Pyometra is a severe bacterial
infection with accumulation of pus within the uterus. Though it
often occurs in middle-aged or older females that have never had
puppies, younger dogs are sometimes affected.
Pyometra results from hormonal
influences that decrease the normal resistance to infection. As a
result, bacteria enter the uterus when the cervix is open during
the heat period, and infection results. If the cervix closes
after infection, large volumes of pus can accumulate.
Signs of pyometra include:
The disease may develop very
slowly over several weeks.
- Medical and surgical
treatments are available, but surgical treatment is more
common. The advantages of surgery are that the condition
cannot recur, and there will no longer be any bothersome
heat periods. Medical treatment is most often performed
in young animals intended for breeding or when surgery
seems too risky. In some cases, medical treatment is used
until the animal is strong enough for surgery.
- Surgery consists of removal
of both ovaries and the uterus. Because the patient is
ill and the uterus is infected, the surgery is more
complicated and carries a higher risk than routine
spaying in a healthy animal. Postoperative treatment
includes antibiotics and intravenous fluids. Blood tests
are useful in both diagnosing the condition and
monitoring the response to treatment.
- Give all medication as
- Surgical patients:
Inspect the incision
at least once daily. Return for suture removal in 10