowing where to go once moored! Recommended
to Fairfield by other boat owners she made her way to our
surgery and fortunately we were able to successfully operate
and remove the diseased womb. Subsequently, her owners have
been astonished at the dramatic improvement in her demeanour.
Life "on the canal" has taken on a whole new dimension!
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS
to "Interesting Cases"
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