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2010, Vol. 5 No. 1, Article 47


Persistent Tympany Associated with Hydrometra in a Cow

Khurshid A. Shah


Department of Animal Husbandry (Kashmir), Srinagar


*Corresponding Author; e-mail address: khurshid@kashvet.org



Mild Persistent tympany associated with hydrometra was reported in a cross bred cow aged about 6 years. Single intra muscular injection PGF2 alpha analog caused successful expulsion of uterine fluid within 4 days of administration and persistent tympany also disappeared spontaneously.


Tympany, hydrometra, PGF2 alpha, uterine fluid.


Tympany in cattle is an ailment of serious economic importance. It causes drop in production by depression of food intake or by failure of milk let down and also remains major cause (up to 3% of total) of mortalities occurring in a year.
Tympany may be primary, which is dietary in origin or secondary due to failure of eructation of free gas because of physical interference with eructation reflex as observed in certain conditions of oesophagitis, diaphragmatic hernia, tetanus, vagus indigestion and rarely in advanced pregnancy (Blood et al. 2002). In cattle hydrometra or mucometra develops in untreated cases of cystic ovarian degeneration (Kiakini 1992). Hydrometra with retained corpus luteum may be encountered in cattle and goats and gallons of fluid may be expelled at term with no membranes or foetus (Robert 1984). Present communication reports an unusual case of mild persistent tympany associated with hydrometra in a crossbred cow.


Report was based on a crossbred cow of about 6 years age with a history of mild persistent tympany. Cow had poorly responded to earlier administration of electrolytes and antibloat (silica in dimethicone) preparations. Animal was also in anoestrum for last 1 year.


Clinically the cow was afebrile showing resonance on percussion of distended abdomen. Ruminal movements were feeble, feces were soft and pasty and milk yield decreased. Thorough clinical examination was conducted to rule out traumatic reticulo pericarditis or oesophageal obstruction. Per-rectum examination was conducted twice at an interval of 15 days to rule out pregnancy. A single intramuscular injection of prostaglandnin preparation that provided 25mg of PGF2 alpha analog was given and animal was kept under observation for 10 days.


Two consecutive per-rectum examinations conducted at 15 days interval revealed thin walled uterus filled with fluid and descended into abdominal cavity, absence of feotal parts, placentomes, fremitus or whirring of uterine artery and presence of a corpus luteum on ovary. These observations were indicative of hydrometra with retained corpus luteum as described by Robert (1984). About 20 liters of uterine fluid was expelled on 4th day of intramuscular administration of PGF2 alpha. Clinical condition of animal improved markedly and tympany disappeared spontaneously within a week`s time.


In bovines hydrometra or mucometra develops in untreated cases of cystic ovarian degeneration(Kaikini 1992). Hydrometric uterus containing gallons of fluid associated with retained corpus luteum was reported in goats, sows and cows (Roberts and Fox, 1968) (Bearden and Fuquay, 1980), (Robert, 1984). Administration of prostaglandin (PGF2 alpha) causes luteolysis and expulsion of uterine contents within 3 to 4 days in animals which have luteal cyst, retained corpus luteum or a corpus luteum coexisting with a cyst (Antoine and Pattabiraman, 1993)(Awasthi and Tiwari, 2002).
In rare cases, during late pregnancy gravid uterus may cause interference with nerve pathway responsible for maintenance of eructation reflex and a recurrent or persistent tympany occurs which later disappears spontaneously after calving (Blood et al., 2002). In the present cases fluid filled uterus might have presumably produced a similar effect of interfering with eructation reflex. This effect might have got nullified after expulsion of uterine contents resulting in spontaneous disappearance of persistent tympany.


  1. Antoine, D and Pattabiraman, S.R(1993),Use of GnRH in dairy cows, The Blue Cross Book,vol.2-p33-34

  2. Awasthi, M.K and Tiwari, R.P(2002), Successful treatment of bovine foetal mummification with Iliren. The Blue Cross Book,vol.19- p26-28

  3. Bearden, H.J and Fuquay, J.W (1980) Applied animal reproduction. Reston publishing company, inc. A prentice hall company, Reston,Virginia p-286-290

  4. Blood, D.C.,Radostits, O.M.,and Anderson, J.A(2002),Veterinary Medicine(8th edition). English language Book Society,Bailliere,Tindal.p-240-50

  5. Kaikini, A.S.(1992). Key note on new horizons of animal breeding.Indian.J.Anim.Reprod.13 (2) p 101-108.

  6. Roberts, S.J. and Fox, S.H. (1968) An unusual case of bovine mucometra associated with a persistant corpusluteum,Cor.vet.J.vol.58 p-116

  7. Roberts, S.J.(1984) Veterinary obstetrics and genital diseases C.B.S Publishers and Distributors, India p 429-577




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