At the HSBC, of course we talk about the importance of spaying and neutering all the time. We spend a good percentage of our resources providing low-cost or free spays and neuters for the public’s pets because we are so passionate about decreasing pet overpopulation.
However, there are reasons to spay and neuter that go beyond reducing pet overpopulation. These are mostly health-related.
Dogs and cats will remain much healthier and live a much longer life if they are spayed or neutered at a young age.
What is Pyometra
One of the most dangerous, and yet most preventable, conditions that we see in female dogs and cats is an infection called pyometra. The name pyometra means “pus filled uterus,” and it occurs more often in dogs than in cats. Animals affected by pyometra are usually six years of age and still have both ovaries and uterus.
Unspayed females produce hormones. And, when the uterus is idle for a period of time, the fluid produced by these hormones can build up. If inflammation and bacterial contamination occur, the fluid becomes infected. If the cervix is closed and the fluid cannot drain, the uterus becomes very distended and the infection can spread to other parts of the body, causing the animal to turn seriously ill.
Pyometra occurs in all breeds and sizes of dog. However, we do see it a lot in the smaller breeds, as well as in dogs that had several litters in their lifetime.
Treatment of Pyometra
The treatment for pyometra is surgical removal of the ovaries and the uterus. Hospitalization is required, with aggressive IV antibiotics and fluid therapy. The infected uterus can also rupture, requiring emergency surgery followed by intensive care.
The surgery is risky, worrying and very costly. People without the financial resources contact the HSBC often, looking for assistance with the condition.
The financial, emotional and physical pain is easily avoided simply by spaying female dogs and cats.