Every time a female dog has a season she undergoes hormonal changes associated with pregnancy – whether she becomes pregnant or not. The changes in the uterus that occur with each season make infection more likely with age. Cases of pyometra are most commonly seen in the 4-6 week period after a season and are more common in older animals.
Pyometra also can occur after a litter of puppies is born, when the uterus is open to infection.
- licking her back end more than normal
- being off colour
- lack of interest in food
- drinking more than normal
These signs will progress to:
- Pus (yellow/red/brown discharge) from her vulva
- She may have a swollen abdomen
- If left untreated signs will worsen and dehydration, collapse and death from septic shock will occur.
The early signs can be unnoticed following the birth of a litter, as licking, discharge and not wanting to eat are common in the first few days after birth. If not spotted quickly death can rapidly occur.
Make no mistake, this is a life threatening condition. Spaying is the usual treatment for Pyometra and where there are puppies, they may need hand feeding.