What is Pyometra?

image of pyometra in dogs.

Pyometra is an infection of the uterus in dogs, resulting from a buildup of mucus and tissue debris. It is seen most commonly in dogs that are coming into or out of heat, and is caused by changes to the hormones that stimulate the production and maintenance of the uterine lining. Pyometra is a potentially serious condition, as it can cause life-threatening septicemia if untreated. However, it can be prevented by spaying dogs before they enter their first heat cycle. Prompt veterinary treatment can also help to reduce the risk of complications once infection has begun.

Pyometra is a serious and potentially fatal infection of the uterus in dogs. It usually occurs in dogs that have gone through a heat cycle and are greater than 6 years old; however, younger dogs can also be at risk. Symptoms may include an enlarged abdomen, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased thirst. Veterinarians treat pyometra using antibiotics or surgery to remove the infected uterus. If left untreated, pyometra can cause dangerous toxins to enter a dog’s bloodstream leading to organ failure and death. As such, it is important for pet owners to be aware of the symptoms associated with pyometra so they can seek medical attention as soon as possible if they suspect their pet has been infected.

Pyometra is often mistakenly confused with urinary tract infections (UTIs) by pet owners. Pyometra is an infection of the uterus, usually caused by a hormonal imbalance created by alterations in the normal heat cycle. A dog suffering from pyometra may display signs of vaginitis and discharge coming from the vulva. It can also cause vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, dehydration and an enlarged abdomen. While both pyometra and UTI can lead to similar symptoms such as increased urination frequency or accidents in the house, dogs with pyometra can become extremely ill quickly if left untreated. Veterinarians are best equipped to differentiate between these conditions through tests such as imaging or lab work. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is always recommended for dogs with any signs of distress or discomfort.

Prevention of Pyometra in dogs can be achieved by spaying females before their first heat cycle and avoided by not giving dogs hormonal medications like Progesterone. It is also recommended that dogs have regular checkups with the vet for early detection and that dogs maintained on diets high in protein may be at reduced risk. Furthermore, being aware of common signs and symptoms can help owners quickly identify a potential problem and seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Prompt treatment is important to prevent complications such as rupture of the uterus which often requires surgical intervention for resolution.