Pyometra in Dogs
Therapy In-depth of Pyometra in Dogs
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.
Follow-up Care for Dogs with Pyometra
Optimal treatment for your dog requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your dog does not rapidly improve.
Administer all prescribed medications as directed. Alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your dog.
Be familiar with your pet’s appetite, attitude and activity level. It can be very helpful if you notice subtle changes in your pet’s behavior, eating, drinking or urination habits. The more you are aware of what is “normal” for your pet, the quicker you will be able to pick up on something going wrong. As with most diseases, early detection and intervention is best.
Be familiar with your dog’s body. If you notice any vaginal discharge or other signs associated with pyometra, contact your veterinarian.
If you have no plans to breed your pet, have her spayed as early as your veterinarian recommends.