RCVS Accreditation

Pyometra: A Guide To Survival 

Life threatening conditions: PYOMETRA

This condition applies only to bitches which had not been spayed or to those incompletely or unsuccesfully spayed. Mostly happens in older bitches of all breeds, even in those which "apparently" have stopped having seasons. It is not uncommon to occur soon after the last season of the bitch.

Prevention is usually achieved by having the bitch spayed routinely.

The basic problem is one of inflammation with or without infection in the uterus. The condition is usually chronic and leads to:

Pain, reduced appetite, vomiting, increased drinking, weight loss, conformational changes and often (but not always) a vaginal discharge: small or large volume of foul yellow or reddish "glue-like pus".

Although fluids and antibiotic use can appear to alliviate the signs, it is only when the uterus is removed completely from ovaries to cervix that full recovery is possible.

Because of the fragility and friablity of the uterus when full of pus it is possible for the uterus to burst during the operation. Such a uterus may weigh up to 6Kg in large bitches!

In previously unsuccessfully spayed bitches the condition is known as "stump pyometra" whereby only the remnant of the pre-cervical body of the uterus requires removal. 

(Pyometra: Uterus full of pus)

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