How to treat canine pyometra
Canine pyometra usually occurs in older bitches or young females who receive a contraceptive treatment or have irregular heat cycles. It is one of the most serious diseases because if not treated early it can be fatal. Once symptoms are identified you should go urgently to the vet to diagnose the disease and propose the appropriate treatment as soon as possible. If your bitch is sad lately or secretes pus from the vagina it may have this disease. In this OneHowTo article we show how to treat canine pyometra and how to prevent it.
How is canine pyometra diagnosed?
If you notice any symptoms of pyometra in your dog, urgently go to the veterinarian. Once there, he or she can carry out a series of tests to diagnose the disease. Normally the clinical diagnosis is based on the comprehensive review and analysis of the bitch's vaginal discharge, for cases of pyometra in open neck, and conducting tests and examinations to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Thus, the vet should make an x-ray of your dog's abdomen to see if there is a homogeneous mass caused by infection or not. It may be that the test images are not clear and this will then require an ultrasound.
Besides a radiography and an ultrasound, the veterinarian will perform a haematology to measure the number of leukocytes and find out if they have increased, as its increase is a consequence of canine pyometra.
If the state of the pyometra is advanced and the vet believes it may have affected other parts of your dog's body or even lead to other diseases, the analysis and diagnosis will be more complex and other tests will have to be run to analyse and evaluate the state of the urea and creatinine and look into the existence of vaginal tumours, glucose, etc.
Treatment for canine pyometra
Once the disease is detected the most common treatment used to cure canine pyometra is surgery. Such surgery involves removing the ovaries and uterus. With this operation, your dog will be unable to become pregnant. However, this is not the only treatment. Depending on the dog's age, severity of illness and the desire of the owner to have a breeding bitch, other methods can be used to cure the condition and thus avoid surgery.
The alternatives to surgery are a surgical scrub of the uterus (not removal) or antibiotic treatment. In recent years a new treatment based on the application of synthetic prostaglandin (PG) F2 has been tested and shown good results. The drawback to this treatment is that during the first applications it produces side effects including vomiting or abdominal discomfort. However, this treatment can not be applied to all diseased dogs. In cases of pyometra with closed neck has some limitations, and in very severe states of the disease the dog should have surgery. The treatment with PG is slow and the first results can only be seen 48 hours after the first application, so it is not a suitable treatment for dogs in a serious condition.
The veterinarian will choose a treatment according to the severity of the disease, never treat your dog on your own.
How to prevent canine pyometra?
Canine pyometra can be avoided by applying some cautionary measures. The first is that you remove contraceptive treatments or use these on few occasions, the side effects these produce in your dog could end her life. Another way to prevent pyometra is to have the vet make thorough checks of your dog's reproductive system after giving birth.
If your female has closely spaced phantom pregnancies, immediately go to the vet for a complete check up, the dog may have canine pyometra. And, as a last resort, the most effective method of prevention is to have your dog operated on so she will no longer be able to have puppies; if the bitch no longer has reproductive organs it will be impossible to contract pyometra. However, consult your veterinarian on what is most appropriate for your dog so to make the right decision.
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