Spaying and neutering your pets helps keep the unwanted population down and protects them from developing more severe health problems later on in their lives. For unspayed female pets, one common reproductive emergency condition that we see is known as pyometra. Our team here at Animal Works Veterinary Surgery will give you a more detailed look at this medical condition and how you can help prevent it in your furry companion. 

What is Pyometra? 

Pyometra, or Pyo for short, is a life-threatening infection of the uterus. A pet suffering from pyometra may show symptoms such as abnormal discharge from the vulva, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. For pets with pyometra, the uterus becomes filled with pus, and the infection can spread to the blood, leading to sepsis. Pyometra is typically seen in older, intact (or unspayed) female dogs. As intact female dogs get older, their hormones fluctuate, leading to the tissues becoming thicker in the uterus. These tissue changes can make the uterus more prone to infection and less able to fight off infections effectively. When bacteria crosses the cervix and enters the uterus, a pyometra can develop in your furry friend. 

How is it treated? 

Once your pet has been diagnosed with pyometra, it’s crucial that they get medical attention right away to prevent the uterus from rupturing. When left untreated, this condition is fatal for your female pet. The treatment involves surgically removing the infected uterus and ovaries by performing an emergency ovariohysterectomy (spay). This type of spay at this stage is often more complicated than your usual average spay procedure. Pets diagnosed with pyometra in an earlier stage tend to be good surgical candidates for the treatment. 

After the pyometra surgery, many dogs will feel much better once they fully wake up from anesthesia. They are likely feeling more like themselves because they don’t feel the same discomfort from the infected organ. In some cases, we need to monitor your pet’s condition post-surgery, and they will need to spend some time at the hospital after the procedure. Once your pet returns home, your pet will need to take it easy for a few days, and you will need to monitor their activity. 

How can it be prevented? 

The best way to prevent pyometra for your fur baby is by having them spayed. Spaying your pet removes the uterus and ovaries thus preventing the issue entirely. By avoiding getting your female pet spayed, you run the risk of your female pet later developing health conditions like pyometra, mammary tumors, and other potentially fatal conditions. 

Our team is equipped to help your pet if they have been diagnosed with pyometra. Please contact us if you have any questions!


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