What is Pyometra in Dogs? Pyometra is a combination of two Latin words, ‘pyo’ meaning pus and ‘metra’ meaning uterus. Pyometra is an infection that affects only adult female dogs. Due to this infection, the uterus starts dilating and there are pus and abscesses in it, due to which many complications start. In this condition, the walls of the uterus begin to weaken, and this infection spreads throughout the body.
If this is not treated medically, the tissue of the uterus begins to die and separate, which can lead to sepsis. Sepsis is a type of blood infection, if this disease is not treated on time, it can be fatal.
The uterus is resistant to harmful bacteria, but the vagina is not resistant to harmful bacteria. These bacteria can travel through the vaginal canal to the uterus and irritate the uterus.
After each heat cycle, the walls of pregnancy start to thicken due to hormonal changes. Uterine tissue grows after each cycle and this environment makes that area more susceptible to infection, making adult female dogs more prone to pyometra.
Pyometra is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary attention if symptoms appear. This condition cannot be managed at home in most cases, as it also requires surgery.
Pyometra In Dogs Symptoms
Dogs can show a variety of symptoms depending on the severity and stage of the condition. It is not easy to detect pyometra in the beginning, because the dog eats and drinks properly and there is no change in behavior. However, as the infection progresses, the dog may show the following symptoms:
In the event of pyometra, there may be a foul-smelling discharge from the female dog’s vagina. If an owner notices any discharge from their female dog’s vagina, tell the veterinarian immediately.
Reluctance (Loss Of Appetite)
Pyometra is a dangerous infection that causes severe pain in dogs. If someone’s dog shows disinterest in food, that is, lack of appetite, then it may be a condition of pyometra.
A dog that appears less active than before can also be a sign of pyometra. This infection brings changes in the dog’s body and triggers fever.
In some cases, the dog’s belly may appear slightly larger. This bloated part also feels hard to touch.
Dogs with pyometra often vomit to remove toxins.
Excessive Thirst And Gasping
Excessive thirst and gasping are also a symptom in dogs with pyometra.
As the condition of the pyometra becomes severe, the dog may appear very upset. In general, if there is a sudden change in a dog’s condition it should be seen by a veterinarian.
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What Causes Pyometra In Dogs?
Mostly the condition of pyometra is found in adult female dogs and their uterine walls become enlarged in size due to swelling. If these swollen walls become infected with pus and infection, the condition is known as cystic endometrial hyperplasia.
Spaying is a surgical procedure in which the ovaries of a female dog are completely removed. This reduces the risk of pyometra. This means that excessive hormones produced by the ovaries, especially progesterone, can cause problems in dogs that are not regularly fertilized during estrus. Explain that the physiological changes caused by reproductive hormones in mammalian females after a certain period of time is called the estrous cycle.
The risk of pyometra is higher in dogs 1 to 2 months after a heat cycle. In ‘open pyometra’ the cervix is open and there is a cream-like smelly discharge from the vagina. In ‘close pyometra’, the cervix is sealed and toxins remain inside the tissues. This is a severe form of infection, as toxins accumulate in the body.
Sometimes doctors recommend surgical removal of the reproductive organs from female dogs to reduce the risk of pyometra. Emergency surgery for pyometra works to stop the bacteria. However, this surgery is complicated because the walls of the uterus weaken and the dog does not remain in one state during the surgery. If there is any disturbance, the pus and infection can spread to other parts of the body.
Consult a doctor to know about the benefits and costs of spaying. If the dog is healthy, then it is advisable to get his physical examination done from time to time, so that any disease can be diagnosed in time.
Diagnosis Of Pyometra In Dogs
Owners should share all dog health information with the veterinarian. The vet needs to be aware of the dog’s surgery, heat cycle, and medication intake (if medication is being given).
Regular blood tests and a physical examination of the dog should be done. The report of the blood test shows whether there is any kind of infection or not. If the condition is dangerous, then through physical examination, any disturbance in the uterus can be detected.
Radiography can detect abnormalities such as gas or pus in the uterus. If satisfactory results are not obtained through this procedure, an ultrasound may be done to get more accurate results.
Treatment For Pyometra In Dogs
If there is a case of ‘closed pyometra’, then the help of a hysterectomy can be taken. This is surgery to remove the ovaries and uterus.
- The hysterectomy procedure ensures that the pyometra does not recur. If the ovaries are removed by surgery, estrogen and progesterone will not be produced, which will prevent inflammation and infection of the uterine wall.
- After surgery, strong antibiotics are given intravenously to avoid any kind of infection. In addition, medications to regulate cell growth and hormones may also be given depending on the dog’s condition.
- The part of the tissue that is cut during surgery is sterilized or disinfected to avoid any risk of infection in the future. After complete removal of the ovaries and uterus, it is necessary to take care of them.
- If a small or small part of the uterus or any hormone-related to it remains after surgery, then there is a risk of re-infection.
Medications can be used as an alternative treatment, but these are only used in cases where the dog needs breeding. If the dog is not fertilized before the next cycle, it may take longer to recover, and the chances of it happening again increase. Therefore this option is rarely used.
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How To Prevent Pyometra In Dogs?
Since emergency hysterectomies are a complex surgery and the initial days after surgery are critical, antibiotics and painkillers are given to avoid infection. The dog may also be kept in the hospital overnight to monitor the condition after surgery.
Initially, it is advisable to give soft foods to the dog, as he is slowly recovering from the surgery. During this time, the dog should not be subjected to any kind of exercise or activity, as it can spread or break the surgical stitches. The dog needs a lot of rest after surgery, if proper care is taken, the risk of infection is eliminated.
If you are thinking of getting your dog neutered or do not want to have a dog spayed, then talk to the vet about this, they will be able to tell the owner better about the risks and benefits of this procedure. Let us tell you that the risk of getting pyometra is very high in women who have never been pregnant.