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Overview of Pyometra Surgery For The Female Dogs – A Must Read!

Table of Content:

  • Introduction
  • How Does Pyometra Occur?
  • How Do Bacteria Enters In The Uterus?
  • What Are The Other Possible Conditions To Cause Changes In The Uterus?
  • When Are Dogs Highly Prone To Pyometra?
  • Medical Signs Of Pyometra
  • Diagnosis Of Pyometra
  • Treatment Of Pyometra
  • Are There Any Negative Impacts Of Not Treating Pyometra?
  • Outcomes And Aftercare

Do you know the short form of pyometra? It is "pyo." This term means infection in the womb of the dog's uterus. Moreover, it is a common disease found among dogs that are never spayed. Thus, those infected dogs have to go through urgent veterinary treatment. 

But wait! Do you know about the hormonal changes among female dogs? 

The female dogs have to face the hormonal changes related to their pregnancy every season. However, hormonal changes are necessary whether the dog gets pregnant or not. Above all, the changes in the dog's uterus occur twice or thrice in a year, and they are highly prone to infections as their age increases.

A common organism found in female dogs is E. coli, and it is found among the faeces which is the major cause of the pyometra. Surgery is the only option for removing the infection present in the uterus. 

The all-inclusive fee for dogs with a weight of 22lbs is $1,700.00 approximately. However, the dogs which weigh less will have less surgery costs.

Let's dig deeper to know about the causes of the pyometra!

How Does Pyometra Occur?

This infection occurs due to hormonal changes like an increase in progesterone.  As a result, it thickens the uterus lining while preparing for pregnancy. For instance, if the dog does not get pregnant, the uterine lining thickens even more until the cysts form in the tissues of the uterus. These uterus tissues are medically known as cystic endometrial hyperplasia. 

The cystic lining will be secreting the fluids to enhance bacterial growth. Additionally, the uterus muscles are unable to contract due to thickened uterine wall and increased amount of progesterone hormone. Also, the accumulated uterus does not have any way to expel out.

Likewise, the white blood cells cannot protect the uterus from infection or eliminate the bacteria. The normal occurrence will be allowing the sperm to enter the reproductive tract without being destroyed by the white blood cells. Nevertheless, the infection can be highly life-threatening.

How Do Bacteria Enters In The Uterus?

The cervix's gateway to the uterus remains tightly closed but not during the estrus, allowing the sperm to enter the uterus.

"The bacteria can easily enter the uterus if the cervix is relaxed. "

Besides this, if the uterus is in normal condition, it is easier to prevent the survival of the bacteria. But the thickened uterine wall is due to cystic endometrial hyperplasia, and this condition is the major cause of bacterial growth.

What Are The Other Possible Conditions To Cause Changes In The Uterus?

Progesterone-based drugs can cause changes in the uterus. Additionally, the estrogen drugs will enhance the progesterone effects on the uterus. Moreover, the drugs, which consist of progesterone and estrogen, are best to treat some reproductive system conditions. If there is an intact female, their hormones will be monitored to check the development of pyometra.

When Are Dogs Highly Prone To Pyometra?

Pyometra can occur in dogs that are middle-aged and older. The duration of pyometra to last in the estrus is 2 to 8 weeks. So, after a few years of the estrus cycle, the uterine wall will promote this disease.

Medical Signs Of Pyometra

The clinical signs of this disease highly depend on whether the cervix is opened or not. Hence, if the cervix is opened, the puss will be draining from the uterus. However, the abdominal discharge can be seen on the skin of the tail. Also, the discharge will be visible where the dog will be bedding or recently laid. But lethargy is not a common sign of this disease among dogs.

Once the cervix is closed, the pus will not be draining outside of the cervix. Additionally, the bacteria would be still released and absorbed into the bloodstream. The dogs going through the closed pyometra will be becoming ill. Plus, the dogs will have diarrhea. The toxins will be released into the kidney, affecting the ability to retain the fluid.

What's more? There would be increased urine production, and the dog will be drinking excessive amounts of water for compensation. The increased water consumption will result in the closed and open cervix of pyometra.

Diagnosis Of Pyometra

The dogs are examined earlier in the pyometra, but slight vaginal discharge is obvious. The female dog will be seen drinking a high amount of water. In addition to this, the common signs include an enlarged abdomen and frequent vaginal discharge. 

Further, the dogs with pyometra will have elevation in the white blood cells. The urine concentration becomes low because the kidneys are affected. The closed cervix and enlarged uterus are identifiable with the x-rays. 

Other than that, the ultrasound will assist in identifying the enlarged uterus. Likewise, the ultrasound will show the differences from a normal pregnancy. The ultrasound will let the veterinarian know the uterine size, thickened uterine wall, and fluid accumulation in the uterus.

Treatment Of Pyometra

"The surgical treatment is the best choice to remove the infected uterus and ovaries."

The dogs will be spayed, which is technically known as an ovariohysterectomy. The diagnosis in the early stage is beneficial because the surgical procedure becomes less complicated. 

Nonetheless, dogs with pyometra are diagnosed when they are severely ill. Thus, they have to go through a complicated surgical procedure and stay in the hospital for a longer period. The intravenous fluids are given to stabilize the dog before starting the surgery. 

Are There Any Negative Impacts Of Not Treating Pyometra?

There are some negative impacts on the patient if the surgery is not performed quickly. The fatal effects can cause death. The closed cervix will rupture the uterus, and the infection can be spilled into the abdominal cavity, which is highly fatal. Therefore, the pyometra requires prompt treatment as it is a serious health issue.

Outcomes & After-Care

When the pet gets discharged from the hospital, minimal aftercare is required. Generally, the care is similar to spaying, but the pet has to take some antibiotics that the veterinarian prescribes for 10 to 14 days.

What else? 

The animal should not be allowed to do physical activities such as running or normal play for at least two weeks after the surgery. In fact, it is important to protect the incision from any kind of self-trauma. 

Best of all, the survival of the ovariohysterectomy is successful up to 80-100 %. Unfortunately, there are chances of organ failure. In rare cases, the pets start urinating often, and the water intake will be increased, which enhances the risk of permanent kidney damage.