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Pyometra in Dogs

By: Dr. Cathy Reese

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Therapy In-depth

  • Emergency stabilization. Initially, your pet is given intravenous fluids and antibiotics and treated for shock and dehydration, if necessary.

  • Surgical management. The treatment of choice is an ovariohysterectomy (spay). The pet is anesthetized and the ovaries and uterus are carefully removed. This treatment is curative and prevents recurrence.

  • Medical management. This method of treatment involves the injection of hormones, called prostaglandins, to change the environment in the uterus. Antibiotics are also given. Medical treatment of pyometra is not recommended.

    It takes two days for the hormone injections to take effect, during which the pet could die of infection or kidney failure. There is also a high incidence of recurrence of pyometra with medical management. Furthermore, not all pets respond to this therapy and require life-saving surgery after this therapy has failed.

  • Spaying an animal that has pyometra remains the best standard of care. This therapeutic course will unfortunately render a potentially valuable breeding animal sterile but it will likely save her life.

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