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Ultrasonographic Diagnosis and Management of Hydroallantois in Buffaloes

Y. V. Pridhvidhar Reddy Bhavanam Sudhakara Reddy R. V. Sivakumar
Vol 8(1), 202-206

Hydroallantois condition was diagnosed in four buffaloes with the history of chronic bloat. Four buffaloes were presented to the clinic with the history of severe abdominal enlargement, bloat, dyspnoea and abdominal pain. Clinical examination of the buffaloes revealed sunken eye balls, dry muzzle, anxiety and laboured respiration. Rectal examination revealed tensed uterus and fetus was not palpable. Low voltage QRS complex amplitude and arrhythmia were noticed while electrocardiography. Ultrasonographic examination revealed the presence of the large volume of fluid with enlarged and reduced numbers of cotyledons. Based on the history, clinical examination and ultrasonographic findings cases were diagnosed as hydroallantois. All the buffaloes were medically terminated and it had the uneventful recovery in three buffaloes and one buffalo was collapsed after three days of therapy.

Keywords : Buffalo Electrocardiography Hydroallantois Ultrasonography Termination


Hydrops allantois condition is the abnormal enlargement of the allantoic sac, while hydrops amnii should be restricted to fetal dropsy and enlargement of the amnionic sac. Excessive amounts of the respective fluids are responsible for these conditions (Tripathi et al., 2015). One of the common clinical conditions is hydrops allantois in animals but, simultaneous hydrops allantois and hydrops amnii can occur in the same animal. Hydroallantois is one of the sporadic disorders of milch animals which are characterized by rapid accumulation of fluid in the last gestation period. Drastic changes in the allantoic fluid occur in the allantoic cavity which leads to increase in size and bilateral distension of abdomen. Clinically it appears as twin/multiple pregnancy (Selvaraju et al., 2012). The present report places clinical and ultrasonographic diagnosis of hydroallantois and its management in buffaloes.

Materials and Methods

Four pregnant non-descriptive buffaloes aged between four to seven years were presented to the clinic with the history of bilateral distension of abdomen, anorexia, signs of abdominal pain, respiratory distress and constipation (Fig.1 and Fig.2).

Fig.1: Bilateral distension of the abdomen

Fig.2: Huge distension of abdomen

History revealed sudden enlargement of the abdomen and the cases were treated as a bloat by a local quack without success. Upon clinical examination, it was dull and depressed with sunken eyes, dry muzzle, anxiety and laboured respiration. The pulse rate, respiratory rate and rectal temperature were 82/min to 98/min, 42/min to 56/min and 99.2 °F to 102.2°F respectively. Rectal examination revealed grossly distended uterus with the fluid bump but the fetus could not be palpated.

Haematology revealed haemoglobin (8.4 to 14.2 g/dL), packed cell volume (27 to 42 %), total erythrocyte count (4.8 to 5.6 x 106/µL), white blood cell count (9300 to 13400/cmm), neutrophil (68 to 72 %), lymphocyte (31 to 26 %) and eosinophil (1 to 2%). Rumen fluid revealed active rumen micro flora with pH 7, the presence of medium and large sized rumen protozoa. Electrocardiography revealed low voltage QRS complex amplitude, increased PR interval and cardiac arrhythmia (Fig.3).

Fig.3: Electrocardiography – Low voltage QRS complex amplitude (Lead-I; 10mm/mV, 25mm/s)

Ultrasonography was done in two cases and found enlarged cotyledons, black coloured anechoic fluid (Fig.4) and free floating hyper echogenic placenta (Fig.5) multiple mixed echogenic contents at the ventral portion of the abdomen (Fig.6).

Fig.4: Ultrasonography of abdomen – Presence of anechoic fluid Fig.5: Ultrasonography of abdomen – Free floating hyper echogenic placenta
Fig.6: Ultrasonography of abdomen – Mixed echogenic contents at the ventral portion

Vaginal examination revealed closed cervix. Based on history, symptoms and clinical observations, the cases were diagnosed as hydroallantois and it was decided to terminate the pregnancy.

Result and Discussion

All the buffaloes were administered with injection dinoprost tromethamine 25 mg (Lutalyse, 5 ml) was given intramuscularly along with dexamethasone 60 mg to terminate the pregnancy.  The buffalo was treated with strepto-penicillin (5 g, IM BID), fluid therapy with DNS (@ 5 ml/kg BW IV) and RL (@ 5 ml/kg BW IV), calcium boro gluconate (450 ml IV) on the day of the presentation. After 24 to 48 hours of initiation, vaginal examination revealed dilated cervix with fetal membranes protruding into the cervix. Membranes are pierced with the needle; later about 9 to 13 buckets of amber coloured fluid along with dead fetus was removed. Course of antibiotic, symptomatic and fluid therapy was continued further in individual buffaloes.

Etiology for the development of the hydrops is unknown, but several factors appear to be involved. Due to deficiency of placentomes and uterine compensation for this fault by accessory placentation is mentioned in the literature (Roberts, 1971). In early fetal life, before the mesonephros is developed, the allantoic fluid resembles plasma. Later, when the metanephric kidney is functioning, creatinine accumulates in the allantoic fluid. However, the fetal urine in the bladder isn’t identical with the allantoic fluid. Electric potentials across the allantoic fluid and the maternal blood in normal pregnant cows indicated a distribution of sodium maintained against its electrochemical gradient, a higher concentration of sodium in the maternal blood than in the allantoic fluid. This is suggestive of an active transport mechanism from the allantoic fluid to maternal blood. The placental membranes appear to be quite impermeable to the potassium ion, and the chloride ion is passively transported from the allantois to the maternal blood. The preponderance of either normal amnionic or allantoic fluid varies with the term of pregnancy. Fluids rapidly increase between 40 and 65 days, at three and one-half to four months, and again from six and one-half to seven and one-half months. The first increase is from the allantoic fluid, the second due to the increase in amnionic fluid, and the latter is from allantoic fluid. The first third of pregnancy and the last third is when the allantoic fluid exceeds the amnionic fluid. Hydrops allantois is seen later in the gestation period, six to seven months. So it appears that the pathological conditions occur at a time when foetal fluids normally increase, but the control mechanism is faulty (Robert, 1971).  During the disease process of hydroallantois, accumulation of allantoic fluid is rapid due to placental abnormalities and possible interference with sodium metabolism at the cell level (Jackson, 1980). Respiratory distress was noticed in the present study because of the intrauterine fluid imposed pressure over the diaphragm. In the present case initially cervix was one finger dilated and it was dilated after the therapy. Recorded electrocardiographic findings were abnormal than compare with the normal studies in cattle and buffaloes (Reddy et al., 2015, Reddy and Sivajothi, 2016). The ability to effectively obtain the termination of bovine pregnancies with dropsical condition of the fetal membranes (hydroallantois and hydroamnion) is extremely poor.  Pregnancy can be terminated within 48 hours with simultaneous administration of PGF2 and dexamethasone using doses recommended for terminating a normal pregnancy, however supportive treatment is necessary to compensate for sudden fluid loss. Nevertheless, the risk for decompensation and hypovolaemic shock is huge (Purohit et al., 2012). There is the huge alteration in the electrolyte imbalances due to shifting of the fluid from the interstitial tissue or cell to the cavity and it leads to severe dehydration, sunken eye and dullness. Fluid therapy was advised for three days continuously based on the status of dehydration to compensate the hypovolumic shock developed by the fluid loss. Recorded clinical findings and confirmation of the condition were done in accordance with the previous studies of Pandey et al. (2014) and Tripathi et al. (2015).


The present study reports the diagnosis of Hydroallantois condition in buffaloes and its successful management.


The authors acknowledge the authorities of Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Tirupati for providing facilities to carry out the present work.


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