Pyometra is a life-threatening disease that affects over 66% of intact older bitches. Bitches are pre-disposed to this disease due to a number of unique features of their reproductive cycle. Endometritis is an underdiagnosed condition in bitches that results in reduced fertility and can lead to the development of pyometra.
These diseases have mostly been studied in live dogs resulting in welfare concerns and limitations in our understanding of the disease onset and progression and importantly, prevention of these conditions. Organoids are miniature organs in a culture dish that can be grown long-term while maintaining the characteristics and function of the original organ.
This unique 3-dimensional (3D) structure facilitates the study of disease processes such as endometritis and pyometra in canines, potential treatments, and assessment of preventative therapeutics such as novel vaccines. Optimization of canine uterine organoids has the potential to: a) improve the health and welfare of intact middle-aged and older female dogs; b) enhance fertility, genetic gain and health in working dog programs; and c) allow the study of female reproductive diseases without the use of research dogs.
Co-sponsored with the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Grant Number: 03055
Fiona Hollinshead, BVSc, PhD; Colorado State University