Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Seminal vesiculitis

Synonym(s): Vesicular adenitis, vesiculitis

Contributor(s): Karin Mueller , John Cook

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Introduction

  • Cause: a variety of pathogens have been isolated.
  • Signs: rarely outward or systemic signs in affected bulls.
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs, ultrasonography, semen assessment.
  • Treatment: 
    • Spontaneous recover has been reported in yearling bulls.
    • Systemic antibiosis can be tried.
    • In cases unresponsive to antibiosis, surgical removal of the affected gland(s) may be considered (seminal vesiculectomy).
  • Prognosis: guarded.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • A variety of pathogens have been isolated:
    • Viruses.
    • Bacteria including: 
    • Trueperella pyogenes.
    • Histophilus somni Histophilus somni infection.
    • Gram-negative anaerobes.
    • Chlamydia Chlamydia spp.
    • Ureaplasma.
    • Mycoplasma.
    • Protozoa.
    • Also Brucella abortus Brucella abortus in regions where this pathogen is not well controlled.
  • Ascending or descending infection from the urinary or reproductive tract and hematogenous spread have been postulated.
  • Possibly urine reflux leading to inflammation.

Pathophysiology

  • In the normal bull, the paired seminal vesicles lie either side of the urethra and ampullae about 18-20 cm cranial to the anal sphincter.
  • They are movable, may be oblong or oval shaped, are about 10 x 5 x 3 cm in size, and the surface texture feels similar to bubble wrap on rectal palpation .
  • A definite pathophysiology has not been determined.
  • One or both glands may  be affected.
  • A link to carbohydrate-rich diets is postulated, with hematogenous spread from rumenitis or liver abscessation. However, the condition is also reported to occur in grass-fed animals in South America.
  • The concurrent presence of epididymitis or orchitis Orchitis and epididymitis in some bulls suggests that descending infection from the reproductive tract may occur.
  • Ascending infection from urethral infection, for example caused by bulls riding each other, is a possibility. Close confinement of bulls in groups may contribute to increased riding behavior and therefore increased risk of vesiculitis.
  • Reflux of semen or urine into the gland as a result of an asynchrony in the ejaculatory process or congenital anatomical abnormalities in the region has been suggested as another possible cause.

Epidemiology

  • Average incidence of 2-4% based on bull breeding soundness examinations is reported, but can be 60-80% in individual groups of bulls or herds.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • Hull B L, Vogel S R (2008) Seminal vesiculitis. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract, 24 (2), 267-272 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Barth A (2014) Vesicular Adenitis. In: Bovine Reproduction (ed R M Hopper), Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118833971.ch13


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