What You Must Know About Pyometra in Your Female Dog

Published: 09th February 2007
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What You Must Know About Pyometra in your Dog

There are some medical conditions in dogs, such as bloat, which strike fear in the heart of every dog owner. These problems require immediate action on your part in order to save your dog's life.

What is Pyometra?

Pyometra, or infection of the uterus, is a very serious condition in female dogs. Pyometra is the build-up of pus in the womb. Any owner of a female dog should be aware of this complex condition.

Pyometra can also occur in a young dog as an unanticipated complication of whelping. She can also catch it from the stud dog.

You should be ready to take the dog to a veterinarian at the first signs of it, because your dog will likely need a life-saving operation.

Pyometra is typically found in older dogs that've never had puppies. This is because of deterioration in the tissues of the uterus as the dog ages. This is one reason people say female dogs should have a litter. This is an out dated and emotional view.

It's not necessary to breed your dog, especially if she is a mixed-breed. Unwanted puppies are a social and humanitarian problem.

Should You Neuter?

If breeding your dog isn't your intention, then the more sensible action is having her neutered. The spayed dog, with the uterus removed, won't be susceptible to the infection in later life.

Neutering is also desirable for other reasons if you don't want her to whelp - because it avoids the problems of a dog in season, both in terms of mess around the house and the attraction of male dogs.

What Are The Symptoms of Pyometra?

Pyometra can be fatal and has two types to be aware of: open, where the pus can escape through the vagina, and closed, where it can't.

The latter form is obviously the more severe and acute, because as the pus builds up it causes the uterus to swell and become very painful.

Watch out for an increased thirst and abdominal swelling in your dog, particularly four to six weeks after your dogs season. You'll also need to pay more attention to your older, unspayed dog.

What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms can vary, but these are the typical ones, in order of importance:

1. Lack of appetite.

2. Fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit and above.

3. Brown/pink vaginal discharge (in the open type)

4. Massive thirst

5. Vomiting

6. Collapse

7. Toxemia (bacterial blood poisoning).

I can't stress enough that female dogs at risk should be watched for these symptoms. Pyometra is one of the most acute, nasty and potentially fatal conditions affecting a female dog. It's the fast action on your part in getting her to a veterinarian that could save her life.

Edie MacKenzie is the author of The Definitive Guide to

Labradoodles. You can learn more about this ebook at:


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