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.