Pyometra, loosely defined as the presence of purulent material (pus) within the reproductive tract, is a common disease affecting almost 25% of all (unspayed) female dogs before 10 years of age.
The pathogenesis of canine pyometra is still unclear, but bacterial infection of the endometrium, mediated by bacterial lectins, is suspected to induce pyometra, especially during days 7 - 10 and 30 - 40 of dioestrus. Several other factors may also contribute, including genetic and hormonal factors. In dogs, the phagocytic ability of circulating leucocytes has been shown to decrease with age, and ovarian hormones have also been shown to affect immune resistance.
- Undesexed females, often post-estral
- Remnant uterus after desexing (uterine stump empyema)
Clinical signs include anorexia, lethargy, purulent vulvar discharge, polyuria, polydipsia, proteinuria and abdominal distention.
Diagnosis is usually based on clinical signs, physical examination, blood work, radiography, and ultrasonography, with confirmation through histopathologic evaluation of tissues.
Treatment usually requires overiohysterectomy, but lavage via direct trans-cervical catheterisation using a 5% povidone-iodine in saline solution has been successful in some cases where restoration of breeding is required.
- Vet Surgery Central
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