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Pyometra in Dogs

By: Dr. Cathy Reese

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After obtaining a medical history, your veterinarian will examine your dog completely, including checking for a fever, palpating her abdomen, and performing a vaginal exam to check for tumors or other abnormalities.

Blood tests are often submitted to look for abnormal white cell counts, which could indicate the presence of an infection and abnormalities in kidney function, which can develop secondary to a pyometra. Urine tests are also submitted to check the patient's kidney function and look for a urinary tract infection.

X-rays (radiographs) of the abdomen are taken to look for a fluid filled uterus, which is suggestive of a pyometra and an abdominal ultrasound to look for a fluid filled uterus and also to rule out an early pregnancy.

Treatment

The ideal treatment for pyometra is an ovariohysterectomy (spay). Before surgery is performed, some patients may require emergency stabilization in the form of intravenous fluids and antibiotics, especially if septic shock or kidney failure have developed.

Medical therapy alone is not recommended. There is a high recurrence rate with hormonal treatment, and there is a two-day delay in its effectiveness, which could risk the patient's life.

Home Care and Prevention

There isn't any home care for pyometra. Once treated, monitor your dog's appetite, demeanor, drinking and urination habits so that you will notice any changes. If surgery was performed, monitor the incision for normal healing.

The only way to prevent pyometra is to have your dog spayed.

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