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Pyometra - NOT a disease to fool around with!

14+kitties
May 10th, 2011, 07:38 PM
I am posting this because I want to get the correct information out there. Currently there is a thread being shown that states pyometra can be treated with a course of antibiotics and close observation. Please Note - this is NOT always the best course to take. In fact it could cost your dog, or cat, it's life. Without constant vet supervision, which most of us can not afford, it will likely end badly.
From - http://www.vetsurgerycentral.com/pyometra.htm
Please note there are some disturbing pictures with this article.
Article Written by Dr. Daniel A. Degner, Board-certified Veterinary Surgeon (DACVS)

Key Points

The word pyometra can be divided into two root words

Pyo means pus

Metra refers to the uterus

Pyometra starts after a dog goes through a heat cycle, usually within about 3 to 5 weeks

Spaying is the treatment of choice

Prognosis is usually favorable, providing that the patient is not profoundly ill

Anatomy

The uterus is a Y-shaped organ that has two horns
An ovary is located at the end of each horn of the uterus


Pathophysiology
The word pyometra can be divided into two root words
Pyo means pus
Metra refers to the uterus
Pyometra starts after a dog goes through a heat cycle, usually within about 3 to 5 weeks
Stimulation of the uterus with abnormal levels of hormones (estrogen and progesterone) cause the lining of the uterus to become thickened and fluid accumulates inside the uterus
Infection develops in the uterus
As the infection progresses, the uterus fills with pus
If the pet has closed pyometra the cervix is not open and pus cannot drain to the outside
If open pyometra is present, the pus can drain through the cervix
The infection is life-threatening; closed pyometra may cause a pet to become more ill than open pyometra


Clinical signs
Pus may or may not drain from the vagina/vulva (see photo below)
Increased thirst/increased urination
Enlargement of the abdomen as the uterus fills with pus
Lethargy
Poor appetite
Weight loss
Enlargement of the abdomen
Fever
Dehydration
Clinical signs are variable from pet to pet

Diagnostic tests
Complete blood cell count usually shows an elevated white count
Chemistry profile to evaluate function of internal organs
Radiographs of the abdomen
Ultrasound of the uterus (photo below shows a uterus filled with pus - black structure)
Culture of the pus from the uterus
Biopsy of the uterus if cancer is suspected

Treatment
Fluid therapy via an IV to correct dehydration
Antibiotics
Transfusions of plasma, Hetastarch, whole blood
Surgical removal of the uterus; photo below shows a very enlarged uterus that is filled with pus


Nonsurgical Treatment
Fluid therapy
Antibiotics
Prostaglandins help the uterus to expel pus and alters the hormone levels of the ovaries
This treatment should not be used if the pet is quite ill
This treatment should not be used if your pet has closed pyometra
This treatment may not work and surgery will need to be done
If this treatment is successful, the next time the dog goes through heat, pyometra will usually recur unless the dog is bred and becomes pregnant


Aftercare
Antibiotic therapy
Restrict activity for 3 weeks
Encourage eating and drinking
Check incision for signs of infection


Potential complications
Anesthetic death
Bladder infection
Peritonitis, which is infection of the abdomen
Abdominal abscess formation
Disseminated intravascular coagulation, which is a clotting disorder from the infection and causes death in many patients.
Sepsis – poisoning of the body by toxins from bacteria


Prevention of pyometra

Simply having your pet spayed at a young age will prevent pyometra and will decrease the risk of mammary cancer

There is more information on the web site. I urge you all to read it.

This is also another good site to read. Because of length I won't post it but please read..........
http://www.thepetcenter.com/sur/pyo.html

shirley1011
May 10th, 2011, 07:43 PM
Thanks so much 14+ for the great post. I know Frenchy was trying to convey that and not trying to give out the idea that it is ok to put our precious pets in danger.

I will be sure to read all the links...I don't think you can ever know enough about Pyometra.

Shaykeija
May 10th, 2011, 08:53 PM
Yes I read what frenchy wrote and she was trying to get her words out. This illness can kill your dog quickly....

free
May 10th, 2011, 09:00 PM
thanks for taking the time to research and post this information.

Tundra_Queen
May 10th, 2011, 10:18 PM
14+ thanks for posting that! That sounds down right scarey!

kathryn
May 10th, 2011, 11:42 PM
14+, would it be okay with you if I linked to some pics of mine/my friends of pyo's we've seen for educational purposes? i will put a graphic warning.

kathryn
May 11th, 2011, 12:52 AM
In all my time spent at a spay/neuter clinic I've never heard any of the atleast 2 dozen (some with 20+ years under their belt) vets I've worked with say they've ever had any cat or dog EVER get better from a pyo with any kind of medication. :shrug: Not to say that it is completely impossible, I'm just saying it's highly unlikely.

From my clinical experience and from what I've discussed with reputable breeders and highly skilled veterinarians, it is very unlikely that any cat or dog would survive, let alone make it to a full term pregnancy, with a pyometra infection, especially one that started so early in the pregnancy, regardless of any form of antibiotics.

I have seen cats and dogs die or nearly die from pyometras, and die or nearly die from having pyometras while pregnant.



Also, depending on the anti-biotics or medications administered to a pregnant cat or dog, they could have serious long term developmental impacts down the road on any pups/kits.


I hope I'm allowed to have an opinion on this subject considering I've only seen a few hundred pyometras and several pregnant pyometras :shrug:

BenMax
May 11th, 2011, 05:48 AM
Thank you for posting this thread. Very informative and hopefully educates people.
:thumbs up

Love4himies
May 11th, 2011, 07:05 AM
THANK YOU 14+kitties for another very, very informative thread :grouphug: :lovestruck:.

I believe that the threat of pyometra should NOT be made light of. It is a life threatening illness, that, IMHO, NO LOVING dog or cat owner should risk their pet for. "Open" pyometra may be treated with antibiotics, but not always successful and there is a good chance of it recurring.

Edited by Admin

krdahmer
May 11th, 2011, 07:43 AM
great info as always mf! :thumbs up

14+kitties
May 11th, 2011, 07:56 AM
Kathryn - I appreciate your offer. :grouphug: If people take the time to open the links there are plenty of shock value pictures there. :thumbs up

:confused: I must admit I am a bit confused as to why there is such an argument going on about such a life threatening, deadly disease. I am not here to argue whether a vet's writing style is "soft". I did this thread simply to try to help people make an informed decision regarding their dog's very life. How is that arguable?

Just as a point - I do not wish the "other" thread to be drawn into this as far as including names. I will be asking mods to remove any mention of names from this thread. It does not need to muddy the waters. This thread was made to be educational NOT to be another argument.
Thank you.

chico2
May 11th, 2011, 08:05 AM
THANK YOU 14+!!A very scary condition,I knew absolutely nothing about it..

14+kitties
May 11th, 2011, 08:23 AM
For those interested in stats (I am) - All information I was able to find said IF TREATED 90% of dogs survive this horrid condition. The following blog said it about the best..........

http://insidethegermanshepherddogsworld.blogspot.com/2010/09/pyometra.html

marko
May 11th, 2011, 08:42 AM
All issues with other members should be taken to PM.
This is a general thread on Pyometra, let's keep other members and other threads out of it please.

Thx
Marko
ADMIN

erykah1310
May 11th, 2011, 09:30 AM
I'm not going to argue but hypothetically if Karma or Tibby were to get Pyometra I would spay in a heartbeat. I absolutely love those 2 dogs and they mean far more to me than producing a litter of pups. I wouldn't care if either one of them was top Champions for this or that they're my family first, all the rest is just bragging rights IMO. However, I would also spay for "fair" hips or not passing something as simple as CERF as well.
I dont breed to breed and I don't care if I get a litter out of them or not, the only reason I will breed is if I am looking to produce something specific (aka Tibby) and if someone wants to start bashing me for breeding for any reason feel free to PM, or hunt down my blog again. LOL

I am with the pro spay/neuter people on this one, I personally would not risk my dog going through this any more than they had to by leaving them intact, I dont care how much money could be invested in my girl or a litter, the quality of their lives and keeping them out of danger is number 1 for me personally.

hazelrunpack
May 11th, 2011, 09:42 AM
Ridge went into heat right after she arrived, which delayed her spay a few weeks (we did Macie and Belle in the meanwhile and rotated Ridge's spay to the end of the new arrivals). During that time after her heat ended she suddenly became somewhat cold sensitive and a little more lethargic than usual. Both signs were very, very subtle. She's never been the most animated and she always preferred being warm to being cold... We told the vet about the symptoms and after some back-and-forth (because her symptoms were so slight and all her bloodwork and UA came back normal), we finally convinced our vet to put her on antibiotics. (This is where a good relationship with your vet is important--they know how carefully we watch our dogs and that we'd often caught things earlier than they could because of it.) Her symptoms improved under the antibiotic treatment so the vets agreed to keep her on the antibiotics till her spay.

Lo and behold, when they did the spay, they found a closed pyometra. :eek: The uterus was large and pus-filled but somewhat deflated since the infection was responding to the antibiotics, but thank dawg the vets listened to us and thank dawg the antibiotic chosen was effective for that particular infection! Lucky Ridge that we were able to spot the subtle signs despite having just gotten her! What if we hadn't noticed?! :eek:

I always wondered how it might have turned out, given that her pyometra was almost symptom-free, if she'd not gotten the meds. Or if they'd just treated her over the usual course of 10 days and then stopped the meds. The outcome could have been tragic. Definitely a scary condition!

SamIam
May 11th, 2011, 01:53 PM
Having recently done extensive research and been in contact with vets, breeders, and owners who have experience with canine pyometra, I would like to share my knowledge on the subject, and welcome others to share theirs.

Canine pyometra is most common in old female dogs who have never been bred or who have had numerous unbred heats or mismate shots, with most sources giving the typical date of diagnosis as 4-8 weeks after her heat. Atypical cases are dogs as young as 4 months, those who have been bred previously or currently, and as early as during her heat or later than 4 months following. The only criteria covering all cases of pyometra are a female who is unspayed or was incompletely spayed.

Whether an individual dog will be considered a candidate for antibiotic therapy depends on the individual dog’s prognosis at the time of initial exam and diagnosis, on the vet’s experience, knowledge, and confidence in reproductive medicine, and on the breeder’s ability to provide supportive care and close observation. In most cases, the dog will be spayed immediately at the time of diagnosis.

Pyometra is one of many risks added to a breeder that is not a factor for the average owner of spayed or neutered pets. Some of these risks can be eliminated or reduced by choosing healthy dogs and by good management practices and preventive health care. Some of the risks are an unavoidable part of being a breeder.

Being a breeder is not just a matter of choosing not to spay your dog and getting her pregnant. It means knowing your risks, managing them, accepting them, and preparing for them. It means having the time to be there for your dog and her puppies, having the knowledge, strength, and support to deal with whatever comes your way in an appropriate and timely manner, and most definitely having the financial means to deal with any of the potential emergencies that could befall your female and the entire litter.

erykah1310
May 11th, 2011, 03:01 PM
How many people do we personally know who do not spay or neuter just for the simple reason of cost? I can name a good 10 off the top of my head.
This thread is a great tool to help someone who has an intact female for no other reason than saving money to reconsider that a few hundred dollars right out the starting gate is a safer option.

The breeder part of me also finds what SamIAm wrote equally benificial for someone who is even just considering keeping their female intact to breed for bucks (sadly this is another common reason people do not alter) I find this is something they should hear as well.

Being a breeder is not just a matter of choosing not to spay your dog and getting her pregnant. It means knowing your risks, managing them, accepting them, and preparing for them. It means having the time to be there for your dog and her puppies, having the knowledge, strength, and support to deal with whatever comes your way in an appropriate and timely manner, and most definitely having the financial means to deal with any of the potential emergencies that could befall your female and the entire litter.

Carnac
May 11th, 2011, 03:03 PM
Please keep the intent of this thread as it was originally intended by 14+: an educational source regarding pyometra which can be used for future reference by everyone.

thanks

ScottieDog
May 11th, 2011, 03:07 PM
14+ thank you for this information.

My husband has a relative who inherited an elderly unspayed female bassett hound when her mother passed away. Given the dog's age and the fact that she would not be exposed to intact male dogs, the new owner thought it was in the dog's best interest not to spay. As you can guess this dog got pyometra. It is fortunate for the dog that her owner was a nurse and rushed the dog to the emergency vet when the foul-smelling discharge started. It was a very hard surgery for an elderly and now very ill dog to have. She did pull through but needed to be hospitalized for nearly a week and her recovery was very rough and very long. I'm certain that the cost was much greater than having a routine spay at the vet on a healthy dog--financially and emotionally for the owner and physically on the dog.

dbg10
May 11th, 2011, 06:41 PM
Thanks for posting this 14+ I had no idea pyometra was such a serious illness. :thankyou:

You are very right that the risks are much too high to fool around with giving other treatments if the dog has been diagnosed with it. I know if it were me, I would have my dog spayed immediately rather than risk her life even if she was a show dog. :)

t.pettet
May 11th, 2011, 08:36 PM
Thank you 14+kitties for a very informative article on a serious health issue pertaining to non-spaying of pets for the sole purpose of breeding.

14+kitties
May 11th, 2011, 09:28 PM
:grouphug: Thanks everyone. :thumbs up

marko
May 12th, 2011, 09:50 AM
Thx - 14+
There are also 2 additional resources on pyometra on this very site.

Link 1 is from the encyclopedia and is slightly more technical
Link 2 is from the articles section and is less technical

http://www.pets.ca/dogs/encyclopedia/pyometra/

http://www.pets.ca/dogs/articles/pyometra-in-cats-and-dogs/

Thx - marko

14+kitties
May 12th, 2011, 10:22 AM
Thank you Marko both for adding the tag(s) to the thread for me and for the additional information. It can never hurt to have as much info as possible! :thumbs up

kathryn
May 12th, 2011, 11:06 AM
**WARNING GRAPHIC NATURE**

click links at your own risk! SURGERY PICTURES!!!!!!

http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/37753_423743234039_617489039_4567576_770579_n.jpg

Pyometra from a 4 year old pit bull (julia's pic)

http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/37753_423743239039_617489039_4567577_7449423_n.jpg

Same dog, uterus when we were taking it out (julia's pic)

http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/38927_424171934039_617489039_4582075_1837035_n.jpg

Young cat that had a pyometra while pregnant and all the fetuses died near time, the cat went into septic shock and was on deaths door when brought to us. A local animal hospital was literally about to put the needle in this kitties arm to euthanize her when one of our vets at the shelter heard another vet at the hospital mention it. The kitty was rushed over to us and put in for an emergency spay.. she was barely alive. We were able to pump her full of fluids and some heavy dose antibiotics and SHE MADE IT THROUGH!! :thumbs up And is a happy healthy kitty today!! (my pic)

http://img685.imageshack.us/i/img9339t.jpg/

Same cat, a wider view of the uterus once removed, the yellow gunk is the infection from the pyometra. You can't see it as well because most of it was still in the sac. (my pic)

http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/22676_537815042652_47101195_31932080_810772_n.jpg

Pyometra in a young cat (laura's pic)

http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/22676_537815057622_47101195_31932081_868655_n.jpg

same cat about 2 or 3 years old (laura's pic)

http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/22676_537815082572_47101195_31932082_6432805_n.jpg

What it looks like inside.. same cat as above (laura's pic)


http://img811.imageshack.us/i/2306580283e95e16076d6b4.jpg/

This is a RABBIT uterus with a huge tumor that was basically like a pyometra because it was filled with yellow nasty gunk. The rabbit was 3-5 years old. (my pic)

http://img339.imageshack.us/i/24525064b2fec285dd85a97.jpg/

Another situation of a pregnant cat that developed a pyometra. In this situation the fetus died and when it started to reabsorb into the body the cat got VERY VERY SICK and nearly died. (that's why it looks like this there alot of dark colored blood, but it was blood mixed with pus from the infection)... This is why anyone who is against spaying pregnant animals needs to see pictures like this. Cats and dogs DIE from problems with pregnancy! (danielle's pic)

http://img715.imageshack.us/i/ewwwwwwwwww.jpg/

Okay, this isn't a pyometra but it's in the same ballpark. This is a purebred boxer that the people intended to breed but of course they were morons who shouldn't have even ever owned a pet. She was only about 18 months old at the time this happened. This is a prolapsed uterus & vagina. Yep... lovely huh? and because they were cheapo's it took them until it was THAT bad to seek help. It was all infected and disgusting.... now a dog that could have easily been spayed as a puppy had to go through possibly numerous surgeries to correct this or be put down (we had to refer this dog somewhere else because it was too much for the spay clinic) (my pic)


Hopes this clears a few things up for you people :thumbs up


(pics posted with permission from mod)

krdahmer
May 13th, 2011, 10:14 AM
wow kathryn...scary scary stuff... I like to be informed though, the more info the better! so glad my girls won't have to go through any of that!

Chaser
May 13th, 2011, 03:27 PM
Thanks for the info 14+

My aunt had never heard of this and about a year ago she told me her 7 y.o. min pin wasn't spayed. She was contemplating "letting" her have one litter so she'd get to be a mother. I was like "ummm....let's not do that". Explained to her about pyo and three weeks later she got her fixed. I was so relieved!

Bina
May 13th, 2011, 03:45 PM
When I met my husband almost 20 years ago he had 2 female house cats. One spayed, one not. :frustrated: I don't know if he had just not gotten around to having the second one spayed, but regardless, within 2 years of her living with us she had developed a pyo. I went into her sleeping area one day and discovered a bad smell and blood everywhere, even up the wall. :eek:
Freaking out, we took her to the vet and the pyo was confirmed.

I don't remember exactly what meds etc. she got, but she was spayed and it was an "extensive" spay requiring her to have more IV fluids and a longer hospital stay. We felt just horrible, but had never heard of this at the time.
That particular kitty cat went on to live until the age of 14 when she lost a battle with unrelated cancer.:rip:
Now all of our cats (rescues) are immediately spayed, I never want to see another episode like that again if I can help it.

14+kitties
May 13th, 2011, 09:57 PM
Thanks folks for sharing your stories. It does this weary heart good to see how much a lot of people truly care for their pets by getting them spayed early before this disease hits. :cry::grouphug: I wonder what the percentage would be for pyometra if more people left spaying till it was too late. I'm so very glad spaying seems to be catching on. :thumbs up

kathryn
May 13th, 2011, 10:14 PM
Thanks folks for sharing your stories. It does this weary heart good to see how much a lot of people truly care for their pets by getting them spayed early before this disease hits. :cry::grouphug: I wonder what the percentage would be for pyometra if more people left spaying till it was too late. I'm so very glad spaying seems to be catching on. :thumbs up

I've never heard of a pyometra being "treated" with antibiotics for long term, maybe to hold over for a few days until a spay can be done... but that's like trying to re attach an arm with a band-aid.. it's not really going to cut it. Any responsible veterinarian would recommend immediately spaying if the animal was healthy enough for surgery... and even if not healthy enough you still kind of have to do it anyways :shrug:

There is just SO much pus and infection involved with a pyometra it just is not practical to think you can just give a dog or cat a few pills and everything will be okay. If ANY other un-necessary organ was infected would we even be having this discussion?!??!?! I mean, when people have their appendix burst or whatever, do you just send them home with a few pills and tell them to wait and see? NO, you rush in and get that taken care of. Why is it SOO much different with a uterus??? Clearly dogs and cats live JUST fine without them... why try to save an organ you don't even need?

14+kitties
May 13th, 2011, 10:19 PM
Hey kiddo, cool your jets!!! I'm with you on this!!! :laughing::laughing: But I understand what you mean.
Earlier on in this thread hazel said one of her dogs contracted pyo and was put on a course of meds until her spay date arrived. Now I believe she said the vet didn't realize the dog had pyo but still - all the info I found said spay and a course of meds.

Dee-O-Gee
May 13th, 2011, 10:24 PM
Just popping in to say that I have been following this thread and OMD!!! I have found it so informative with everyone's knowledge. While I don't think I'll ever experience a situation such as pyometra personally, this has been a well informed educated subject to add to this forum. :thumbs up

Kathryn; the graphics you have shared are a real eye opener for anyone who has ever contemplated about getting their pets spayed--:thankyou:

:offtopic: 14+ I was squinting at your new avatar and trying to read it. It looks interesting but, it's too small for my near sightedness. :shrug:

14+kitties
May 13th, 2011, 10:28 PM
:offtopic: 14+ I was squinting at your new avatar and trying to read it. It looks interesting but, it's too small for my near sightedness. :shrug:

It says - Dick, Dick's dog, Dick's dog's puppies. And underneath - don't be a Dick spay/neuter your pet. I love it!! I "borrowed" it from a very good friend of mine - Chris.

Dee-O-Gee
May 13th, 2011, 10:32 PM
It says - Dick, Dick's dog, Dick's dog's puppies. And underneath - don't be a Dick spay/neuter your pet. I love it!! I "borrowed" it from a very good friend of mine - Chris.

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: Right on! :thumbs up Thanks 14+, I'm not ready for cheaters yet! :o

kathryn
May 13th, 2011, 10:53 PM
Hey kiddo, cool your jets!!! I'm with you on this!!! :laughing::laughing: But I understand what you mean.
Earlier on in this thread hazel said one of her dogs contracted pyo and was put on a course of meds until her spay date arrived. Now I believe she said the vet didn't realize the dog had pyo but still - all the info I found said spay and a course of meds.

Haha sorry, I really should probably just go to bed. I had SUCH a stressful day... and it's one of those days where everything seems better then out of nowhere BAM! I had to take down my FB page because I guess someone was mad at me and put a link to my page up somewhere it didn't belong so I was getting bombarded with friend requests and messages and ugh it was just too much to deal with people harassing me. :offtopic: hehe.


Yeah I mean alot of vets will put a cat or dog on antibiotics for a few days before they can get to the surgery but it doesn't actually treat the pyo from what I've been told from the vets, it's just to try and keep them from going septic from when the bacteria starts to go back into their bloodstream.. it doesn't actually do much to correct the pyo, just to keep it from getting any worse. Does that make sense?

14+kitties
May 14th, 2011, 07:05 PM
Yeah I mean alot of vets will put a cat or dog on antibiotics for a few days before they can get to the surgery but it doesn't actually treat the pyo from what I've been told from the vets, it's just to try and keep them from going septic from when the bacteria starts to go back into their bloodstream.. it doesn't actually do much to correct the pyo, just to keep it from getting any worse. Does that make sense?

It makes perfect sense. I would think most vets would do something like that. Especially if they aren't sure what they are dealing with at first. It's possible some vets aren't positive what they are looking at, especially with a closed pyometra, so put the dog on antibiotics to help fight whatever infection they feel the dog may have. The antibiotics most likely help to keep the infection at bay but does not deal with it completely. Like a dog that is suspected of having it, getting pregnant/bred which in some cases does hold it off (if it's not too far advanced), and facing a greatly increased possibility of a repeat performance during the next heat cycle. It's a vicious cycle.

14+kitties
May 22nd, 2011, 12:24 PM
I am borrowing this from our good Dr Lee. It is valuable information to have in order to aid any members in making a determination which could cost your dog/cat her life.

Determining if a dog/cat has pyometra...........

Abdominal palpation and CBC are helpful but not the best methods to diagnose pyometra. If the uterus can be felt on palpation, then I wouldn't consider it "mildly enlarged." Furthermore CBCs can be elevated for many reasons. Also for several reasons, life threatening infections, including pyometra, can be present with a "normal" CBC.

In general, no pyometra is a good antibiotic candidate. They are typically only surgical candidates.

For non-infectious ovarian/uterine problems, false pregnancy or inflammation can be present.

If the pet has not been bred/with a male, then the dog cannot be pregnant. If you are not sure, the best method to evaluate is an ultrasound - not only can you see the fetuses but can also ensure that the puppies are alive. It is also the most straighforward method to look for pyometra.

There are also two types of pyometra - "open" and "closed" pyometra. Open pyometras have an open cervix which allows fluid to drip out. CLosed or partially closed pyometras will have little to no discharge. Thus the amount/frequency/presence of discharge is NOT a good method to evaluate pyometra. In fact, a pyometra with little to no discharge can be MORE dangerous then one that does because the pus has no where to go. Any type of pyometra is considered life threatening.

When pyometra is a concern, you need to get a diagnosis and if the disease is confirmed, then surgery should be performed right away.