Beautiful Baily has been visiting us at Blackburn Vet Centre for all of her nearly nine years. She's led a fairly happy and healthy life - in 2008 she even became the proud Mum of eight healthy golden retriever puppies! But this week Baily succumbed to a problem that is very common in older, unspayed female dogs, called pyometra.
Pyometra causes a female dog's uterus to swell from being about the width of your finger to resemble a string of very fat sausages. The condition makes them quite lethargic, off their food, very thirsty, and they may pass some foul fluid. It can cause the uterus to rupture, becoming life threatening. This huge swelling of the uterus is initially due to a hormonal condition rather than infection.
In their natural state, dogs become pregnant and have litters every so often which tends to keep the uterus quite healthy. In our domesticated pets, pregnancies are less common so we tend to see this pyometra illness in older un-spayed females.
But back to Baily: She was admitted to hospital here at the clinic and was stabilised with intravenous fluids. She then underwent surgery to remove the massive uterus and ovaries. She's now feeling a lot better and has made an excellent recovery.
Pyometra is one of the reasons why we vets urge pet owners to get their dogs spayed! It's a very common and very preventable illness.