So what causes a pyometra?
A pyometra is an infection of the uterus. It is the result of hormonal changes in the female’s reproductive tract. A normal uterus has white blood cells that combat infection. These cells are inhibited in the uterus during estrus, or heat, so the sperm can safely pass and find the eggs.
If pregnancy doesn’t occur for several cycles, it causes a thickening of the uterine lining. Cysts may also form. High progesterone levels inhibit the uterus muscles from contracting and expelling fluids and bacteria. This creates an environment that is suitable for bacteria, which can enter from the vagina.
Pyometra comes in two forms. These are 'Open' and 'Closed'.
In an Open case, the cervix is open. This allows the infection to discharge. In a Closed case, the cervix is closed. This is particularly life-threatening because the uterus fills up and there’s nowhere for the infection to go. Unless treated, the uterus will rupture, causing a septic infection and eventually death.
Pyometra is a very serious and life-threatening condition. It must be treated by a veterinarian quickly.
For more information on why we recommend spaying and neutering click here.
Consult your veterinarian immediately if you have any concerns.