Pyometra, a condition preventable through the spaying non breeding animals.

WARNING. PICTURES ARE GRAPHIC

By Dr. Dan Erjavec from Animal Care Center

Maddie is a seven year old, 90 lb female Newfoundland mix. She presented for lethargy, occasional vomiting, and a thick bloody vaginal discharge. This picture shows how irritated the skin around her vulva is; note the matted debris on her tail.

Maddie’s presentation is typical of an open pyometra. Pyometra- a pus filled uterus- typically occur in middle aged to older females that have not had litters before. It generally manifests in the weeks following a heat cycle and can result in a severe, potentially life threating infection. Dogs suffering from pyometra can become septic, go into renal failure, become anemic, and have very high levels of white blood cells. Pyometra are classified as open, meaning the pus is able to drain out of the body, and closed, meaning the cervix is shut and the pus accumulates in the uterus. Maddie was diagnosed by taking radiographs and with an abdominal ultrasound. Treatment for pyometra is almost always surgical removal of the uterus, which is what we did for Maddie. This picture shows a very distended uterine horn.

Maddie recovered well after surgery and was able to go home 48 hours after initially coming into the clinic. She needed overnight monitoring, IV fluids, and strong antibiotics, but is now doing very well. Spaying dogs and cats completely removes the possibility of a pyometra from occurring, and is one of the reasons most veterinarians recommend spaying non breeding animals.

She needed overnight monitoring, IV fluids, and strong antibiotics, but is now doing very well. Spaying dogs and cats completely removes the possibility of a pyometra from occurring, and is one of the reasons most veterinarians recommend spaying non breeding animals.