Worried about spaying your pet?

You should be more worried about this!

Our veterinary clinic specializes in spaying and neutering. We see a lot of pets with uterine infections, called pyometra. Many people are not aware of the severe danger of pyometra.

The word pyometra comes from Ancient Greek: pyo (pus) and metra (uterus). Literally, it is a uterus filled with pus. How does this happen?

Well, dogs and cats have different anatomy than people, and they are usually not taking showers daily to keep clean “down there”. So bacteria from feces or urine can travel up the vulva and into the uterus. It is thought that hormones from being in heat also have an influence in making the uterus susceptible to being invaded by the bacteria.

Once inside the uterus, bacteria have no way of getting out, and find themselves in a warm moist environment perfect for reproducing. This is the result if left untreated:

CAUTION: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW!

Pyometra in a cat
This is a normal uterus

Why is pyometra so dangerous?

If left untreated, the uterus will continue to enlarge. The bacteria get absorbed into the pet’s bloodstream and eventually make the pet extremely sick. In the worst case, the uterus will rupture, which is fatal.

Can pyometra be treated?

Yes, when it is detected early. Common signs include vaginal discharge, frequent urination, and eventually vomiting and weight loss as the toxic bacteria enter the pet’s bloodstream. Unfortunately, an animal’s natural instinct is to hide signs of illness. They can’t tell us when they’re not feeling right. So pyometra often does not become detectable until the pet is very ill. At this point, the pet must be stabilized and the toxic pus-filled uterus removed with a spay surgery. Anesthetizing a sick animal is very dangerous, and there is a risk that the pet will not survive surgery.

The best treatment is prevention

Many people do not realize that any unspayed dog or cat, particularly over the age of 5 or 6, is at risk for pyometra. The best way to prevent this deadly threat is the have your dog or cat spayed as early as possible. However it is never too late to have your pet fixed. Because our spay neuter clinic specializes in these surgeries, we see patients of all ages. Call us to schedule your pet’s surgery today!