Pyometra in Boston Terriers

 

Infections of the uterus are commonly caused by pathogenic microorganisms particularly the bacteria Escherichia coli, which is a normal inhabitant of the uterus. When conditions are ideal, E. coli can grow and multiply and create an infection. Most womb infections occur after the heat cycle that is, approximately 6-8 weeks after the bleeding has stopped.

The uterine environment after the heat cycle is favorable to the overgrowth of bacteria because of the high levels of hormones. In some cases, a dog which receives estrogen or progesterone therapy may also suffer from infections in the uterus.

The clinical manifestations of Pyometra include:

- Vaginal discharge which is consistent. This symptom is almost always
present in dogs suffering from uterine infections.

 

- Bleeding from the vagina even when the dog is not in estrus or heat.

- Increased frequency urination

- Loss of appetite

- General weakness

- High temperature

 

A uterine infection should always be given immediate medical treatment because untreated cases can cause the closure of the vagina. There is also an increased risk for septicemia which can lead to sudden collapse and even coma.

In order to have a correct diagnosis, your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical check-up and analysis of the vaginal discharge to determine the type of invading pathogen. This is very important in order to prescribe the best antimicrobial therapy. The dog will also undergo blood tests to check whether it has septicemia, as evidenced by higher than normal levels of white blood cells.

Infections of the uterus are aggressively treated by a round of antibiotics to combat and eliminate the excessive microbial population and restore the balance of the bacterial flora within the uterus. Some dogs may need fluid therapy to correct electrolyte imbalances within the body.

In severe cases, veterinarians may recommend the removal of the uterus, since it has been observed that dogs which have experienced infections of the uterus have higher chances of becoming infected again. This possibility poses a problem in terms of increased risk to serious complications as well as financial obligations.

Spaying your Boston Terrier may be successful in most cases however it is not recommended in old and debilitated dogs. The only setback for spayed dogs is that they are unable to become pregnant. For dogs which are used for breeding, surgery is usually the last option. Breeding should only be allowed 3-5 months after the dog has recovered from the uterine infection.