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Preventing a Pyometra

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Responsible pet ownership involves understanding the benefits and risks of neutering and making the best decision for the pet's overall well-being and consulting with a veterinarian is crucial in this decision-making process.

For more information on neutering, please click here.

However, if pets are not neutered, they can get an infection of the uterus known as a pyometra. Pyometra occurs when bacteria enter the uterus and cause inflammation and accumulation of pus. The condition is most seen in older, unneutered females, but it can occur in younger animals as well. If left untreated, a pyometra can be life-threatening.

Can I prevent a pyometra?

Absolutely - by neutering, you can eliminate the risk of pyometra completely.

Neutering also significantly reduces the risk of certain reproductive-related cancers so it is generally recommended to have female pets spayed at a young age to prevent these potential health issues.

How does a pyometra occur?

When a female animal goes through reproductive cycles without getting pregnant, hormonal changes can lead to changes in the uterus. These changes create an environment that is favourable for bacterial growth, increasing the risk of infection.

By removing the uterus, the bacteria cannot cause the infection and so there is no possibility of a pyometra occurring.

What symptoms should I be looking out for?

The symptoms of pyometra can vary depending on whether it is 'open' or 'closed'.

  • In an open pyometra, the cervix is open, so you may see pus to drain from the uterus. Symptoms may include:

    • vaginal discharge that may be bloody or purulent

    • increased thirst

    • increased urination

    • lethargy

    • decreased appetite

    • vomiting

  • In a closed pyometra, the cervix is closed, and the pus is trapped inside the uterus. This is a more severe form and can lead to more rapid deterioration of the animal's condition. Symptoms may include:

    • abdominal pain

    • distended abdomen

    • fever

    • weakness

    • signs of systemic illness

I think my pet may have a pyometra - what can I do?!

If you suspect that your unneutered female pet may have pyometra or is showing any signs of illness, it is crucial to seek veterinary care promptly.

The treatment for pyometra typically involves an emergency surgery to completely remove the infected uterus (known as spaying or ovariohysterectomy). In some cases, additional supportive care such as intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and other medications may be necessary.

Normal Uterus vs. Infected Uterus - Pyometra

Remember - prevention is better than cure so consider neutering your pet and please give our clinic a call 0208 194 3335 if you have any questions at all!

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