Causes And Treatment Of Ovarian Disorders In Cattle And Domestic Animals

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Importance of ovarian dysfunction research

Ovarian dysfunction is pretty common in cattle and domestic animals. The investigation and treatment of ovarian disorder can be extremely important. For example, in the horse industry, individual animals due to their capacities can represent considerable economic value, and fertility of such horses becomes of great importance from a financial point of view. 

Fertility of cattle, like sheep or swine is important for production of meat, yarn or leather. Proper investigation and treatment of infertility may increase the quality of life and longevity of pets. 

Lastly, research in this area may be helpful to understand similar dysfunctions in women. 

Causes of ovarian dysfunction

Ovarian dysfunction is a result of various factors and conditions. Let’s give a closer look at the most common.

Abnormalities of the ovarian development

Ovarian dysfunction is rarely a consequence of abnormalities of ovarian development. For example, it may be a fusion of the ovaries or their wrong displacement. From time to time the deficiency of germ cells leads to ovarian hypoplasia. In some cases, it is related to different forms of intersexuality. One of the most famous forms is freemartin. Most commonly this condition is reported in cattle. The bovine freemartin is a female twin of the bull. This condition is associated with the underdevelopment of the female tubular genital tract and the presence of male secondary sex glands.


Various ovarian cysts may occur in healthy female cattle. The severity of the disorder will depend on cyst type, its development, placement, etc. Some of them will not develop to interfere with the reproductive process. An anovulatory follicular cyst is most commonly represented in cows. Its formation is not very well understood but it is associated with the insufficient release of luteinizing hormone. There is evidence of genetic predisposition for that condition.

Persistence of corpus luteum

Abnormal persistence of the corpus luteum occurs in several species. Retention of the corpus luteum is undesirable, as it frequently prevents normal cycling. It may occur during the postpartum period and is associated with uterine disorders such as fetal mummification, endometritis, pyometra, or hydrometra.

Ovarian tumors

Ovarian tumors of domestic animals are quite uncommon however they have been described in all the species. It is because the tumors have a life-long development process but the majority of the food animals are slaughtered in their youth. 

Infectious diseases

Infection agents and viruses may cause lesions of the corpus luteum that consequently will decrease the production of progesterone and negatively affect reproductive function. Pyogenic infections of the ovary and its surrounding tissues occur sporadically in cattle and swine. Some inflammations, like salpingitis, can lead to extensive adhesions forming between the ovary and oviducts.

What are the treatment practices?

There are not many treatment options for ovarian disorders available & it is assigned depending on the diagnosis. In the majority of cases, it includes hormonal therapy.

The RANKEL Smart Vet Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) device may accelerate the treatment along with hormonal drugs recommended for ovarian pathologies. The LLLT of large animals is performed through a transrectal method. Small animals are treated by contact with genital organs.

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