At HSBC, we always talk about the importance of spaying and neutering. We spend a good percentage of our resources spaying and neutering our shelter animals 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.
Studied have shown that dogs and cats will remain much healthier and live a much longer life if they are spayed or neutered when they are puppies or young adults. One of the reasons to spay your female dog or cat is Pyometra.
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 middle-aged and still have both ovaries and uterus.
Intact females produce hormones, and when they go into heat, the uterus lining thickens and builds up. This lining grows over time and becomes the perfect nest for certain bacteria. Bacteria that normally reside in the cervix can enter into the uterus and begin rapidly multiplying, causing a severe and life-threatening infection.
Pyometra occurs in all breeds and sizes of dog. The estimated risk for an intact female dog is around 25% during her 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. The financial, emotional and physical pain is easily avoided simply by spaying female dogs and cats.