Pyometra In Female Dogs


Following on from our previous Holidays4Dogs article about the canine heat cycle, we look at the condition affecting female dogs called Pyometra.

Pyometra is considered to be a rather nasty infection of the uterus in un-spayed female dogs and it can be life-threatening. It can happen as a result of hormone changes in the reproductive organs of the female dog.

Over some time, if the dog does not reproduce, the lining of the womb can thicken, often allowing cysts to develop. This thickened lining provides an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish.

In addition, higher levels of progesterone can prevent the muscles in the uterus lining to contract and eliminate the accumulation of fluids and bacteria. These two factors combined can lead to infection.

Symptoms of Pyometra

The signs of this condition very much depend on whether the cervix remains open, or closed.  If the cervix remains open, fluid (pus) will drain from the uterus and may be seen collecting on the dog’s fur.

If the cervix remains closed the stomach may become distended. Toxins are absorbed into the bloodstream. The dog may become lethargic. There is also the possibility of vomiting and diarrhoea.

Toxins released into the bloodstream from pyometra can also compromise kidney function. This means there will be an increase in urination and the dog may drink excessively as a means of re-hydrating.

The dog may become very ill, quite quickly. Immediate and prompt veterinary attention is, therefore, crucial.

Treatment of Pyometra

The favoured treatment for this condition is to spay the dog as a matter of urgency. However, an emergency operation will be a little more complicated and recovery time may take longer. Without surgery, the prognosis is usually very low. Many cases can be fatal.

With one in four female dogs suffering from this life-threatening infection, it is wise to consider neutering your pet.

 For any matters relating to your pet’s health, please seek advice from your vet.