I just left the vet's office and my 8 year old Sheltie
is having emergency surgery for pyometra. My vet didn't have time to
explain much about it but said she needed to be spayed right away.
She didn't seem that sick but did have some bad smelling discharge from
her female area. What is a pyometra?
dog... cat... pyometra... spay
more often in dogs than cats, pyometra means pus in the uterus. Pus
(white blood cells that accumulate in defense of infection) buildup can
escape through the uterine tract and is seen as a discharge from the vulva
and often collects on the fur under the tail and back legs. In some
cases no discharge is present... called a closed pyometra. Various
factors play into the development of pyometra such as irregular heat
cycles, bladder or vaginal infections, hormone imbalance, and false
The uterine cavity becomes infiltrated with pus
and mucous from the infection and distends, stretching and thinning the
uterine wall. Bacteria and toxins enter the bloodstream and cause
havoc with the kidneys, liver and other organs and may lead to endotoxic
shock and sudden death. Veterinarians treat pyometra as an emergency
surgical case and are reluctant to simply "try some
antibiotics". Pyometra can be fatal!
are a number of health enhancing effects on dogs and cats from being
spayed or neutered. In female dogs and cats any chance of pyometra
is eliminated by being spayed. Spaying means the ovaries and uterus are
removed and is referred to as an "ovariohysterectomy".
This condition occurs when the dog
or cat feels, looks, and acts like she is pregnant and even produces milk
in the mammary glands, and yet no fetuses are present. It is more
common in dogs than cats.