This group of problems causes the loss of many puppies and kittens:
1. Mastitis: Inflammation of the breasts, with or without infection.
2. Metritis: Infection of the uterus.
3. Aglactia: A lack of milk production.
There are many causes of these diseases. Often it begins with the retention of parts of the placenta (afterbirth) during the birth process. This material is not expelled from the uterus but rather begins to decay inside the uterus itself.
As this material begins to rot, the poisons produced are absorbed into the blood-stream of the female. This poison may cause your pet to become systemically sick, as well as “ poisoning” the milk or decreasing the milk production.
The newborn offspring become depressed and die from dehydration because the milk is too concentrated, or from the poisons and bacteria which are then present in the milk.
Metritis may become life-threatening to your pet, requiring immediate hysterectomy if her life is to be saved.
Many cases also become chronic causing recurrent infections, inability to breed, future premature births, or more mastitis in future litters.
In severe cases of mastitis, the breast may turn purple, and even rupture draining pus.