The Relationship Between the Stages of the Sexual Cycle, the Pregnancy and Postpartum Periods and Vaginal Flora in Kangal Breed Bitches


Abstract: This study was performed on females of the Kangal Breed (Turkish Anatolian Shepherd Dog) with the aim of determining the relationship between the stages of the sexual cycle and vaginal flora. The stages of the cycle in Kangal bitches (n= 16) were determined by performing vaginoscopic, vaginal cytologic and ultrasonographic checks at regular intervals and examining vaginal swab samples bacteriologically. The swab samples were inoculated onto 7% sheep blood agar and incubated for 18-24 h at 37 ºC and total counts of the resulting colonies were evaluated. In addition, inoculations were made onto 7% sheep blood agar, PPLO agar, Columbia agar and Brucella agar with serum and incubated in a 10% CO_2 environment at 37 ºC and onto Saboraud dextrose agar, and these were incubated at room temperature and the resulting colonies identified. In all stages of to cycle E. coli and also Streptococci, were isolated, except in the pregnancy period. It was determined that b-haemolytic streptococci grew at the estrus and early metestrus stages while \alpha-haemolytic streptococci grew at other stages of the cycle. Staphylococci were not found at the pre-proestrus and estrus stages, whereas they were isolated in various percentages from samples taken at the other stages. At the stages following the end of estrus, Citrobacter, Flavobacter and Proteus spp. were isolated in different percentages. Enterobacter, Acinetobacter and Neisseria spp. were isolated at different stages of estrus, Pasteurella spp. at late estrus and Shigella spp. as well as yeast in the pre-proestrus periods. While the E. coli was grown at a rate of 76.9% from the samples from breeding bitches, the coincidence rates of ß-haemolytic streptococci, a-haemolytic streptococci as well as S. aureus were determined to be 15.4%, 15.4% and 38.5%, respectively. Pasteurella, Neisseria and S. epidermidis levels were the same; 7.7%. It was observed that, E. coli appeared at a level of 100% in all the non-pregnant bitches, and E. coli alone was isolated at a level of 75%. Similarly E. coli appeared in six of the bitches that became pregnant (66.7%) and E. coli was isolated alone from half of these samples (50%). As a result it was observed that some of the bacterial components comprising the vaginal flora were present at every stage of the sexual cycle, while some were absent at particular stages; bacteria could grow at the estrus stage in the vagina without influencing the outcome of the pregnancy.

Keywords: Kangal, sexual cycle, pregnancy, postpartum, vaginal flora

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