Infertility in the female dog

Last week, we dealt with chronic endometritis as an infection of the womb (uterus).  There is another condition which localizes itself in the womb, and which is actually life threatening.  It is called Pyometra, which translated literally, means ‘pus in the womb.‘  This condition does not begin as an infection in the uterus.

Continued from last week

The origin of this ailment is not to be found in a bacterial invasion (as in the chronic endometritis cases, which we described in last week’s TPC).  Pyometra is linked with hormonal disturbances.  It is only later (the groundwork having been laid for easy bacterial settlement) that germs invade, and we then have the picture of a huge ‘abscess’ in the uterus.

This hormonal imbalance could be coming from a problem the bitch or the female cat has genetically, or from some other unknown cause which created the hormonal imbalance.  Also, the injections of hormones into female dogs and cats could precipitate a pyometra.  For example, pet owners, not wanting their bitches to come in heat, request of the vet an injection/tablets to suppress (or delay) heat.  On other occasions, if there has been a mismating (some unwanted stray neighbourhood stud copulates with a pretty pedigreed home bitch), clients might demand a hormonal injection to stop the pregnancy.  In passing, I should mention that it has been documented in the literature that one can use hormone injections to also combat post-copulation infections.

Well, I am from the old school (or perhaps I have seen too many pyometra cases that resulted from hormonal intervention), so I advise often against the introduction of hormone injections, if they are not absolutely warranted.  Even then, it must be imperative that the owner keenly observes his/her ward – months after the hormone treatment was introduced.  Hormones are too basic a system within the animal’s body for us to manipulate, and create imbalances.  It is interesting to note that most bitches with pyometra are middle aged (around 6-8 years) and many have the history of never producing any puppies.

Pyometra can also occur secondary to an inflammatory process which may have developed in the womb after the bitch/she-cat has given birth to puppies/kittens.

♦  Pyometra raises its ugly head one to 12 weeks after the bitch/cat goes out of heat
♦  Loss of appetite
♦  Consumption of a lot of water (polydipsia)
♦  Frequent urination (polyuria)
♦  The animal shows signs of depression/lethargy
♦  (Vomiting)
♦  Weakness of hind legs
♦  Purulent discharge (pus) from the vagina, sometimes with tinges of blood.  Often the vaginal discharge would appear a few days and then disappear
♦  Abdominal (uterine) enlargement
♦  Dehydration
♦  A low grade fever
♦  The blood picture (if your veterinarian uses laboratory facilities to help his/her diagnosis) shows an increase in the white blood cell (WBC) count especially one type of WBC (the neutrophiles)

NB The symptoms listed above would not all exhibit themselves at the same time.

Don’t mess around with antibiotics or any other type of conservative treatment.  This ailment is life threatening.  Only radical surgery, the removal of the whole reproductive tract (ovaries, oviduct, uterus) can save the animal’s life.  Even then, the animal could still die, especially since you might have only recognized the problem (or decided to do something about it) weeks after it had begun.  Your vet will advise you on the pre-and post-surgical management of the patient, so as to better ensure its survival.

NB Please do not at all use squibs or other explosives devices during holiday festivities, and definitely not near to dogs and other animals which have a keen sense of hearing.

Please implement disease preventative measures (vaccinations, routine dewormings, monthly anti-heartworm medication, etc) and adopt-a-pet from the GSPCA’s Animal Clinic and Shelter at Robb Street and Orange Walk, if you have the wherewithal to care well for the animals.  Do not stray your unwanted pets, take them to the GSPCA’s Clinic and Shelter instead. If you do not wish your pet to have puppies or kittens, you may exploit the GSPCA’s free spay and neutering programme. If you see anyone being cruel to an animal, or if you need any technical information, please get in touch with the Clinic and Shelter by calling 226-4237.

Latest in Features, Sunday

default placeholder

Peru’s president-elect demands freedoms in Venezuela

Peru’s pro-business President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski won his country’s elections by a hair with the last-minute help of a leftist party, but — judging from what he told me in an interview — he won’t budge on his criticism of Venezuela and other repressive regimes.

default placeholder

Public financial management: 1966 – present (Final)

This is the fifth and final in a series of articles on the above aimed at highlighting the extent of our achievements in the post-Independence period.

LUCAS STOCK INDEXThe Lucas Stock Index (LSI) rose 0.54 per cent during the third period of trading in June 2016. The stocks of six companies were traded with 79,573 shares changing hands. There were three Climbers and one Tumbler. The stocks of Banks DIH (DIH) rose 1.98 per cent on the sale of 18,757 while the stocks of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) rose 5.26 per cent on the sale of 41,667 shares. In addition, the stocks of Demerara Tobacco Company (DTC) rose 1.51 per cent on the sale of 13,603 shares. In contrast, the stocks of Demerara Bank Limited (DBL) fell 5.26 per cent on the sale of 4,324 shares.  In the meanwhile, the stocks of Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (BTI) and Republic Bank Limited (RBL) remained unchanged on the sale of 222 and 1,000 shares respectively.

Massy and Guyana (Part 1)

Steadfast Last year, this writer looked at the Massy Group of Companies formerly Neal and Massy to gain an understanding of the operations of this company which has been doing business in Guyana for the past 48 years. 


Value-added performance of the forest sub-sector: Erratic, weak, declining

Erratic Last week’s column highlighted what I consider to be a most distinctive feature of the extractive forest sub-sector’s performance in Guyana’s economy, during the past decade.

default placeholder

The UK bids Europe farewell

On June 23 by a small majority, the British people voted to remove themselves from the European Union (EU). The decision has consequences for the Caribbean.

default placeholder

What would life be without sport?

I wonder what it would be like to exclude sport completely from one’s life for, say, one year? No playing sport, no watching it, no reading it no discussing it no thinking about it even.

default placeholder

Brexit: Lessons for Caricom

The results of the referendum held in Britain to determine whether or not it should remain in or leave the European Union (EU), has been won by voters who supported the leave option.

Director of Sport Christopher Jones and President of the Guyana Chess Federation Irshad Mohammed (centre) stand with some members of the 2016 Guyana Olympiad chess team. The team travels to Baku, Azerbaijan, for participation at the Olympiad in September. A signature qualifying tournament was not held to determine the members of Guyana’s Olympiad chess team.

Federation picks chess Olympiad team without holding qualifier

The Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) has decided upon a 2016 Guyana Olympiad chess team without hosting a qualification competition to determine the competence of its participants.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: