Canine uterine infections3rd May 2016
A ‘pyometra’ is the medical term for an infection in the womb. It can be a life-threatening problem for dogs so needs to be dealt with urgently. All our vets and nurses at Bollington Veterinary Centre are used to seeing this problem, so don’t delay.
Over the years we’ve seen female dogs of all ages from Bollington brought to our surgery with the symptoms of a pyometra. Generally the problem begins a few weeks after they were last in season.
- Loss of appetite – the toxins produced by the infection make an animal feel unwell and they refuse to eat much
- Polydipsia – the poisons in the blood make dogs drink more than usual
- Abdominal swelling – look for a swollen or uncomfortable tummy
- Discharge – we often (but not always) see some fluid dribbling from the back end (vulva). It’s often cloudy, white or brown and with a strong unpleasant smell
- Vomiting – this is also common, so any dog with loss of appetite and vomiting must be seen
If your dog displays any of these problems and has not been spayed, it’s time to let one of our vets check her out. Ring us urgently on 01625 573375 to make an appointment.
What happens next?
An operation is often required, and the good news is that once she recovers from the infection, she won’t be able to develop a pyometra again.
A blood test, a drip and antibiotics are also very often needed.
The blood tests will help us determine how high her white blood cell count is, as well as letting us know if any damage has been done to her kidneys or liver. Intravenous fluids are needed to help flush the toxins out of her system and maintain normal kidney function, and the antibiotics are used to control any infection in the blood.
Our professional team can talk you through the options in detail to make sure you understand.
Can a pyometra be prevented?
Yes, a pyometra is actually one of the most preventable conditions we see in dogs. The most important way to do this is to arrange to have your dog neutered at a young age. If you have any doubts, please make an appointment to discuss it in detail with us.
When your pet is neutered, the ovaries are removed, thereby removing the hormonal link with pyometra.
It’s far better to spay your dog whilst she is healthy, rather than wait until an illness strikes and you have to resort to an emergency operation. Even if your dog isn’t young, it is something you should always consider.
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