Pyometra is a serious disease of female dogs and cats related to hormonal changes within the reproductive tract allowing the accumulation of pus in the uterus. It can be FATAL!
The cause is really not understood, but we know the female hormones are involved in allowing the reproductive tract to become more susceptible to developing these infections.
In some animals, the uterus responds abnormally to the hormones produced during the “heat” cycle causing a secretion of mucus and inflammatory cells to collect in the uterus. A bacterial infection then develops--which can spread throughout the body.
If this happens, the condition then becomes a form of “blood poisoning.” This results in widespread infection throughout the body--leading to shock and death. Kidney infections often develop.
Signs of the infection include: Depression, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, increased urination, dehydration, vomiting, fever, and vaginal discharges of blood or pus.
Signs may gradually occur over several weeks or months. Excessive thirst is often the first sign.
Pyometra is diagnosed by clinical signs, a history of not being spayed, laboratory testing of blood and urine, and sometimes exploratory surgery.
The most common treatment, which is the safest for your pet, is Ovariohysterectomy (Spaying), which removes the infected uterus and the rest of the internal female reproductive tract. Fluids and antibiotics are needed to compact shock, infection, and dehydration.
On rare occasions, other medical techniques may be employed to attempt to salvage the valuable breeding animal. This is NOT recommended for your pet! This method of therapy often still results in infertility, and often does not solve the problem, requiring life-saving surgery later.