Uterus: broad ligament - hematoma

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  • Cause : rupture of a major blood vessel within the mesometrium (broad ligament of the uterus) leading to rapid hematoma formation, usually in the post-partum period.
  • Signs : tachycardia, pale mucous membranes with prolonged refill time, colic, trembling, sweating, anxiety and collapse.
  • Diagnosis : history and physical examination, transabdominal ultrasonography, abdominocentesis, transrectal palpation.
  • Treatment : conservative treatment vs. volume replacement therapy.
  • Prognosis : guarded.
  • Significant cause of death in the post-foaling period.


Differential diagnosis


Clinical signs

  • Uninterested in the foal.
  • Tachycardia (often over 100 bpm).
  • Tachypnea.
  • Pale mucous membranes with prolonged capillary refill time.
  • Cool extremities.
  • Weak pulse.
  • Sweating.
  • Trembling.
  • Colic.
  • Anxiety (sometimes vocalizing or flehmen response). 
  • Collapse.
  • Occasionally a mare is found moribund or dead.



  • Guarded.
  • Further hemorrhage can occur in the first few days, which may be fatal.
  • Depending on the degree and duration of hypovolemia, there may be reperfusion injury to multiple organs, resulting in secondary complications which could require intensive and prolonged treatment.

Expected response to treatment

  • Dependent on degree of hemorrhage.

Reasons for treatment failure

  • Excitement or movement of the mare causing clot disruption.
  • Uncontrolled fatal hemorrhage into the abdominal cavity.
  • Severe secondary complications such as renal failure     or laminitis    .
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