The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

Why Spay? About Pyometra

Why Spay?  About Pyometra
Ryan and Reckless 2003

If you love your female dog, and she is not spayed yet, for whatever reason, you really should read this information, and make an appointment with your vet to have your female spayed. When my Reckless went into heat at the age of nine, it seemed to me like her heat cycle would never end.

I didn’t notice anything different about her, except after three weeks, there was a strange odor.  I mentioned it to a friend, not out of concern but out of frustration, and she hit the panic button.  She insisted that I rush Reckless to the vet, and once I arrived, the vet literally took Reckless from my arms, and got her into surgery immediately.  He said to me me sternly, “this is an emergency surgery.”  I was shocked.  The staff explained to me what Pyometra is, and if I would’ve waited any longer, my Reckless could have died.

Reckless 2006

Back then, I couldn’t afford to have Reckless spayed.  My local vet quoted me over $600, and that’s a lot of money to me.  I have learned that spaying your female early can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.  That surgery saved Reckless’ life, and gave me another four wonderful years with her. Recently, Sydney Wilson passed away suddenly, with very little warning, we believe she died of infection due to pyometra.  When dogs have medical issues, especially the herding breed, the owner rarely recognizes any symptoms.

Border Collies and Aussies will work themselves to death, and even with injured legs, like in the case of Bonnie Collie and Curry, they continue to “work” or play.  So if you have a dog that will catch a frisbee with a broken leg, don’t expect your dog to complain about an infection.  Dogs can’t write memos.

We all know how life-threatening a staff infection can be… Pyometra is life-threatening. If you live in the Central Florida area, and want to have your female spayed, call Newman Veterinary Centers, tell them about this article, mention The Dog Liberator, and ask them for a quote.  You may be surprised and learn how affordable this surgery is.   Don’t put this off!  If you have a crazy schedule, the Deltona office is open 365 days a year, and is open until midnight.  You can literally drop your dog off late at night, and pick her up the next day!  386-860-5335

What is Pyometra

That’s my Girl!

Pyometra is a bacterial infection of the uterus that mostly occurs in middle-aged or older unspayed female dogs, though it may also occur in cats or young dogs. It can result in the accumulation of infection in the bloodstream or abdominal cavity, which can rapidly lead to systemic infection, shock, and death. The severity of symptoms varies depending on whether the female’s cervix is open or closed.

Signs & Symptoms of Pyometra

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Drinking and urinating a lot
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abdominal pain and enlargement
  • Constant grooming around the vaginal opening

In the case of an open cervix, a thick, bloody, foul-smelling discharge draining from the vaginal opening is the first sign of an infected uterus. These dogs tend to appear less sick because the infection has a route to leave the body. If the dog’s cervix is closed, there will be no discharge and the infection can accumulate and spread into the bloodstream or enter the abdominal cavity. Symptoms can progress to those of shock, including a high fever and rapid pulse. The uterus will fill with pus and expand. Infections of other organs is common. The sick dog will need veterinary attention immediately.

Causes of Pyometra

The root cause of pyometra is heightened levels of progesterone, either found naturally in the four to eight weeks after a heat cycle, or induced by hormone-based therapies such as those used to prevent unwanted litters. The hormone estrogen is used in some of these “abortion” therapies, which, if given at a certain point after the heat cycle, can increase the effects of progesterone even further (though most of these therapies have been taken off the market). These high progesterone levels can cause cysts and pockets, which are prime target locations for bacteria. In pyometra cases, Escherichia coli (E. Coli) has been the most common bacteria isolated from the infected uterus due to its ability to thrive in a uterus sensitized by progesterone.

Diagnosis of Pyometra

Diagnosis begins with a complete history and a physical exam. Your veterinarian will most likely do the following:

  • History – Look at the dog’s spay history to see if she is intact.
  • CBC/Chemistry Panel – These blood tests will evaluate various internal organ functions, including the heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, metabolism, and electrolyte balance. The CBC is a measure of the amount and different kinds of red and white blood cells that are present in the body.
  • Discharge cultures – Your veterinarian will take a swab of the discharge secreting from your dog’s vaginal opening. This sample will be transferred to a slide and examined under a microscope.
  • Radiographs – These will show a distended uterus that displaces other organs in a closed cervix case.
  • Ultrasound – Taking an ultrasound of the uterus will show infection or a distended uterus in a closed cervix case.
  • Urinalysis – This may help rule out other causes of increased water intake and urination, as well as diagnose any secondary bladder infections.

Treatment for Pyometra

The bacterial infection cannot be resolved until the infected fluid is removed from the dog’s body, either by removing the uterus or draining the infection. In most cases, it is best to have the infected uterus removed by spaying the dog, taking special care not to rupture the uterus and release infection into the body cavity. After the uterus is removed, the dog will most likely be put onantibiotics for one to three weeks to clear up any remaining infection. In cases where the dog is intended to be bred in the future, treatment with intravenous fluid therapy and antibiotics may help alleviate the problem. If the cervix is closed and removal of the uterus is not desired, a hormone-like compound called prostaglandin can be given to relax the cervix in an attempt to drain the infection. However, in unspayed dogs that have had pyometra before, there is a high risk of recurrence.

Prevention of Pyometra

The best way to prevent pyometra is to spay all female dogs at a young age or at the end of their breeding career.  This information was obtained from Pet360.

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