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Pyometra

ChristineL

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Jul 16, 2019
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Hello. What are your thoughts on spaying (or not) a 11yo? I have never had a female pup and don't really know what to do if she is in heat. Also, I understand that there is a possibility of pyometra which I researched online and it sounds very scary. I certainly don't want her to go through that. Is pyometra common? If the chance of developing it is low and if I am able to keep her balanced internally (good BEAM) then this is something I don't have to be overly concerned with, correct? Thank you in advance for your thoughts.
 

Dr. Jeff

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Morning Christine-

Regarding spaying an adult dog, it depends on lots of factors.

Dr. Sara does a great job of reviewing all of them in her neutering/spaying course.

It's in your resource area and @aruna can point you to it if you can't find it.
 

Dr. Christina

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Christine,
Concern about pyometra is a great example of why it is important to become a client of a holistic veterinarian before there is a crisis.

You are absolutely correct that the chance of uterine infection is much, much less in a balanced, vital dog. However, any illness can occur as we work towards that perfect health state.

Some dis-ease gives you time to find a holistic vet you are comfortable with to treat the illness. Others in this forum have found that there are, especially now with covid, many challenges in becoming a patient.

Pyometra has been successfully resolved in many females with Homeopathic medicine or Chinese medicine, so as you do your research about spaying your older female, begin right away to find one or more veterinarians to be on your health care team.

Go to How to Select an Integrative Holistic Veterinarian - Holistic Actions! for a lot more information on selecting and working with a holistic vet.

As a HA! member, you can become a patient of Dr. Jeff's homeopathic practice. There may be a 2-4 week wait.

Most important is to be 100% vigilant when they are in heat and do not let them be mounted by a male dog.

Dr. Christina
 

tsharlo1

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Christine,

I had a female who lived to over 12 and was not spayed. She was under the care of Dr. Jeff for other health issues. Dr. Jeff is over 6 hours from me so all was done by phone. I also had a very good relationship with my local vet and he was supportive of my decisions for any treatment to be with Dr. Jeff. My local vet was great for diagnostics and he shared his appointment notes with Dr. Jeff.

Debbie
 

ChristineL

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Jul 16, 2019
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Christine,

I had a female who lived to over 12 and was not spayed. She was under the care of Dr. Jeff for other health issues. Dr. Jeff is over 6 hours from me so all was done by phone. I also had a very good relationship with my local vet and he was supportive of my decisions for any treatment to be with Dr. Jeff. My local vet was great for diagnostics and he shared his appointment notes with Dr. Jeff.

Debbie
Hi Debbie - Thank you for sharing. After reading the resources on neutering and your post, I think I know what's best for Hope now :) Thank you again.
 

Dr. Sara

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Dear Christine,
Well done, thinking this through! Some breeds are more at risk for pyometra than others, the Jitpean study also gives pyometra incidence by breed
As Debbie notes, even elderly girls of breeds with a higher incidence can do just fine, when they get excellent care.
Estrus cycles are not difficult to work with for most girls.
Most girls cycle twice a year, roughly six months apart, for about three weeks each time, and the amount of bleeding is highly variable. The middle week is generally the most fertile, though I wouldn't take any chances, because not every girl reads the book.
During the heat cycle, you can still walk your girl outside, though I would avoid public areas where intact male dogs could be.
You may want to put panties on your girl during estrus, though I don't - mine clean themselves.
Pyometra is most common within the first two months after a heat cycle, as that is when the hormonal (progesterone) levels increase to support a pregnancy, even if no pregnancy occurs.
About two months after estrus, the girl will have a false whelping (erroneously called a false pregnancy), and her breasts may enlarge, and she may mother toys. This lasts a week to ten days.
The false whelping starts when the progesterone hormone levels drop, near when pregnancy would end.
I hope this helps!
Sara
 

ChristineL

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Thank you @Dr. Sara! :) I appreciate this so much - it's very very informative. Hope was a stray and the vets weren't sure of her breed but looking through the report you provided, I think she's not on the list, as those are bigger dogs (?)

What are the signs of a dog coming into estrus cycle? Symptoms of "PMS" some may experience for humans (I hope that makes sense)..
And
What are the signs of pyometra?

Thank you again.
 

Dr. Sara

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Dogs vary somewhat in their signs of oncoming estrus. Most will lick their vulva more, and the vulva will enlarge. This enlargement can be hard to see on a small fluffy dog!
When you notice excess licking, gently pat the vulva with a tissue, and look for a pink / red fluid. That bloody discharge will become more bloody, then usually become clear, then sometimes become bloody again. The nature of the discharge is variable, though normal estrus discharge should smell like blood or like the dog, never foul, like infection.
Most dogs act a bit differently before estrus. Most will mark outside a bit more, stopping frequently on their walks to urinate. Some girls get moody, though it is not like PMS in humans - dogs reserve true bitchiness for protecting their puppies!

During estrus, some girls want to mount other animals more, some become more clingy with their people. Almost all girls in heat mark much more frequently outside, as nature is telling them to advertise. This is why you need to be vigilant in watching for fellas around the house, as an experienced dog is quick and to the point. An inexperienced dog is such a doofus it is almost amusing, though the female rarely finds it funny.
It is important to prevent accidental breeding to prevent damage to the female and infection.

Pyometra is an infection of the uterus. It can be closed, where the pus does not drain out of the uterus, or open, with drainage of foul smelling material, which can be any colour - white, green, red, brown.
Most girls with pyometra show signs within the two months after their heat cycle ends, though it can occur at any time. Usually the female feels quite ill. She may be slow or sluggish, she may have a poor appetite and a fever. Some girls are pretty tough, especially if the pyometra is draining. That is why it is so important to watch your pup's BEAM, and pay attention to her 'lady parts' regularly.
Stay well,
Sara
 

kristen_acri

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Jul 29, 2017
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I am also grateful for this thread and the added info from @Dr. Sara. Kendi has her first appointment with a conventional vet next week since I adopted her that is. She was listed as spayed but she is not. She's 11 years old.

Thanks again!

Kristen
 

ChristineL

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Jul 16, 2019
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415
I am also grateful for this thread and the added info from @Dr. Sara. Kendi has her first appointment with a conventional vet next week since I adopted her that is. She was listed as spayed but she is not. She's 11 years old.

Thanks again!

Kristen
Hi Kirsten - How's Kendi doing and what have you decided for her?
 

Dr. Christina

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Jun 15, 2017
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Excellent. Thank you Christine.
Dr. Charles Loops wrote an article decades ago and he was 100% successful treating pyometra. Often the symptoms of the individual did point to Sepia.
Dr. Christina
 

Dr. Jeff

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Also, Christine, it's possible that the ultrasound fluid was not from a pyo. at all.

Perhaps ask the vet to have a radiologist review the images (which they can send by email). This service is usually widely available, and not too expensive.
 

ChristineL

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Thanks, @Dr. Christina and, @Dr. Jeff - Yesterday, we dropped off Hope at the vet at 7am and picked her up around 1pm....she did not pee before we left home nor the entire time when she was there. She peed lots when she got home...I'm suspecting the organ w/ fluid was her bladder.

Anyway, we're seeing Dr. Gordon tomorrow. I will ask him re radiologist reading the images.
 

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