Skye, an 8 year old intact female Labrador Retriever, presented for having a decreased appetite, distended abdomen, and vulvar discharge for several days.
Physical examination revealed a markedly distended abdomen and thick grey to green vulvar discharge.
An X-ray was taken which showed an enlarged uterus and it was suspected that Skye had a condition called Pyometra.
Pyometra, or uterine infection, is a hormonally-mediated condition which can occur in unspayed female dogs. It is often the result of hormonal changes in the reproductive tract which create an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Pyometra is considered an emergency since complications can be life-threatening.
Spaying your pet is the best way to prevent uterine infections. Of course there are other advantages as well, such as decreasing your pet's risk for developing mammary cancer. Studies have shown that the risk for developing malignant mammary tumors in dogs is 0.05% for those spayed prior to their first heat, 8% for those spayed after their first heat, and 26% for those spayed after their second heat. This is why most veterinarians recommend spaying your pet between 4 and 6 months of age. Spaying also eliminates the possibility of uterine and ovarian tumors as well as unwanted pregnancy.
Skye underwent an ovariohysterectomy, or removal of the ovaries and uterus, as treatment. She was also given IV fluids, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and pain medication. She felt much better the next day and was sent home with her owners. We were very happy to meet Skye and glad we could help her feel better.