Important information for bitch owners

Discussion in 'Labrador health' started by editor, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. editor

    editor Administrator

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    This is just a brief bit of info about pyometra. I have just done a search and realised we actually do not have an article about pyometra on the main website. Two of my bitches have been struck down by this horrible disease in the last two years, and one did not survive. So I am pretty cross with myself for omitting this information from the website. I'm putting an article together now, but in the meantime, we should all be aware of the symptoms and facts about pyo.

    [size=12pt]What is it[/size]

    Pyometra affects unspayed bitches. It is an infection of the uterus (womb) that usually begins a few weeks after the end of a normal 'season'.
    Pyometra is a bit like appendicitis - in that pus builds up inside the uterus until it is hugely swollen and inflamed. It can rupture and the dog may die.

    There are two main types of pyo: open (where pus seeps or drains from the vagina) or closed. A closed pyometra is more likely to be deadly because there is no discharge and the owner will not see symptoms until the bitch is really sick.

    I was shocked to discover that around a quarter of all entire bitches will get pyometra at some point. It tends to affect older dogs, but even very young bitches can be affected.

    [size=12pt]What you can do[/size]

    Always take any kind of vaginal discharge in an entire bitch seriously - same day appointment at the vet is not making a fuss.
    Always take seriously any bitch that seems 'off colour' two to three weeks or more after the end of her season. Especially if her belly seems a little swollen or tender, but even if it does not.

    [size=12pt]Post season care of the bitch[/size]

    For one to two months after each season: look out for reduced appetite, general malaise and an increased thirst with or without a vaginal discharge. Get your bitch checked out by your vet if you see any of these signs

    Consider spaying your bitch when she reaches middle age.

    Spaying was once recommended to everyone, but now many people worry about the disadvantages of spaying early.
    Those that do spay their bitches (usually after their first season) often do so to protect against mammary cancer.

    The reality is that pyometra is more common than cancer, and that most (not all) bitches will be protected from pyo by being spayed in their middle years.
     
  2. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    Such a high incidence :(
    A worthwhile post Pippa.
     
  3. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    Very pleased you have written such a well balanced article which should be informative for owners of bitches who wonder whether to spay or not.
     
  4. Lochan

    Lochan Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    Perhaps it is worth adding that bitches with pyometra, especially closed pyometra, will frequently have an excessive thirst and this may be the first sign something is wrong. Any bitch with inappetance, general malaise and an increased thirst with or without a vaginal discharge especially 1-2 months after season should be evaluated for pyometra as soon as possible. As Pippa says, insisting on a same day appointment at the vets is most definitely not making a fuss, and may save your dogs life.
     
  5. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    Thanks Pippa and Lochan for this information.

    We had Hattie spayed 3 months after her first season so she was about 22 months, our vet never at the time discussed Pyometra with us only Mammory Cancer. I have to confess to having never heard of it :(

    At least we know now for our next dog which will be a bitch. x
     
  6. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    Harley had a bit of discharge over the past 2 days, but apart from that, there were no other signs :( I didn't realise that discharge so soon after a season could be so serious. Thank you for writing this Pippa. I think it's really important for people to know.
     
  7. editor

    editor Administrator

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    Done, and thank you :)

    Don't feel badly if you miss the early symptoms. Pyometra can be difficult to detect and dogs are very good at hiding symptoms of pain. My cocker Meg looked slightly pregnant - which was odd for her during the shooting season, yet I just thought she was putting on a bit of weight. Her belly subsided rapidly when a profuse discharge began at the end of a full day's picking up during which she completed dozens of retrieves, swam back and forth across a river numerous times and jumped several fences. Until the discharge started that evening, I had no idea she was ill. :(

    Incidentally, for other cocker owners out there, the incidence of pyometra is higher in cockers than in most other breeds. Something I was not aware of until recently.
     
  8. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    Such a valuable post, thank you all :)
     
  9. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    Thank you for putting this up. So important for everyone to know - yet somehow it is not an illness that is terribly well known.
     
  10. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    Absolutely. Before I read about it on here, I had never heard of it! Cannot believe it is not widely known about.

    I'm sure this article (and Naya's sharing of her experience with Harley) will save lives.
     
  11. sussex

    sussex Registered Users

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    i will have to watch milly as she can not be spayed she has just had a urine infection last week which meant she was drinking more but never have to wait for a vets appoinment always same day
     
  12. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    A very worthwhile post for sure . The rescue that Millie came from was, in my opinion , neglegent in ensuring that she was spayed before giving her to us on a " wait and see " basis , especially as she is not in the first flush of youth . Thankfully , we did the right thing by her, but I shudder to think what could have happened had she gone to a less caring owner .
     
  13. Julie1962

    Julie1962 Registered Users

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    A previous Chihuahua Rosie had this it was very scary and we wished we had her spayed when she was younger as the op when she was 12 was much more serious and dangerous for her.
     
  14. happylatestarter

    happylatestarter Registered Users

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    I was just going to look and see if I could find anything about pyometra when I came across this thread. My black Labrador bitch Tammy started losing blood about 3 weeks after her season. Because we had a previous lab with this horrible disease, we took her straight down to the vets. He confirmed that it was probably pyometra, and informed us that instead of having an operation, they now treat it with injections to help the womb to contract and get rid of the gunk. Also anti biotics. That was two weeks ago, and she is still losing a little pink liquid. We have to take her back tomorrow, and are keeping our fingers crossed. One thing that's worrying me is that she still wont eat much, seems to just like dry biscuits, both doggie ones and digestive. Please please, if you've got a bitch with a discharge after her season, do take her to the vet straight away.
     
  15. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    Hi happylatestarter, after going through what I did, I would strongly recommend getting her spayed if there is any chance of pyometra. My vet said she could give Harley AB's and injections, but highly recommended an urgent spay as she thought it was quite advanced - she was right and I am so glad that I went with her recommendation. This condition, in my opinion, is not something to 'wait and see' or try AB's etc.
    please let us know how you get on tomorrow.
     
  16. happylatestarter

    happylatestarter Registered Users

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    Hi Naya. Im glad to say that Tammy has started eating again. Ive spoken to the vet and hes giving her some stronger abs to finally clear it up, so I hope it does. Shes certainly a lot brighter today, and we went for a little walk in the sunshine, which she really enjoyed. If it does get bad again, I will be down to the vets like a shot. Will keep you informed. Hope your little dog is ok now.
     
  17. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    Glad that Tammy seems better :) they do like to worry is dont they ;)
    Harley was really poorly and for a week after the op ipshe was very subdued and didn't want to play/cuddle up or anything ;( luckily she is over all of it now (happened in August this year) :D
     
  18. sussex

    sussex Registered Users

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    does this only happen a few weeks after a season or could it also happen just before a season is due milly is not due untill the end of march she has had 2 seasons already which were 6 months apart but her vulva is looking a bit bigger than normal and she keeps licking it
     
  19. editor

    editor Administrator

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    If she is due on heat in six weeks the risk of pyometra is probably low. Nor is a swollen vulva a symptom. So if she is well in herself and full of bounce, no temperature, nor excessive thirst, she is probably just coming on heat early. If you give her a 'wipe' with some cotton wool, you may be able to see if she is bleeding slightly, even if she is keeping herself really clean. Check with your vet if you are at all concerned about her, even if she just seems a bit off colour.
     
  20. sussex

    sussex Registered Users

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    Re: Important information for bitch owners

    ok thanks will do
     

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