Pyometra is a potentially life-threatening condition. This is a disease that can happen in entire females. What happens is, after a season, it can be anything from two to three weeks up to a month or so after the season, the bitch can develop an infection of the uterus. And what happens is the pus… The uterus fills with pus and is essentially a bag full of pus. The problem we have is that with some of this pyometra, they may not show any discharge. With some pyometras, you will see some vulval discharge, and it will be quite a thick, creamy discharge, that will give you a clue that there is an infection in the uterus. However, further on after the season, the cervix will close, and that pus will not be able to come out and show itself as a discharge.
You will get symptoms because the toxins that build up from the pus will start to make your dog unwell. You may see vomiting, diarrhoea, they may go off their food. They tend to get quite a high temperature, so you may get some panting and huffing and puffing, and you will know that they are just not themselves. This is a veterinary emergency because if you do not get this treated that bag of pus can continue to fill and potentially the uterus can explode and the pus will then be in the abdomen and cause a peritonitis. If your pet does get peritonitis, this is when it is truly life-threatening. The infection in the abdomen will cause the peritonitis and it gets absorbed into the bloodstream and into the organs and causes a multi-organ failure.