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Rockwall Veterinarian Discusses Pyometra

Seiko-Meyer--open-pyometraThis is Seiko. Seiko is a 12 year old Lab that was not spayed.  Her owners brought her to us last week because she was becoming more lethargic and was having discharge from her vulva raising a red flag that something was wrong. We quickly took radiographs and ran bloodwork. The radiographs displayed a semi-enlarged uterus and the bloodwork demonstrated an elevated white cell count indicating a severe infection. Both confirmed our original diagnosis of a Pyometra (a uterine infection). Seiko underwent surgery to remove the infected uterus and was placed on antibiotics, pain medications and restricted activity for a week.

Pyometra is an infection in the uterus. Due to the severity of a Pyometra an emergency ovariohysterectomy (spay) needs to occur. When female dogs/cats undergo estrus (heat), white blood cells are eliminated which increase the risk of an infection. With the hormonal changes and the infected setting, bacteria continue to reproduce worsening the infection. Pyometra usually strikes older intact female dogs/cats, but may still occur in younger dogs/cats. Pyometra begins after a female dog/cat undergoes a heat cycle. Symptoms may include malaise, lethargy, fever, excessive drinking and vaginal discharge. There are two types of Pyometra, open and closed. Open Pyometra allows the pus to drain through the cervix. Closed Pyometra barricades the pus from secreting due to the cervix being closed.

The likelihood of success without surgery is very low. If the cervix is closed, the uterus is at risk of rupturing. Thus, leaking the infection into the abdominal cavity resulting in fatality.

Help prevent Pyometra from risking your pet’s life by spaying early! For more information, contact Pet Doctor at (972) 772-7777.

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