Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Vulvitis and Vaginitis in Horses


Robert O. Gilbert

, BVSc, MMedVet, DACT, MRCVS, Reproductive Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

Last full review/revision Sep 2019 | Content last modified Oct 2019

Vulvitis (inflammation of the vulva) and vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina) can develop due to difficult labor, chronic contamination of the reproductive tract due to poor conformation, sexually transmitted diseases, or mating. Bruises and hematomas (a pool of blood under the surface of the skin) of the vagina may be found in mares following delivery of a foal. Severe inflammation of the vulva and vagina, including local tissue death, may also occur. The signs of severe inflammation can include an arched back, elevated tail, poor appetite, straining, swelling of the vulva, and a foul-smelling, watery discharge. Signs begin 1 to 4 days after birth and last for 2 to 4 weeks. In most cases, supportive care and treatment with antibiotics is sufficient.

Dourine Dourine Blood parasites are organisms that live in the blood of their animal hosts. These parasites can range from single-celled protozoa to more complex bacteria and rickettsiae. The method of transmission... read more is a sexually transmitted disease of horses caused by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma equiperdum. Early signs of the disease include swelling of the vagina and vulva. Dourine occurs primarily in the Mediterranean coast of Africa, the Middle East, southern Africa, and South America.

For More Information

Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Test your knowledge

Neoplasia of the Eye and Associated Structures
Squamous cell carcinoma is a common neoplasm in several species. Ocular squamous cell carcinoma is most common in animals with light pigmentation around the eyes, because sun exposure is one of several predisposing factors. This tumor is common in each of the following species EXCEPT:
Become a Pro at using our website 

Also of Interest

Become a Pro at using our website