Whenever you talk to someone who does rescue work, the topic of spaying and neutering will inevitably come up. The most talked about reason for spaying and neutering in the rescue world is so that we can stop the needless deaths of the millions of animals who die in shelters every year across America…but if that isn't reason enough for you, let me tell you a story.
This week, I received a call from a friend who works with a vet as an assistant. hey got a call about a dog in distress. Because they were a mobile vet, they headed over.
The dog was very, very sick. She was laying under a chair in the backyard-unresponsive. After several tries, she lifted up her head for a second as if to say “Help me”. It was discovered that the dog had never been spayed, had stopped eating, and was bleeding from her vulva. She had Pyometra. Her uterine lining had become infected, and the toxins were shutting down her organs. And now she was dying slowly as her body was taken over by the toxins in her body. This little girl was given the relief she needed and went to the Rainbow Bridge. The tragedy is that had this little girl been spayed, she would have not suffered like this. This is an example of the health risks that come with not Spaying a dog early in her life.
Pyometra is a result of hormonal and structural changes in the uterus lining. This can happen at any age, whether she has bred or not, and whether it is her 1st or 10th heat (although it becomes more common as the dog gets older).
After a heat, bacteria (especially E. coli) that have migrated from the vagina into the uterus find the environment favorable to growth, especially since progesterone also causes mucus secretion, closes the cervix (preventing uterine drainage), and decreases uterine contractility. The condition of the cervix is a major factor in the severity of the condition.
If the cervix is open, the infected material can leave the body, and this is far easier and safer to treat. This is known as open pyometra.
If the cervix is fully closed, there is no discharge from the vulva, and like in appendicitis, the uterus may rupture and pus escapes into the abdomen, causing peritonitis and possible rapid death. This is known as closed pyometra.
Spaying (ovariohysterectomy) completely and promptly removes the infection, prevents uterine rupture and peritonitis, and of course prevents recurrence, in most cases. Spayed animals do very rarely develop pyometra in the uterine stump. Even so, ovariohysterectomy is currently considered the most effective and safest treatment.
PYOMETRA PREVENTATIVE-100% EFFECTIVE
Spay your dog.
Spay your dog by 6 months of age.
Don't BREED your dog.