Pyometra - Avoid this Life-Threatening Pet Infection!

Pyometra - Avoid this Life-Threatening Pet Infection!

Pyometra - Avoid this Life-Threatening Pet Infection!

If you have ever been a pet breeder, or known someone who is... you will assuredly know the fear that comes along with this word - pyometra.  


Pyometra is an infection that occurs as a result of hormonal changes in the female's reproductive tract. Following estrus (heat), cycles the lining of the uterus is thickened in preparation for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur for several consecutive estrus cycles, the uterine lining continues to increase in thickness until cysts form within the uterine tissues (a condition called cystic endometrial hyperplasia). The thickened, cystic lining secretes fluids that create an ideal environment for bacterial growth.




This condition is only a risk in female dogs and cats, however because of the unique physiological reproductive system of cats they are actually at an increased risk of this infection because unlike dogs they do not have a menses (menstrual) cycle which naturally cleanses and sheds the uterine lining regularly.  


The signs of this infection depends whether the cervix remains open: 

  • Pus or an abnormal discharge is often seen on the skin or hair under the tail or on bedding and furniture where the pet has recently laid.
  • Fever, lethargy, anorexia, and depression may or may not be present.
  • Increased urine production
  • Increased water consumption


If the cervix remains closed the infection is much more severe and life-threatening:

  • distended abdomen
  • anorectic, very listless and very depressed
  • Vomiting or diarrhea 
  • Increased urine production
  • Increased water consumption


The only way to prevent this infection... SPAY SURGERY!!


The bottom line is this, if you have a female pet, or male pet for that matter, please be certain to have your pet spay/neutered at the appropriate age before sexual maturity as this is your only certain way to prevent pyometra infection as well as many other sexual maturity related issues like escaping outdoors, aggression, spraying/marking.  You are your pet's advocate, be sure to make their health and well-being a priority, unless you are a trained professional, it is never worth risking your pet's life to "let them have a litter," or to "let your children experience birth." 


Keep those pets healthy and happy everyone!



April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H.


  • Thank you pet coach April so very much for your valuable information that can potentially save our pets lives!

    Gwen on

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