View Full Version : Heidi has been diagnosed with Pyometria

8th August 2008, 05:54 PM
Heidi has been diagnosed with pyometria . She's nearly 5 . I have been terrified to have her spayed as I lost my Ruby when she was given a pre med before surgery .
Now it looks like I have no choice .
Any help and advice you can give would be much appreciated .
I'm distraught and sobbing as I write this .

8th August 2008, 06:01 PM
Hi Mimi,
Sorry to hear Heidi has this. Basically all you can do now is place her in the hands of your vet,and do exactly as he/she instructs.
Of course you're distraght, I know how awful it feels when it's even a minor illness but try to be strong and keep a clear head and get her treatment under way asap.
Please let us know how she's doing or when she's scheduled for surgery.

8th August 2008, 06:17 PM
I am so sorry, Maria.

I will be blunt: she MUST be spayed immediately or is likely to die. The longer you wait the more likely she will not live. I cannot say this strongly enough!!! Pyometra is almost always fatal without swift action. She may also suffer grave damage to other organs in her body if this is not addressed IMMEDIATELY.

Cavaliers are at no higher risk than any other breed during surgery. Please do not risk losing your dog to this.

The risk of an adverse reaction to anaesthesia is tiny -- less than a fraction of one per cent. The risk of pyometra in unspayed cavaliers according to one Swedish study is OVER 40 %!!! Any female cavalier left unspayed has a SIGNIFICANT risk of this condition -- leaving her to battle it without removing that pus-filled womb risks her dying. Please get her immediately to a vet willing to act right away. :flwr: We will all be thinking of her and you. I am sorry to be so graphic but please, please get her the help she needs.

8th August 2008, 06:25 PM
Pyometra and the surgery:


The word “pyometra” is derived from latin “pyo” meaning pus and “metra” meaning uterus. The pyometra is an abscessed, pus-filled infected uterus. Toxins and bacteria leak across the uterine walls and into the bloodstream causing life-threatening toxic effects, Without treatment death is inevitable.


Classically, the patient is an older female dog. (Pyometra can occur in the cat but its not nearly as common.) Usually, she has finished a heat cycle in the previousl 1-2 months. She has a poor appetite and may be vomiting or drinking an excessive amount of water. In the more usual “open pyometra” the cervix is open and the purulent uterine contents is able to drip out thus a smelly vaginal discharge is usually apparent.

There is also a form of pyometra called a “closed pyometra” where the cervix is closed. In these cases, there is no vaginal discharge and the clinical presentation is more difficult to diagnose. These patients also tend to be sicker than those with open pyometra due to retention of the toxic uterine contents.

Lab work shows a pattern typical of widespread infection which is often helpful in narrowing down the diagnosis. Radiographs may show a gigantic distended uterus though sometimes this is not obvious and ultrasound is needed to confirm the diagnosis.


With each heat cycle, the uterine lining engorges in preparation for pregnancy. Eventually, some tissue engorgement becomes excessive or persistent (a condition called “cystic endometrial hyperplasia”). This lush glandular tissue is ripe for infectionf (recall that while thei inside of the uterus is sterile, the vagina below is normally loaded with bacteria.). Bacteria ascend from the vagina and the uterus becomes infected and ultimately pus filled.


The usual treatment for pyometra is surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries. It is crucial that the infected uterine contents do not spill and that no excess hemorrhage occurs. The surgery is challenging especially if the patient is toxic. Antibiotics are given at the time of surgery and may or may not be continued after the uterus is removed. Pain relievers are often needed post-operatively. A few days of hospitalization are typically needed after the surgery is performed.

It is especially important that the ovaries be removed to remove future hormonal influence from any small stumps of uterus that might be left behind. If any ovary is left, the patient will continue to experience heat cycles and be vulnerable to recurrence.

While this surgery amounts to the same end result as routine spaying, there is nothing routine about a pyometra spay. As noted, the surgery is challenging and the patient is in a life-threatening situation. For these reasons, the pyometra spay typically costs five to ten times as much as a routine spay.


The infected uterus is resolved rapidly (in an hour or two of surgery). No possibility of disease recurrence.


Surgery must be performed on a patient that could be unstable.


In the late 1980’s another treatment protocol became available that might be able to spare a valuable animal’s reproductive capacity. Here, special hormones called “prostaglandins” are given as injections to cause the uterus to contract and expel its pus. A week or so of hospitalization is necessary and some cramping discomfort is often experienced. The treatment takes place over the course of a week. This form of treatment is not an option in the event of a “closed” pyometra as described above.


There is a possibilityof future pregnancy for the patient (though often there is too much uterine scarring). Surgery can be avoided in a patient with concurrent problems that pose extra anesthetic risk


Pyometra can recur. The disease is resolved more slowly (over a week or so). There is a possibility of uterine rupture with the contractions. This would cause peritonitis and escalates the life-threatening nature of the disease.


Spaying represents complete prevention for this condition. Spaying cannot be over-emphasized. Often an owner plans to breed their pet or is undecided, time passes, and then they fear she is too old to be spayed. The female dog or cat can benefit from spaying at any age. The best approach is to figure that pyometra will eventually occur if the female pet is left unspayed; any perceived risks of surgery are very much out-weighed by the risk of pyometra.


8th August 2008, 06:29 PM
Heidi is being operated on tonight or first thing in the morning . She has been diagnosed early he has said , but I'm upset as she's the same age as Ruby when she died . I would never not go ahead with the surgery , I know the risks of Pyometria . I'm just terrified my beautiful baby wont make it through the surgery . I also have Nifa to worry about she's almost the same age and also not spayed . I'm blaming myself being selfish , not wanting to loose them to surgery like Ruby . Ruby had a weak heart , but Heidi and Nifa's hearts are strong . Need lots of positive thoughts and prayers to get us through this .

8th August 2008, 06:50 PM
Hugs to you. You can't help but worry about your baby, especially with the loss of your ruby, but try to think of the real odds of everything turning out just fine. I know that seems impossible for your now. Having something awful happen when the odds of it happening are really slim is so difficult and can leave you paranoid (I know, I have been there) in otherwise safe situations.

Once her surgery is behind her, you won't have to fool with messy heat cycles or the risk of pyometria ever again!

I'll be thinking about you tomorrow.

8th August 2008, 08:19 PM
Heidi is in surgery now .

8th August 2008, 08:21 PM
Heidi is in surgery now .

Mimi is in my thoughts and prayers.

8th August 2008, 08:25 PM
The same here -- all doglets hoping too that she comes through and is back snuggling with you in days. Cavalier prayers are the most powerful you know! :flwr:

8th August 2008, 08:39 PM
Lots of prayers going up for little Heidi. I am sure she will recover quickly and feel so much better really soon! :hug:

Karlin, thank you for the information on this condition. I am learning so much more each day I log in. I always thought pyrometria was just a urinary tract infection.:confused: I had no idea that the uterus was what was infected. We let Dottie go through one heat, on the request of her breeder, but I am so thankful that she has now been spayed. Not sure that I would have waited even one cycle had I been aware of this. Does it ever occur in puppies or very young intact dogs?

8th August 2008, 08:39 PM
Heidi's through the surgery , the vet is quietly optimistic she'll recover . The next 24 hours will be critical .

8th August 2008, 08:56 PM
Oh thank goodness she is through her surgery. Please keep the updates coming!!

8th August 2008, 10:59 PM
Thinking of heidi, and hoping she is soon back at home with you.:hug:

8th August 2008, 11:46 PM
Mimi just seen this now...hugs and kisses to your little girl from all of us..and sending positive thoughts and wishes to you too.

Cathy T
9th August 2008, 12:17 AM
Just saw this. So glad she's come through the surgery okay. And praying she continues to get better.

9th August 2008, 12:52 AM
Oh praying for the BEST outcome.... please keep us updated as we all truly care !!!!!!!:lotsaluv:

9th August 2008, 12:57 AM
Thank goodness she is out of surgery.. am changing the prayers to quick healing and good health.

Elaine 2
9th August 2008, 12:59 AM
Ive just seen your post and I'm so pleased to hear Heidi is over her surgery, we'll keep all fingers and paws crossed here for a speedy recovery for her :xfngr:

9th August 2008, 01:06 AM
A big :hug: :hug:, one each, for you and Heidi. Thank goodness, hopefully the worst is over.

Claire L
9th August 2008, 10:40 AM
Great that the surgery is over. Sending hugs and get well really soon wishes to Heidi. Please let us know how she is doing :hug::hug:

9th August 2008, 01:21 PM
Concentrate good healing thoughts to that part of Ireland, everybody! We want Heidi through today with steady improvement and then back home asap. :flwr:

9th August 2008, 03:15 PM
I hope Heidi is showing rapid healing and will be home soon! Please keep us updated.

Cathy Moon
9th August 2008, 03:50 PM
I hope Heidi continues to improve. :flwr: Let us know how she's doing when you get news. :flwr:

9th August 2008, 04:06 PM
Heidi was up and walking around with the vet and had a wee. Apparently thats good news .
She's still on the critical list , so keep the cavalier good wishes coming .
I'm going to see her later the vet suggested we come for a little visit .
Will post later to give everyone an update .
Thank you everyone for the support and wishes for a speedy recovery .

Cathy T
9th August 2008, 04:34 PM
The good wishes are continuing. Praying for Heidi.

Claire L
9th August 2008, 04:41 PM
Oh I'm so glad to hear that little Heidi is making progress :xfngr: she goes from strength to strength.

Hope you have a good visit with her. I know it will be an emotional one so please know that we are all sending positive healing thoughts to your little girl and hope she has a good day and night :hug:

9th August 2008, 05:25 PM
I've been watching for news all day. :flwr: Thanks for the update and that sounds very good. Continued healing thoughts for Heidi!

amanda L
9th August 2008, 06:30 PM
Sending lots of positive healing thoughts and praying for your little Heidi:flwr:, so glad to hear she is through her surgery:flwr:

9th August 2008, 07:20 PM
So glad she is on the mend ..more positive thoughts coming your way from the cavalier gang here.

9th August 2008, 07:31 PM
I've been checking in every now and then to see how she's doing. Glad she's up and about and able to wee. :thmbsup:

9th August 2008, 07:53 PM
This thread just caught my eye. Wishing Heidi a quick recovery and back to her normal cuddly self.:flwr:

9th August 2008, 09:42 PM
Hi ,
Had a hospital visit with Heidi , wagging her tail and licking our fingers through the cage .
Very tired still , but delighted to see us .
She is a bit swollen from fluid intake from drip , so waiting for the vet to call after nine to give us an update .
She had a couple of her favorite bikkies (scallywags) and about 3 mouthfulls of Ceaser her treat dinner for special occasions .
Vet says the next 24 hours will tell alot , she's still not out of the woods .
Thanks to all the Cavaliers with their paws crossed for Heidi .

9th August 2008, 09:56 PM
So good that she was able to express her pleasure at seeing you. That seems like a good sign. I've heard the edema is pretty normal and common. If it is only fluid from IV and not infection, it will resolve once the IV drip is stopped. How long do they think she will need to stay if she keeps improving?

10th August 2008, 04:41 AM
Lucky is sitting her sound asleep beside me with his paws crossed for a full & speedy recovery for Heidi. Hope the call you get from the vet is good news. Please keep us updated & we're sending lots of postive healing thoughts for Heidi from across the pond!

10th August 2008, 11:26 AM
That must have been a huge relief to see. Hoping her recovery continues all day today. The fact that she is up and eating is very good. :xfngr:

Claire L
10th August 2008, 11:34 AM
:xfngr: Heidi continues to improve today :hug:

10th August 2008, 11:54 AM
Hi ,
The Vet phoned about 10.30 last night to tell us he has been checking in on Heidi . He had her in his arms and she had a full packet of Ceaser from a spoon . ( sounds about right )
He said they fluid IV she was on was causing the swelling as they give it in the skin not sure of the medical term . He was happy with her progress yesterday .
Hopefully we'll have her home tuesday at the latest .

10th August 2008, 12:22 PM
The boys and I send bigs hugs to you and Heidi. We hope she recovers quickly and is back to her old self soon.:paw:

10th August 2008, 01:43 PM
Hi ,
Just back from a visit , we got a phonecall after 11 am from the Vet to ask us would we like to come see her while the animals were being fed and cleaned out this morning .
What a different doggie to yesterday . We got to bring her out for a little walk she did her pooh's the first since the surgery and had a little to eat . She's soooo much better .
The vet says she will be coming home tomorrow .Yippee .
I now need advice on what to prepare to make her comfortable at home .

Claire L
10th August 2008, 02:04 PM
:jump: Mimi, that's WONDERRFUL NEWS :jump:

I'd say, just keep her quiet for a while; no jumping up or down off anything etc. I'm sure your Vet (well done Vet :hug:) will give you the best advice as regards Heidi's post op care.

Oh I am so happy that she is coming home to you tomorrow - bet you can't wait!!


10th August 2008, 02:28 PM
Just read this thread, what an ordeal for you and poor Heidi, so so glad for you that Heidi is doing so well now and that she is coming home to you tomorrow you must be so relieved (to say the very least) sending Heidi plenty of:luv: and :flwr: to you.

10th August 2008, 02:48 PM
Tremendous news, so glad she's recovering so quickly.
Lots of TLC, good nutrition and keep her calm and relaxed.(and try and get some rest yourself, you've had an awful weekend)

10th August 2008, 03:04 PM
So glad she is much better and coming home soon. The vet will want you to watch her incision site for any signs of infection and that she is eating/drinking/pottying normally. If she is crate trained that might be good for a couple days to keep her quiet. Or a special place she can be like a blocked off area or pen so that she can be quiet and not rough house with the other dogs right now or try to jump up on something. Positive thoughts coming your way for a quick recovery!

10th August 2008, 04:47 PM
hi everyone

im so glad Heidi is doing well and shel feel loads better when shes properly recovered.it must have absolutely horrendous for you because of what happened in the past so well done.nina had this 2 and i know how distressing it is.nina has thrived since she had her operation and im sure heidi will be the same.her fur is is thicker and shiny-er and shes just a happier dog all round!

Cathy T
10th August 2008, 04:49 PM
So glad to read that Heidi is doing so well. What a rough few days but it looks like she's really doing well. Great news!

10th August 2008, 06:55 PM
Such a relief to know she is now doing so much better and should be home before long! Others have given you some great advice -- she will probably appreciate somewhere quiet that she can rest. The vet will probably say no walks for the next 10 days or so, just short trips out for the toilet, and to keep her from playing or doing anything that could dirty her wound. Am so glad she has improved so much over yesterday!

10th August 2008, 08:34 PM
:) You must be relieved that Heidi is coming home. Once Heidi is at home she will make a speedy recovery. Nothing better then having mum fuss over you all day. :)


10th August 2008, 11:04 PM
Im sorry to hear aout Heidi,just read the thread now:(
But I´m glad she is doing well enough to come home to you already.
So you can fuss over her and spoil her a bit .:flwr:

10th August 2008, 11:05 PM
So glad Heidi will soon be home with you and she is a lot better:p

10th August 2008, 11:28 PM
That's wonderful news. :rah: Your vet sounds very caring.

11th August 2008, 02:16 AM
Great news!

11th August 2008, 10:05 PM
Maria, great to hear Heidi is much better :rah::rah:
I bet you cant wait to have her home. Give her lots of :hug: from me and Ollie :)

11th August 2008, 10:15 PM
Hi , She's home since lunchtime today . My Aunt collected her , I was working .
Heidi is resting in her crate actually went into it and settled down for a nap when she got home . She's sleeping in my room tonight , the Vet said to keep her quiet and let her sleep away from the other two for afew days .
She looks wonderful after the ordeal she's been through .
Loving all the extra attention .
Thank you to everyone for all the good wishes .
Looks like Cavalier love is very powerful .
Heidi sends Hugs to all her Cavalier buddies who crossed their paws for her . She felt their strength .

Cathy T
11th August 2008, 10:34 PM
Hooray!!! I've been checking to see if you'd checked in with us. What a relief to know she's home and doing well.

11th August 2008, 10:36 PM
Oh wonderful news. Lots of kisses to her from me and Dylan! XXXXXXXX:lotsaluv:

Claire L
12th August 2008, 11:13 AM
:jump: WELCOME HOME HEIDI !!!:jump:

12th August 2008, 09:08 PM
Hello ,
Heidi slept in her crate in my room last night , and she was wonderful . She woke me up about 6.15 am to go to the toilet , but other than that slept the night .
I'm spoiling her with extra special gentle cuddles and thanking god for letting my little girl stay with me . Nifa and Rua are really happy she's Home too .