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My dog was diagnosed with an open Pyometra...please help ease my mind

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My dog was diagnosed with an open Pyometra...please help ease my mind

Old 03-19-06, 01:11 AM
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My dog was diagnosed with an open Pyometra...please help ease my mind

Since late last night, my dog was acting funny. She wasn't eating everything that was on the floor, didn't really want to move (unless I was playing with one of her toys) and was drinking alot. She was also having trouble walking up a simple (4-5) flight of stairs.

[**TMI Alert**]

Today, before my girlfriend left for her optometrist appointment, she looked under the table (where India usually lays) and noticed some discharge. She wiped her down and put a towel underneath her. After she returned from her appointment, there was a medium-sized stain on the towel.

[/**TMI Alert**]

After going to visit my grandfather in the hospital (yet AGAIN ), we brought her to an "emergency" vet. He took some radiographs and examined her and determined it was Pyometra. Immediately after making that declaration, he proceeded to give us our options (each of which was preceded with a $$$ amount ). At the end, we decided to take the week-long "aggressive" antibiotics (Clavamox 375mg & Baytril 136mg) he wanted to prescribe and call my vet on Monday.

Reading Wikipedia, it eases my fears somewhat, but i'm hesitant for any medical procedure that involves someone cutting a living thing open and pulling things out or sticking their hands inside. Especially when there's no emotional connection involved..

Help?
Old 03-19-06, 01:47 AM
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Most surgery involves cutting something open and putting their hands inside. If it's a matter of life and death people do it. If it's a matter of personal comfort people do it. If the reward outweighs the risk, people do it.
Old 03-19-06, 02:24 AM
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My understanding is that pyometra is an inflamed and infected uterus. It sounds like you're trying to decide between trying to treat it with antibiotics or simply removing the uterus. Removing a dog's uterus is spaying -- and if it were me, I would have India spayed without a second thought unless there are compelling reason not to (i.e. you plan to breed her). Thousands of dogs get spayed every single day with no problem.

But regardless of whether you go the surgical route or the antibiotic route, try not to worry too much. A sick pet is always scary (I've dealt with it too many times to count and it always hits me hard), but you've already taken the important step -- getting medical attention immediately. You're in the hands of a professional, now -- your vet. Work with your vet to pick a treatment plan that's appropriate, and follow through. As for the emotional connection, if you've got a good vet, he (or she) cares about you and cares about your pet -- but he's also a professional who does things like this all the time and is therefore good at it.
Old 03-19-06, 03:44 AM
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good post JasonF
Old 03-19-06, 06:58 AM
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Have it removed. Depending on how large it has gotten already it could burst and
kill your dog. We went through this surgery with one of our cats and it's amazing
how fast it can swell up. After the surgery the cat was fine (gained a bunch of
weight to where she now resembles her name of "Pumpkin"), and has been ever since.
Emergency vets are far more expensive than your normal hours vet, so try that if
it's the dollar amount that's the obstacle. IIRC (it's been about 4 years) I also believe
that without the spaying/surgery, you run the risk of this happening again next time
she's in season.
Old 03-19-06, 08:35 AM
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Huh. Sounds expensive. Anyone out there have a Do-It-Yourself manual???

No, just kidding. These guys are right. Obviously, anything can happen, but it doesn't sound like this is all that unusual a condition. Your vet has dealt with many, many cases of pyometra before. As hahn said, if spaying is essentially the solution, the vet has done this literally thousands of times. It'll be OK.
Old 03-19-06, 11:14 AM
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Rogue, all of this could have been avoided if you had had her spayed. Pyometra surgery is expensive and without it your dog will die. Unfortunately, there is inherent risk in any surgery, but would you rather lose your dog to something that could have been prevented in the first place? Antibiotics will help only a little.

Sorry, but them's the facts.

By the way...if, somehow, your dog managed to pull through this without surgery (a maybe 10% chance, if that), do NOT attempt to breed her because it WILL kill her.

Just get her spayed.

Last edited by mllefoo; 03-19-06 at 11:17 AM.
Old 03-20-06, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mllefoo
Rogue, all of this could have been avoided if you had had her spayed. Pyometra surgery is expensive and without it your dog will die. Unfortunately, there is inherent risk in any surgery, but would you rather lose your dog to something that could have been prevented in the first place? Antibiotics will help only a little.

Sorry, but them's the facts.

By the way...if, somehow, your dog managed to pull through this without surgery (a maybe 10% chance, if that), do NOT attempt to breed her because it WILL kill her.

Just get her spayed.
Although it sounds harsh, she's absolutely right here.
Old 03-20-06, 01:02 AM
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Look at it this way, everything has to die sometime.

D
Old 03-20-06, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Derrich
Look at it this way, everything has to die sometime.

D

yikes
Old 03-20-06, 12:44 PM
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http://www.thepetcenter.com/sur/pyo.html


Not to scare you, or anything but...

Here's a real nasty problem . . . pyometra. The term means pus in the uterus. Any time a veterinarian is presented with a dog or cat suffering from pyometra the condition is considered serious and immediate surgery is nearly always indicated. This pus formation in the uterus results from infection, hormone imbalance or mucous buildup inside the uterus. Most dogs and cats suffering from pyometra are presented because of loss of energy, increased thirst and poor appetite. Plus a good tip-off would be a foul smelling, purulent (means pus) vaginal discharge. Most of the cases of pyometra I've seen in dogs occurred about six weeks after the bitch's last heat cycle. They may not look it on the outside, but on the inside these dogs are really sick! If that swollen, enlarged uterus happens to rupture internally, the dog will rapidly go into endotoxic shock and whatever the veterinarian does may not be enough to save the dog.


For whatever reason, if your female dog or cat hasn't been spayed be alert for pyometra. The condition is more probable in females eight years or older and who experience infrequent or irregular heat cycles or episodes of false pregnancy. Poor appetite, increased thirst, poor stamina and vaginal discharge are cardinal signs. And some patients' white blood cell count can go from a normal of 9,000 all the way up to 75,000. X-rays often reveal two large sausage-like structures in the abdomen. It's time for surgery! These patients should almost always be operated on right now, not after work, not in the morning, not after a few days of antibiotics "to build her up."

The surgery is not a minor procedure. A patient with a uterus swollen with a foul and putrid soup, is simply carrying a bucket of poison that would eventually kill the cat or dog. Many of these patients require I.V. fluid therapy, antibiotics and nutritional support post-operatively. These pyometra patients, once recovered, act like puppies once their near death experience is over!




Does this convince you that maybe you should seek immediate treatment? Antibiotics are not enough. The ER clinic guy was not doing you any favors, but you also have to realise that ER clinics charge a lot more for pyometra surgery than a regular vet. Even so I'd expect to pay at least a couple to a few hundred dollars.

Last edited by mllefoo; 03-20-06 at 12:46 PM.
Old 03-20-06, 12:49 PM
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Here's some more:

The usual treatment for pyometra is surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries. It is crucial that the infected uterine contents do not spill and that no excess hemorrhage occurs. The surgery is challenging especially if the patient is toxic. Antibiotics are given at the time of surgery and may or may not be continued after the uterus is removed. Pain relievers are often needed post-operatively. A few days of hospitalization are typically needed after the surgery is performed.

It is especially important that the ovaries be removed to remove future hormonal influence from any small stumps of uterus that might be left behind. If any ovary is left, the patient will continue to experience heat cycles and be vulnerable to recurrence.

While this surgery amounts to the same end result as routine spaying, there is nothing routine about a pyometra spay. As noted, the surgery is challenging and the patient is in a life-threatening situation. For these reasons, the pyometra spay typically costs five to ten times as much as a routine spay.


Quite a compelling reason to spay your dog.
Old 03-20-06, 12:52 PM
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And yet more:

Nonsurgical Treatment

Fluid therapy
Antibiotics
Prostaglandins help the uterus to expel pus and alters the hormone levels of the ovaries
This treatment should not be used if the pet is quite ill
This treatment should not be used if your pet has closed pyometra
This treatment may not work and surgery will need to be done
If this treatment is successful, the next time the dog goes through heat, pyometra will usually recur unless the dog is bred and becomes pregnant

But even pregnancy is an unneeded stress on your dog.
Old 03-20-06, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Rogue588
but i'm hesitant for any medical procedure that involves someone cutting a living thing open and pulling things out or sticking their hands inside.
So in other words you're ok with your dog dying but not ok with a surgery that would save her life?
So let's say your appendix bursts and the only way to save you is to have an immediate surgery. Would your choice be to die?
I really have no words. This is just so fucked up. I wonder if there's a surgery to make people...uhm...get common sense?
Old 03-20-06, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Rogue588
but i'm hesitant for any medical procedure that involves someone cutting a living thing open and pulling things out or sticking their hands inside. Especially when there's no emotional connection involved..
So, you are against all surgery where the surgeon isn't emotionally involved with the patient? Guess that means no surgery for you ever, huh?
Old 03-20-06, 06:49 PM
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Hey Rogue -- give us an update. Hopefully you had India spayed by your regular vet today (if not by an ER vet over the weekend) and she's doing A-OK.
Old 03-20-06, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Cool Kitten
So in other words you're ok with your dog dying but not ok with a surgery that would save her life?
So let's say your appendix bursts and the only way to save you is to have an immediate surgery. Would your choice be to die?
I really have no words. This is just so fucked up. I wonder if there's a surgery to make people...uhm...get common sense?
As soon as you've found such a surgery, let me know. I have a few clients ready for you.
Old 03-20-06, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by LurkerDan
So, you are against all surgery where the surgeon isn't emotionally involved with the patient? Guess that means no surgery for you ever, huh?
actually, this is the reason why surgeons never operate on their family members and friends. You CANNOT be emotionally involved with your patient.
Old 03-20-06, 07:43 PM
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Listen to Cool Kitty, for she speaks truth.

When I'm prepping a pet for surgery, I don't get emotionally involved. Even when my own dog was put under for the dental, I didn't get emotionally involved. It was tough, but I had to do it or I'd be too worried to work that day.

He popped right out of anasthesia like it was nothing.
Old 03-20-06, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Cool Kitten
actually, this is the reason why surgeons never operate on their family members and friends. You CANNOT be emotionally involved with your patient.
Exactly. WHich is why I said it meant no surgery for him.
Old 03-20-06, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Cool Kitten
So in other words you're ok with your dog dying but not ok with a surgery that would save her life?
So let's say your appendix bursts and the only way to save you is to have an immediate surgery. Would your choice be to die?
I really have no words. This is just so fucked up. I wonder if there's a surgery to make people...uhm...get common sense?
Perhaps I need to clarify...nowhere in my original post did I said I was "ok" with my dog dying. I'm NOT. I said I was "hesitant" for any invasive medical procedure to be done. Not that I wasn't going to do it. Just that the idea of someone as small as her getting cut open (after seeing some VERY graphic pics on the internet) makes me weary (scared, mostly). When I started this thread, I was hoping to get some more posts JasonF's or others who might've been through a Pyometra to let me know what to expect. NOT to try to find some "natural" home remedy that wouldn't require surgery. I realize it's not an option, it's mandatory.

Originally Posted by Cool Kitten
actually, this is the reason why surgeons never operate on their family members and friends. You CANNOT be emotionally involved with your patient.
Originally Posted by LurkerDan
So, you are against all surgery where the surgeon isn't emotionally involved with the patient? Guess that means no surgery for you ever, huh?
Well, knock on , I haven't had to experience any invasive surgery. It's just my opinion that there aren't too many "Doug Ross's" (to use a fictional example) in the world who would go the extra mile to make sure their patient gets the best care regardless of income or social standing. Believe me though, I welcome the opportunity to be wrong. It's just my feeling based on experiences thus far.

Originally Posted by JasonF
Hey Rogue -- give us an update. Hopefully you had India spayed by your regular vet today (if not by an ER vet over the weekend) and she's doing A-OK.
Well, we called the vet early in the day and he told us he got the fax from the ER doc. He asked us if had been giving her the medicine we were prescribed and if her temperament/lethargy/demeanour had changed. We told her she was much less lethargic than she was on Saturday. In fact, today she brought over her rope and plopped it in front of me to play. He said that was a sign the antibiotics were helping. He also said that, though the antibiotics won't cure her problem (which I told him I knew), to let her take them for a day or so to let them help build her strength which would help with the surgery.
Old 03-21-06, 12:31 AM
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One clarification -- I've never been through pyometra (not to turn this into a lecture, but I'm a firm believer in spaying and neutering). Anyway, glad to hear India's doing better. Keep a close eye on her and follow your vet's advice.
Old 03-21-06, 04:56 AM
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As mentioned in my post, I've been through it with my cat. A friend has also had a
cat that had to go through it. In both instances the cats came through fine. The key
is catching it early enough, so don't wait too long. Keep in mind that the uterus
seals shut from the mucas/infection, so whatever you're seeing as far as discharge
is probably nothing compared to what's building up inside her. Your vet should know
how fast this problem can kill your dog and as such I'm amazed that they didn't
recommend you bring her in immediately. Not to mention giving that advice without
having seen the dog 1st hand. It'd been over 24 hours, and while the antibiotics
may be making the dog "feel" better, as the vet told you, they aren't solving the
problem. Not trying to scare you, but seriously, the sooner the better.

Another plus to spaying is that she'll no longer come in season. This helps later in
life by way of a reduced chance of developing breast cancer (it stops certain
hormones/chemicals from being produced/building up over time). You don't ever
want to go through having a pet develop that, trust me
Old 03-21-06, 08:24 AM
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well I think there's only one option left to you: snake handlers and prayer.
Old 03-21-06, 09:20 PM
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I'm assisting in a pyometra surgery tomorrow. The dog came in late in the day so we weren't able to do the surgery today, but we're putting her on fluids in the morning, giving her a huge dose of antibiotics, and then we'll be doing the surgery at 11am.

Luckily this was caught pretty early, but it's still something that needs to be taken care of.

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