Pyometra in dogs and cats can lead to a life-threatening infection. City by the Sea Veterinary Hospital provides education and treatment for pyometra. This secondary infection is the result of hormonal changes in a female animal’s reproductive tract. After a dog or cat is in heat, its progesterone hormones elevate, causing the uterus lining to thicken. If pregnancy does not happen after several cycles, the thickness of the uterine lining continues to increase until cysts form in the uterine tissues. These cysts secrete fluids that often lead to bacterial growth. The uterine muscles cannot properly contract due to the thick uterine walls and high levels of progesterone. White blood cells cannot adequately protect against infection during this time. The bacteria can grow, leading to the life-threatening problem of pyometra.
Pyometra in dogs is more common in middle-aged to older pups, especially if they have never had babies. Cats can also get pyometra, but it is not as common. Open pyometra in dogs happens when the cervix is open, allowing the infection to drain outward. Closed pyometra in dogs happens when the infection is trapped inside the uterus. These infections cause many symptoms, including:
City by the Sea Veterinary will do its best to bring your pet back to optimal health. Our preferred pyometra treatment in cats or dogs is the surgical removal of the infected uterus and ovaries or spaying the animal. The surgery is more complicated than a routine spay because most animals are not diagnosed until they are very ill, resulting in more extended hospitalization and a more in-depth surgery. After the surgery, your dog is given IV fluids and antibiotics. Some pet owners choose to treat breeding females with a medical approach. This approach does come with risks. Hormones that relax and open the cervix called prostaglandins expel bacteria and pus, treating the disease. There are side effects, risk of a ruptured uterus, and risk of recurrence of the disease. We will help you determine the best treatment of pyometra for your dog or cat.
The only way to truly prevent pyometra is to have your dog or cat spayed. By removing the uterus and ovaries, we remove the hormonal issues that cause heat cycles and uterine changes. It’s safer to spay a healthy dog than to spay a dog or cat with pyometra. Female dogs and cats should be spayed before their first heat cycles. Though this is the recommendation, most older animals are good candidates for the spay procedure. We’ll speak with you in detail about the procedure, benefits, and risks.
Our devoted, knowledgeable veterinarian team will help if your dog or cat has pyometra. The disease can be fatal if it isn’t treated quickly. Your pet’s health is our top priority. We strive to make you feel comfortable and happy with our services. We’re open from Monday through Saturday with evening and weekend hours available, as well as emergency services and urgent care. Contact our vet hospital today to schedule an appointment if you think your dog might have pyometra.