It Can Save Your Pet’s Life

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Spaying and neutering aren’t just for preventing reproduction.  If you have had the good fortune of having a cat or a dog as part of your family I am sure that you have been well-educated on the importance of spaying & neutering your pets – for the most obvious reasons of preventing reproduction but also for reasons of ensuring the good health of your pet as they mature.  I don’t discount the importance of these procedures for the health of my pets but I must admit, I did have one dog that I never neutered and he lived to be 17 years old.  This is NOT an endorsement for NOT fixing your pet because there are life-threatening medical conditions which can affect your pet if they are not fixed.  I recently experienced one of these conditions – Pyometra – meaning “pus-filled uterus”. This condition can affect female dogs, cats, rats, ferrets, rabbits, and guinea pigs.

SuedeI recently adopted an older Pit mix named Suede.  She was in very good health but had not been spayed and had just given birth to a litter shortly before I adopted her.  Over the course of 2 months following the adoption, I made several attempts to get Suede spayed by the adoption agency, per my contract agreement.  Long story short, it didn’t happen.   During this period Suede experienced a heat cycle.  This is important to mention.  Before I knew it, by the third month, she became sick.  I had no idea what was happening to her.

The symptoms I observed were

  • A thick, purulent, vaginal discharge
  • Increased urination
  • Change in eating habits – not in the amount she was eating but just the way she was eating.
  • What appeared to be another “period” which started simply as spotting, however the blood was a very strange shade of red.  It was too soon after her last heat cycle for her to be having her period and the spotting quickly escalated to extreme bleeding when at one point she barked and blood spewed out of her vagina.

Suede’s symptoms progressed rapidly over the course of 1 week.  I took her to the Animal Medical Center where she received EXCELLENT care from Doctors Currao, Corbin and Fink.  She was diagnosed with Pyometra, which would require emergency life-saving surgery.

Pyometra is a uterine infection which is common in older, un-spayed female dogs.  It occurs when bacteria infects uterine secretions which results in the uterus becoming enlarged, abscessed, and pus-filled.  If a dog has Pyometra it is important to seek medical attention immediately since your dog can either already be septic or eventually suffer septic shock.

While it was relatively easy to diagnose my “pup” with Pyometra, it is not always easily diagnosable if it is a closed Pyometra which means there is no vaginal discharge so if there are other symptoms, they may be attributable to other conditions.

Symptoms of Pyometra include

  • Vaginal discharge of pus sometimes including blood.
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Increased drinking
  • Increased urination
  • Fever – sometimes
  • Abdomen may become enlarged

Depending on severity or if a Closed-Cervix Pyometra – symptoms may include

  • Signs of blood poisoning
  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Cold extremities
  • Reduced body temperature
  • Collapse.

Treatment of Pyometra will include administration of antibiotics and possibly intravenous fluids.  The treatment of choice is surgery which is basically a Spay but with the added complication of already-present infection.

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  1. Good morning, This is a great summary, I located your blog checking google for any comparable topic and found this. I couldnt find too much other information and facts about this posting, so it was wonderful to discover this one. I am going to probably often be returning to check out a few other articles that you have written another time. Perhaps you have thought about blogging for money? there is a web site http://www.article-pie.com that pays you to write articles, you would be great at it.

  2. Does these procedures last? I’m wondering if it’s permanent or the reproductive system can recover. I’m curious to find out if there’s side effects. Our first female pet dog lived to 13 years old.

    • Hi Sherwin,

      Thank you for your comments. I am not a doctor so am responding based solely on my experience with my dog. The procedure is basically a spay and is permanent since the reproductive organs are removed. If the animal is suffering with Pyometra you would have to seek medical attention. Only then would a doctor be able to determine whether or not treatment would require emergency surgery or could be treated with medicine.

      My experience was that this was a life-threatening situation which required emergency surgery to save my dog’s life.

      I hope this helps.

  3. I’m so glad I found your site. Its awesome.

  4. Dia

    Very clear descriptions of symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and human (pet)interest side bars, of a very unusual ailment. I will keep on visiting. Keep up the good work.

  5. I couldn’t understand certain parts of this article, but I guess I only need to learn a bit more about this, because it sure seems interesting and kind of though-proviking! By the way, how did you first get become interested with this?

    • Hi,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Whatever parts you didn’t understand I would be more than happy to elaborate for you. I just didn’t want to inundate readers with too much information.

      I became interested because I had just adopted my dog from a Kill-Shelter and you have to sign an agreement that you will spay/neuter the dog which I attempted to do several times, and they wouldn’t do it. Within 3 months, her life was in jeopardy because she had developed Pyometra. The symptoms were not so obvious either. If it had not been for the blood, she might have died because she appeared in good health.

      Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you.

      Rachel

  6. Hi Rashad,

    I am glad that you stumbled upon it. I hope you will continue to return.

    Best
    Rachel

  7. I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing.




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