View Full Version : Please Spay Your Cavs!!

25th March 2008, 12:51 PM
hi, just got thought i had to tell you all, the other day at work (i am a vet nurse) i saw the most terriable thing ever which made it the first time i cryed during a operation.
i had to help during operating on a cavalier which had a PYOMETRA which is pus in the uterus!! it occurs if your bitch is not spayed and is a very bad infection.

we did all that we could when the vet operated but sadly we couldnt do anymore, we then sadly had to stitch her up and call the owners to let them no there was nothuing else we could do and ask permission to put her to sleep, the owners came down to say goodbye and it was sooo upsetting!!

so please will all owners of bitches please have them spayed to prevent this!!

had to tell you all!!


25th March 2008, 01:19 PM
This story made me cry....those poor owners of that precious cavalier...their hearts must be shattered. Sooooo sad :( I hope your story helps to save the lives of others.....

25th March 2008, 01:54 PM
One of my parents springers got that but luckily they were able to save her. She hadn't been spayed because they were hoping to breed her again. I think she maybe 6 or 7.

25th March 2008, 02:07 PM
From the posts I've seen, I'd say most people on the board (breeders being the exception) have their bitches spay. In 40 + years of owning dogs-- we had one that got pyo at age 7 (20 years ago) and she recovered from the surgery and lived another 7+ years.

We have a Dr. Hutch in the US, that has been able to treat pyo and have the bitches heal enough to have puppies at a later date.

I feel badly for the people who lost their girl.

25th March 2008, 03:08 PM
It can apparently come on very very fast and often people don't recognise what it is in enough time. Some dogs have so symptoms except mild discharge than an owner may never notice. We've had several cases of it on this board but fortunately no fatalities that I know of.

If the dog is brought in early enough then usually it can be treated and I have seen this as an argument that pyo isn't that big a deal. But the problem is that most of the people advocating this argument are very experienced dog people with a good likelihood of identifying the problem very quickly. Most dog owners are not that knowledgeable and are likely to think the dog's just a bit under the weather and leave it to see if the dog gets better.

Cavaliers have a higher rate of pyometra than most other breeds!

The risk of developing pyometra was increased (identified using multivariate models) in rough Collies, Rottweilers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and English Cocker Spaniels compared with baseline (all other breeds, including mixed breed dogs).

See: http://apt.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1892%2F0891-6640(2001)015%5B0530%3ABROPII%5D2.3.CO%3B2&ct=1

This Swedish study of insured unspayed dogs (therefore, probably better cared for dogs) is:

* Under age 10, 2 of every 100 female dogs annually will contract pyometra

* The lifetime risk for the studied breeds is at least 1 in 4 will contract it during their lifetime (because that figure is counting only dogs that survived)

* For cavaliers, the risk is a whopping 41% chance any unspayed female will get pyo in her lifetime

This vet explains pyometra and why one of their main recommendations for spaying is risk of pyometra:


Info on pyometra and signs to watch for:


25th March 2008, 03:19 PM
OK, I found the full text for an article that considers this and two other breed related pyo studies. According to results from three different studies, cavaliers have nearly DOUBLE the average annual risk of contracting pyometra (3.8%) and a 41% risk of contracting it by age 10.

article: http://diss-epsilon.slu.se/archive/00000736/01/Avhandlingsramen_för_närpublikation_R.Hagman.pdf

The interactions with biological age could be interpreted as that in some breeds
(e.g. Rottweiler, rough-haired Collie, Golden Retriever, and Cavalier King Charles
Spaniel in 1995), the risk of pyometra actually increases more and at an earlier age
compared with other breeds. These breeds may carry a higher genetic
predisposition for pyometra than other breeds.

It is likely that the predisposition for pyometra is
similar in other countries but that the common practice of neutering at an early age
prevents recognition of the true disease frequency.

25th March 2008, 03:48 PM
A neighbours dog was very unwell with pyometra shortly after her first season, fortunately she's now a happy healthy big and bounding old english sheepdog.
I was so relieved after having Suki spayed and wouldn't hesitate to do the same with any other females in the future.

25th March 2008, 04:02 PM
I work with a local rescue group and one time we had a family turn over their golden retriever because she was very sick and they couldn't afford to treat her, turned out she had a severe case of pyometra and was practically on her death bed. She had an emergency spay and healed but it was a slow recovery. If the family had taken her in to the vet at the first signs of sickness she wouldn't have been such a bad case but they claimed they just couldn't afford any vet care. Sad.

25th March 2008, 04:27 PM
My little Tri (left) had a pio when she was living with her breeder, and had a really tough time, it's only down to her knowledge in spotting it that we are lucky to have her today.

Hers was a closed pio, different than an open pio where discharge is seen much earlier. I believe symptoms with a closed pio are extreme thirst?

Perhaps some more detail on the types of pio would help others here?


25th March 2008, 04:34 PM
The link I posted above gives that info :) :


25th March 2008, 05:09 PM
Both our girlies have been spayed.

I once saw my ex mother-in-law's poodle, Shelley, taken ill so very very quickly with a pyo.
She had to be spayed there and then. I think she was about 13 at the time, bless her :(.

25th March 2008, 05:51 PM
Pyo is a constant worry for me and the girls are watched diligently for any signs of it especially just after a season, touch wood, :xfngr: I have been lucky so far.
I always advise my puppy buyers to have their girls spayed for this very reason, and my retired breeding girls are always spayed too.

My heart goes out to the family who have lost their much loved pet to this condition, so very sad and tragic indeed.

25th March 2008, 09:22 PM
Tandie, our rescue, came to us when she was in heat (and a right little minx with it :D) and had a pyometra we discovered just as she was coming out of heat. She had a slight discharge which we put down to her being in heat. She was off her food and vomited one morning, so we took her straight to the vets and he diagnosed her. Luckily she had an emergency spay and recovered quite quickly from it. Her uterus was more than twice the size it should have been, and I gather would have killed her within a few days. Gave us a terrible fright, but she's fit as a fiddle now :)

26th March 2008, 10:19 AM
this cav that had the pyo was brought in as the owners noticed she was under the weather, our vet operated on her for 2 hours flat then called our other vet in to see if they could help, this was due to our other vet having done more pyo surgeies then the current vet operating and we also had other operations.
our other vet operated for another hour and a half then told us that there was nothing else to do, this was the worse case that he had ever seen before.

i spoke to the cavs owners yesterday because they are one of my favourite clients and they always buy my cavs treats because i usually have at least Alfy with me when i am at work where he sitslike a angel on reception.
Summer's (the cavs name) owners were very grateful for what we did and they said that although they were very upset they were trying not to show it and they thankfully got their other cav Jessica spayed when she was younger. i also found out that they had only had Summer for 6 months and she was 7 years old, i didnt no this because i hadnt seen them for quite a while and this was the first time that i had met Summer and i must say that it was the worst way to meet her, i can still remember her little face when her owners rushed her in!! that will be something that i will never forget!!

anyway, i am really sorry if i have upset you, its just that i had to tell everyone on here because your more understanding then some other people


26th March 2008, 11:41 AM
I am sure most people found a personal story like this to be important -- You shared a distressing experience that should be part of anyone's consideration in how they care for their own animals and may encourage more people to read about pyo and find out about symptoms, and consider whether spaying might be the right step.

You also spurred me to actually go research the reports I had read about in a recent study of spay/neuter literature where someone had noted it stated somewhere that cavaliers had a higher incidence of pyometra than most breeds. I had no idea how high that incidence actually was and reading the original studies was very helpful to me.

It is worth noting that the risk of pyometra is, even in the general dog population, considerably higher than the risk of vaccine reaction. The risk to cavaliers, going by the three research studies used for the figures I cited, is by several orders of magnitude, greater than vaccine reaction. Yet people worry about the minute risks of vaccines, but don't spay their dogs.

I think raising awareness generally is very helpful, and your post may save a dog's life. Pyometra is not a condition most people are aware of nor one they know the symptoms for and most pet owners are very unlikely to take their dog in at first sign, when it is most easily addressed. The signs of pyometra are: vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness, discharge sometimes from the vulva. How many of us have *not* had a dog with the first three symptoms before? How many of us look for discharge or check those parts of our dogs? If you have a particularly heavy coated female discharge would be difficult to even see.

I can only imagine how distressing it must have been to be there when this all happened and to know the client too, making it extra personal. It is just so sad and the vets must have been very shaken as well. It must be one of the more horrific things to operate for.

26th March 2008, 04:08 PM

I really wanted people to read it so that they did not have to lose their cavs through it,

i am going for lunch tomorrow at the owners home as they said that they have dsomething for me but im on my holiday from work for a few days lol

so ill tell you all tomorrow hehe

anyway thanks for finding more info!! i am very grateful xxxx