Pyometra occurs in unsterilised female dogs and cats where the uterus becomes infected and fills with pus. This is triggered by a heat cycle that doesn’t end in the egg being fertilised and caused by an excessive amount of progesterone or hypersensitivity of the uterus to progesterone.
After their heat cycle dogs typically start showing signs of the disease within two to four months. The most common symptoms to look out for can include;
They become tired and lethargy
Sometimes they start vomiting
Often you will see an increase in thirst
They have a bloody and smelly vaginal discharge
Often they get a fever and collapse
If you notice this with your pets, it is an emergency. Getting immediate veterinary care either through your regular veterinarian or nearest emergency hospital is highly recommended.
Your veterinarian will recommend some testing which can include blood testing, x-ray and ultrasound. In severe cases your vet will undertake a type of blood test to understand and detect the possibility of other organ damage.
Available are both surgical and medical management options are available to pets diagnosed with pyometra. Both of these option do carry associated risks to their health. The decision to pursue medical vs. surgical management will be based on the clinical stability of your pet, the associated risks of treatment and the patient’s reproductive value and potential. Pets with a closed-cervix pyometra are at higher risk for uterine rupture and systemic illness.
Generally, IV fluids are usually administered for several days, along with antibiotics to treat the infection. The uterus and surrounding areas will be irrigated to flush away pus, fluids and assist recovery.
In severe cases of Pyometra the uterus becomes at risk of rupturing and spreading into the abdominal cavity. In this situation, the veterinarian will recommend surgery. This is reduce the risk of life threatening septic peritonitis and the possibility of acute kidney failure from uremic poisoning.