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Best Antibiotic For Pyometra In Dogs

Pyometra In Dogs: Causes Symptoms And Treatment

Natural Remedies for Pyometra in Dogs

Pyometra is one of the most serious conditions that affect female dogs. It is caused by the uterus filling with pus and, if left untreated, it can be fatal. The good news is, there is a way to prevent your dog from getting this disease.

Read on to find out more about pyometra in dogs, including what causes it, how you can tell if your dog has pyometra, and what you can do to prevent it.

Pro Tip: To most pet parents, dogs are like family members. Pet insurance is there to offer financial protection so you can give your companion the essential care they need should an accident or illness occur.

Causes Of Pyometra In Dogs

Pyometra develops through the assistance of hormonal stimulation from progesterone and oestrogen in the uterus. Progesterone and oestrogen are hormones that are naturally produced in the ovaries. If bacteria is introduced into the uterus at a certain time during the hormonal cycle, the hormonal action will facilitate the spread of bacteria leading to an infection.

Factors that contribute to the development of pyometra include:

  • Injections of oestrogen
  • Administration of progesterone to delay oestrus
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Poor hygiene and faecal contamination into the vagina
  • Postpartum metritis

Treating Pyometra In Dogs

Pyometras will not resolve on their own without some form of medical intervention.

The severity of pyometras can vary from dog to dog, but the best treatment option is always surgical removal of the infected uterus and ovaries.

There are conservative approaches that can be performed in certain cases, but surgical removal is the only guaranteed route to resolve the current infection.

Because of this, your veterinarian will always suggest surgery is their ideal treatment method.

If your dog has an open pyometra, there are some cases in which surgery is not needed.

These situations are risky and do not promise a full recovery, but they can be explored if your dog is not in a critical state.

Your veterinarian may explore the use of prostaglandins to reduce the amount of progesterone in the body, as well as antibiotics to help fight the infection.

However, its important to note that prostaglandins may cause the uterus to contract, which can lead to uterine rupture in some cases.

Rupture of an infected uterus is a medical emergency that requires immediate surgery.

Due to these risks, most people choose to have the uterus and ovaries surgically removed.

Many dogs will need to stay in the hospital after having their pyometra removed.

Since most of these pups present very ill, they often require anywhere from 24-72 hours of critical care.

These pups often receive IV fluids, IV antibiotics, and IV pain control to offer them comfort.

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What Causes Pyometra In Canines

An infection of the uterus, pyometra is Latin for pus uterus. Triggered most commonly by Escherichia coli bacteria, the disease becomes dangerous when sepsis, endotoxemia, or uterine rupture occur. Some bitches show no signs of pyometra until the illness is advanced. In some cases, emergency treatment is required to prevent overwhelming infection and death. Because pyometra is one of the most common reproductive emergencies, it is considered in any intact bitch that is sick.

The nature of a bitchs heat cycles, along with hormonal changes and delayed breeding, contribute to the development of this disease. The hormones progesterone and estrogen fluctuate during a heat cycle and change the uterus in preparation for breeding and pregnancy.

We know that the hormonal environment of the bitch lays the foundational groundwork for this disease to take hold, explains Von Dollen. Over a bitchs lifetime, the cumulative effect of the cyclic exposure to these hormones predisposes her to develop pyometra. From there, bacteria seize the opportunity to colonize and proliferate.

Early detection of pyometra has a greater chance of success with medical management. This may be more easily recognized in open cervix pyometra due to a vaginal discharge draining from the cervix. However, up to 86 percent of bitches medically treated for this reproductive disease will have a recurring episode.

What Can I Expect After Pyometra Surgery

Help! My dog has pyometra, Spring Hill Vet.

Removing an infected womb is major surgery your dog will need careful monitoring and lots of support. Once your dog is ready to go home, your vet will advise you how to look after them. You will need to make sure they get plenty of rest, stay calm , that they eat, drink and receive any prescribed medicines. Its likely that your dog will need to wear a buster collar or protective suit to stop them licking at their wound.

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When Does Pyometra Occur

Pyometra may occur in any sexually intact young to middle-aged dog however, it is most common in older dogs.

“Pyometra usually occurs two to eight weeks after the last estrus.”

After many years of estrus cycles without pregnancy, the uterine wall undergoes the changes that promote this disease. Pyometra usually occurs two to eight weeks after the last estrus .

What Is A Pyometra In Dogs

A pyometra in dogs is a severe uterine infection that occurs due to hormonal changes in the reproductive tract.

Bacteria will begin to reproduce within the dogs uterus, leading to a significant amount of pus and accumulated fluid.

The uterus is unable to contract due to thickening of the uterine lining, often resulting in the inability of the body to expel the infection.

This leads to worsening of the infection, eventual sepsis, and even death.

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Types Of Pyometra Infection

Dogs and cats can get one of two different types of pyometra infection. The first is an open pyometra, which means the cervix stays open and the infection is able to drain out. In a closed pyometra, however, the contents of the uterus arent able to escape and they can become toxic. A closed pyometra in cats and dogs is harder to diagnose and generally makes the animal more severely ill than an open one.

How Do You Prevent Pyometra From Unspayed Dogs

The Emergency Pyometra in Dogs: Risks, Symptoms Treatment

If you are keeping your dog for breeding purposes, then take puppies from her on each heat cycle. Do not miss any heat cycle. If you do not need puppies, spay is the best option.

: pyometra in dogs is an emergency. It should be addressed immediately. You can prevent pyometra with simple timely spay surgery.

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Can Anything Else Be Done For Pyometra Other Than Surgery

There is a medical approach to treating pyometra. Prostaglandins are a group of hormones that reduce the blood level of progesterone, relax and open the cervix, and contract the uterus to expel bacteria and pus. They can be used successfully to treat this disease, but they are not always successful and they have some important limitations.

  • They cause side-effects of restlessness, panting, vomiting, defecation, salivation, and abdominal pain. The side-effects occur within about 15 minutes of an injection and last for a few hours. They become progressively milder with each successive treatment and may be lessened by walking the dog for about 30 minutes following an injection.
  • There is no clinical improvement for about 48 hours so dogs that are severely ill are poor candidates.
  • Because they contract the uterus, it is possible for the uterus to rupture and spill infection into the abdominal cavity. This is most likely to happen when the cervix is closed.

There are some important statistics that you should know about this form of treatment:

  • The success rate for treating open-cervix pyometra is 75-90%.
  • The success rate for treating closed-cervix pyometra is 25-40%.
  • The rate of recurrence of the disease is 50-75%.
  • The chances of subsequent successful breeding is 50-75%.

How Do Bacteria Enter The Uterus

The cervix is the gateway to the uterus. It remains tightly closed except during estrus, when it relaxes to allow sperm to enter the uterus.

“If the cervix is open or relaxed, bacteria can easily enter the uterus.”

If the cervix is open or relaxed, bacteria that are normally found in the vagina can easily enter the uterus. If the uterus is normal, the uterine environment prevents bacterial survival however, when the uterine wall has become thickened or cystic, due to cystic endometrial hyperplasia, perfect conditions exist for bacterial growth.

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Treating Pyometra With Surgery

The most common treatment for all pyometra, and the only option for a closed infection, is surgery to remove the dog or cats uterus. This is a difficult, high-risk operation because if the infection spills during removal it can be dangerous for the patient. The pet also needs antibiotics to kill any bacteria that might escape the surgery, and because it is a complex procedure, she will need to be hospitalized for a day or two afterwards.

Types Of Pyometra In Dogs

What Antibiotics are Used for Dog Pyometra?

There are two different types of pyometra in dogs: open and closed. In open pyometra, the cervix remains open, allowing the pus to drain out. In the second type – closed pyometra – the pus collects and the bacteria release toxins that are absorbed into the bloodstream. Closed cervix pyometra is typically more difficult to diagnose and results in a more severe illness than the open type.

In rare cases, a spayed dog will develop a specific type of pyometra called a stump pyometra. After spaying, a small womb stump remains inside the dog, in which an infection can develop. Since ovary hormones are necessary for this condition to develop, any pup with stump pyometra also has a small piece of ovary tissue inside her which was not obvious at the time of spay.

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What Antibiotics Are Used For Dog Pyometra

If your unspayed dog has been diagnosed with pyometra or you suspect your dog has this condition, you may be wondering what antibiotics can be used for pyometra. Pyometra in dogs is a serious medical condition which, left untreated, can become quickly life threatening. If you suspect your dog has pyometra, the best course of action is to the see the vet immediately. Pyometra can be diagnosed through x-rays or ultrasound. If your dog was diagnosed with pyometra but you are looking for alternative treatments other than surgery, consider that the use of antibiotics alone have poor success rates, but in certain specific circumstances, there are chances they can be used in conjunction with other drugs.

A Life Threatening Condition

Pyometra is a condition that you do not want to underestimate because, left untreated, it will progress and become life threatening. Many times, the condition is not readily recognized by dog owners. The intact female dog goes off food and starts vomiting or gets diarrhea and the symptoms are passed for just a mild indigestion. Fast forward a few hours or a few days, and the dog has become lethargic and is already in critical condition.

Vet offices do not take their chances when they receive phone calls from owners describing intact female dogs displaying vague symptoms of digestive problems, loss of appetite or increased thirst. They therefore recommend to take the dog immediately in to rule out this deadly condition.

Introduction of Bacteria

Diagnosing Pyometra In Dogs

If your veterinarian fears a pyometra in your canine companion, there are a few diagnostic routes they may explore.

First, your vet will gather a detailed history on your dogs previous heat cycles and current symptoms.

They will likely ask you when their last heat cycle was, and at what point after the cycle their symptoms began.

Next, your vet will perform their physical exam.

They may palpate the abdomen for any obvious sign of pain around the uterus, as well as checking the vulva for any evidence of discharge.

Once they have gathered the details needed from their physical exam, it will be time to move on to more in depth diagnostics.

The most common way to diagnose a pyometra in dogs is through an abdominal x-ray that captures the enlarged uterus, and blood tests that search for evidence of infection.

Your vet may also perform an abdominal ultrasound if the x-ray is not definitive, as some pyometras are more challenging to diagnose on x-ray.

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Why Is Pyometra More Common In Dogs

As a result, pyometra is most commonly seen in older, female dogs that havent been spayed. However, this type of uterine infection can happen in an unspayed female dog of any age. Hormone fluctuations that occur with each heat cycle also place stress on the dogs immune system, increasing her risk of infection.

Common Signs Of Pyometra In Dogs

Pyometra, Uterine Infection In An Unspayed Female Dog!

Pyometras in dogs can be considered either open or closed.

This simply means the cervix is either open or closed, with an open cervix allowing some discharge to escape from the vulva.

To help you identify all the potential symptoms of pyometra in your dog, lets list the most common clinical signs below.

  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Collapse

If your dog is not spayed and they are displaying any of the above symptoms, its time to reach out to your veterinarian.

Even if pyometra is not the cause of their illness, these symptoms can be found with other serious health complications as well.

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What Does Pyometra In Dogs Look Like

The symptoms will depend on whether the dog has open or closed pyometra. In the case of open pyometra, there might be an unusual, foul-smelling vaginal discharge. This can be accompanied by lethargy, depression, anorexia, and fever.

Dogs with closed cervix pyometra typically become severely ill very quickly. They might show signs like severe listlessness, depression, and anorexia, as well as diarrhea, vomiting, and swollen or bloated abdomen. The toxins released from the uterus might also affect the ability of the kidneys to retain fluid, which might result in increased production of urine and increased thirst.

Other symptoms of pyometra may include:

  • Pale, grayish gums
  • Licking of the private parts
  • Lack of appetite
  • Reluctancy to move
  • Collapse

Unfortunately, by the time owners notice any signs of illness, the condition is usually in an advanced stage, which means that the dog requires immediate medical attention.

Indications For Medical Treatment

The traditional therapy for pyometra is surgical ovariohysterectomy which immediately removes the purulent contents of the uterus and suppresses the release of endotoxins. Drawbacks with surgery are the risk with anaesthesia and that it renders the bitch sterile.

  • Breeding bitches,
  • Bitches in very poor condition or old bitches, normothermic, in whom anaesthesia would be dangerous
  • Cases where the owners want to keep costs at a minimum,
  • To improve the general status of the bitch prior to surgery.

Medical treatment is contraindicated for pyretic or hypothermic bitches with suspected peritonitis.

The efficacy of medical treatment depends on the clinical presentation: metritis, open pyometra or closed pyometra and on the presence or absence of ovarian cysts.

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Can Open Pyometra Be Treated With Antibiotics

4.3/5Antibiotics willcannotin-depth answer

Your vet may advise that, as many patients with severe pyometra show signs of being toxic or even shock, they may benefit from intravenous fluids, antibiotics and pain relief first to best prepare for the surgery.

Additionally, how is open pyometra treated in dogs? “The preferred treatment is to surgically remove the infected uterus and ovaries” The preferred treatment is to surgically remove the infected uterus and ovaries by performing an ovariohysterectomy . Dogs diagnosed in the early stage of the disease are very good surgical candidates.

Secondly, can Pyometra be treated without surgery?

Once the animal is stable enough, it is taken to surgery for an ovariohysterectomy . In breeding animals, attempts are sometimes made to treat an open pyometra without surgery. Often the results are not good and overall this method of treatment is not widely accepted.

Can Pyometra go from open to closed?

In ‘open‘ cases the pus is able to drain out, but this does not mean that the condition will clear by itself. Some bitches with open pyometra may appear relatively healthy, except for the abnormal vaginal discharge. However, they may actually be very unwell and ‘open‘ pyometras can become ‘closed‘ at any time.

What Are The First Signs Of Pyometra

Why Spay and Neuter

Symptoms of pyometra include early warning signs of the animal feeling unwell, such as vomiting, refusal to eat, lethargy, increased thirst and frequent urination. She may also appear to be uncomfortable, because pyometra is a particularly painful condition for dogs, while being somewhat less so for cats.

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How To Treat Pyometra In Dogs

Surgery is the most common and preferred treatment for all types of pyometra infections and the only option for closed cervix pyometra. The procedure involves removal of the uterus and the ovaries and is high-risk because if the pus spills during removal, it can be very dangerous for the patient.

The pet will need to take antibiotics for two weeks after the surgery, as well as IV fluids. Because the procedure is quite complex, she will also need to be hospitalized for one to two days after surgery. Your dog will also require a post-operative check about two weeks after surgery to ensure adequate healing of the wound site.

Once your dog is ready to go home, youll need to make sure she stays calm and gets plenty of rest. Youll also need to make sure that she eats regularly, drinks enough fluids, and takes the prescribed medications. Your pet will probably need to wear a protective suit or buster collar to prevent her from licking at the wound.

The earlier an infected womb is removed, the higher the chances of a dogs survival. Unfortunately, pyometra and complications resulting from the high-risk operation can be fatal.

Pro Tip: The cost of surgery is expensive because the procedures are complex and require extensive veterinary expertise. Luckily, the right pet insurance plan can help. A comprehensive pet insurance provider will assist in covering the expenses so that you can focus on your dogs full recovery.

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