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Pyometra is the infection of the uterus. Pus collects in the uterine cavity due to a host of issues like hormonal changes in female dog’s or cat’s reproductive system. It is common in dogs though also occurs in cats.

Pyometra is a serious condition that must be treated urgently once diagnosed. It is also very common in older female pets, mostly above 6 years old.

However it may occur in pets under 6 years. It affects non-spayed female pets.

Cause Of Pyometra

It used to be thought that pyometra was a uterine infection while in fact it is now understood to be a hormonal imbalance. It may or may not occur with a secondary bacterial infection. When the infection is present it normally is attributed to Escherichia coli bacteria. It is caused by an excessive amount progesterone that comes about due to the inability to fall pregnant after several years going in and out of heat.

Explaining Open and Closed Pyometra

There are two types of pyometra – open and closed pyometra. Open pymetra is when the cervix is open and the purulent uterine contents can drip out of the vulva. This type of pyometra is far easier and safer to treat. Closed pyometra is when the cervix is fully closed with no discharge from the vulva. This type of pyometra is fatal and needs immediate attention because the uterus may rupture because of the fluid build up inside the uterus.

Symptoms Of Pyometra

Clinical signs of pyometra are very difficult to notice and less obvious. However, they are more noticeable in the case of open pyometra because the discharge of pus or colored fluid is evident from the animal’s vagina. Other symptoms that are common with other types of illnesses are lethargy, fever, increased drinking of water and frequent urination, loss of appetite, depression.

How To Confirm And Treat Pyometra

Since pyometra is difficult to diagnose, abdominal x-rays and/or ultrasound are the common sure way to determine if a pet has the disease or not. Blood analysis may show dehydration and/or increased white blood cell count to indicate how sick the patient really is. Treatment is started with antibiotics and intravenous fluid administration. The last resort would be surgical removal of the infected uterus and ovaries especially when there are no future breeding plans or when the condition is very serious or was in its advanced stages.

Watch this very informative video by Mike Rehm:

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