What is a pyometra?

A pyometra refers to an infection of the womb, also known as the uterus.  It can be quite common in dogs but less common in cats.

How does it occur?

It occurs when bacteria gain access to your pets’ uterus during their heat.  It is most often seen 8 weeks after your pets last heat.

How do I know if my pet might have a pyometra?

Signs can vary in your pet but typically include;

  • Inappetance
  • Depression
  • Excessive thirst
  • Vomiting
  • Sometimes vaginal discharge will be present depending on the type of pyometra.

How do I prevent a pyometra in my pet?

Neutering your pet is the best way to prevent this potentially life threatening disease.  Neutering is often associated with preventing your pet from having pups/kittens, which is true, however more importantly it helps prevent hormonally dependant disease such as mammary tumours and pyometras.  This is best done in your pet before their first heat between the age of 5-7 months.

What do I do if I suspect that my pet has a pyometra?

Contact your vet as soon as possible!  Pyometras are a surgical emergency, since it is fatal without treatment.  If your pet is severely affected it may need to be stabilized with intravenous fluids and antibiotics before surgery.  Some dogs may die even after surgery as a result of septic shock and kidney failure due to overwhelming infection from the pyometra.  If you have any query about the issue raised in the article don’t hesitate to contact your vets!

Written by Kelly veterinary clinic, old church street, Athenry 091-844918