Acquired reproductive tract abnormalities of ewes in northwest of Iran: an abattoir survey

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Urmia, Urmia, Iran

2 Graduated from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Urmia, Urmia, Iran


Reproductive abnormalities cause major losses of sheep production. Abattoir materials were used to
determine the extent of reproductive wastage. Reproductive tracts were collected from 524 ewes slaughtered at Urmia slaughter-house in Urmia, northwest of Iran, during a period of 12 months. Overall, 30.10% of the ewes examined were pregnant. A total of 149 (28.44%) tracts developed acquired reproductive tract abnormalities. Based on the observation of the tracts, abnormalities of the ovaries, ovarian bursa and uterine tubes and uterine lesions accounted for 11.41%, 21.48% and 67.11% of the lesions, respectively. The most common ovarian lesion was ovario-bursal adhesions (47.06%). Uterine tube obstruction was the most common uterine tube abnormality (8.07%). Pyometra (8.07%), uterine hemorrhage (6.73%) and endometritis (4.04%) were the most common abnormalities observed in the uterus. Two tracts (0.9%) contained macerated fetal remnants. A large number of tracts (16%) had melanin pigment in the uterine wall. It is concluded that, firstly, the large number of pregnant ewes slaughtered highlights significant economic losses. Secondly, lesions such as hydrosalpinx, pyometra and metritis were likely to affect female sheep reproduction. The acquired abnormalities were therefore more significant in terms of individual animal infertility than as a major cause of infertility in flocks.