How to recognize and diagnose pyometra in veterinary medicine | VETgirl Veterinary Continuing Education Videos

In this VETgirl online veterinary continuing education video, we discuss how to diagnose the reproductive emergency in intact female dogs and cats: pyometra. Pyometra generally occurs in middle-aged, intact females during the period of diestrus. This typically occurs several weeks to months after the last heat cycle. Any “ADR” intact female should be worked up for possible pyometra. Typically, pyometra is referred to as either an open pyometra (cervix remains open) or a closed pyometra (cervix remains closed). Clinical signs of illness include vaginal discharge (open pyometra), vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, lethargy, anorexia, depression, polyuria and polydipsia. Work up includes abdoominal radiographs and/or abdominal ultrasound (which reveal several tubular, fluid filled loops of the uterus near the bladder). Rapid diagnosis is necessary, followed by medical stabilization (e.g., IV fluid therapy, anti-emetic therapy, antimicrobial therapy) and surgical intervention (e.g., typically emergency ovariohysterectomy). You can read more about it in this VETgirl pyometra BLOG and surgery video. Or, listen to the VETgirl podcast HERE for more info on reproductive emergencies!

NOTE: Make sure to avoid doing a cystocentesis in intact, female ADR dogs, as this can result in accidental iatrogenic rupture of the pyometra!

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