Little 16-year-old Maltese cross Kay came to us a few days ago feeling very poorly. Her owner noticed she had been quieter, with increased thirst, occasional vomiting and diarrhoea and a reduced appetite, which was very unlike little Kay! The previous evening, he had rightly decided that she needed to be seen at the emergency centre.
During Kay’s examination the vet noticed some discharge coming from her vulva and ascertained that she had never been de-sexed. This was very telling for the vet and combined with the symptoms noted he suspected she was suffering from a uterus infection known as pyometra. This was later confirmed by Dr Tanya Lovelock.
It is a serious and life threatening condition that must be treated promptly. It is the result of female dogs going through numerous heat cycles where pregnancy does not occur. This causes the lining of the uterus to become thick until cysts form within it. Eventually this thickened, cystic lining creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow causing the infection.
Kay came to us the following morning the need of immediate surgery. Kay received an antibiotic injection and a pre-medication to calm her down and to start some pain relief. We then placed a catheter on her in order for intravenous fluids to be connected. This is standard for all pets undergoing a general anaesthetic as it helps to maintain blood pressure and assists the kidneys and liver to flush anaesthetic agents from the body, ensuring a speedy recovery.
Dr Tanya induced Kay then nurses Sharyn and Lindsay prepped her for surgery. Dr Tanya then performed the spay, which was more complicated than a routine spay because her uterus was much larger and full of infection. The surgery took about 50 minutes and then Kay was awake and recovering in her hospital bed.
Kay stayed with us overnight so she could remain on fluids and have lots of cuddles and she was a much brighter dog the following day. Her Dad was in first thing in the morning to collect her and she was very happy to see him! Kay will be back in a few days for a post operative check with the vet to make sure everything is healing well and then will come in a week later to have her stitches removed. Little Kay was very lucky her Dad noticed the change in her behaviour. It is also one of the many reasons we recommend desexing for all of our clients. If you would like more information on pyometra, desexing or anything else please visit our website.