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Uterine torsion in a Sprague Dawley rat (Rattus norvegicus)

DOI: 10.4102/jsava.v82i3.58

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Uterine torsion is a twisting of the uterus or uterine horn perpendicular to its long axis.We report a case of uterine torsion in an adult breeding Sprague Dawley rat. The rat died a month after her last recorded delivery. Post mortem examination of the rat revealed 270° torsion of the right uterine horn. The uterus contained a single foetus. The liver was pale and enlarged. The rest of the viscera appeared normal. Histopathological examination showed acute hepatic necrosis and pulmonary congestion with mild lymphocytic infiltrates peribronchially. The acute hepatic necrosis may have been associated with septicaemia due to compromised blood vessels following the uterine torsion. The presence of a single foetus could have resulted in foeto-maternal disproportion with resultant uterine torsion. Torsion of the uterus can be accompanied by haemostatic and metabolic complications, which could have caused the death of the rat. Although uterine torsion is a rare condition in rats, it should be considered as a potential complication of gestation in animal breeding units.


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