Get yer bitches spayed…

The pyometreic uterus of a dog just after surg...
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Got your attention, didn’t I? I hope so because this is so important that it warrants an “in your face” kind of post.

We’ve gone through hell the past few weeks since returning from our vacation to Yellowstone.

We have had to euthanize our 4-year-old female (Kota) and had to allow emergency surgery on our 11-year-old female (Shasta) due to cases of Pyometra.  Kota had open Pyometra, Shasta had closed Pyometra.  Open Pyometra means that Kota had a discharge, closed looks like the picture above. Both cases were extremely serious, and in one case deadly.  Both were unspayed bitches and both might’ve been spared had we spayed them. Pyometra is an infection of the uterus.  Obviously, if your bitch has been spayed, you’re out of this conversation.

The fact that they both had the same infection, which is NOT contagious, is a fluke. Infection can happen at any time, but generally in older dogs.  Kota was infected about one month after being in season – the infection starts about 4-8 weeks after the last heat.  It’s a bacterial infection and the toxins are something else. We’re not sure how long Shasta’s infection had been brewing, but when the vet removed her uterus, it pretty much looked like the picture above.  Full of pus and it may have leaked into her bloodstream.  We were oh so lucky we didn’t lose her to a ruptured uterus.

In the weeks since we lost Kota, Shasta had exhibited all the symptoms of Pyometra – except we thought she was grieving.  She was lethargic, depressed, drank a ton of water and refused to eat. While the girls were kenneled, Kota had displayed the same symptoms, but we chalked it up to being away from home (she didn’t do well away from home, it always stressed her out).  It cost us dearly, literally and figuratively. We are both feeling extraordinarily guilty about this.

This past Monday, Shasta had surgery.  It went well, but she wasn’t doing well.  She still refused to eat. Back to the vet’s she went – 2 days in a row.  They had to hook her to IV’s to get fluids and some nourishment into her.  Yesterday, I had a long talk with the vet and we decided to stop the IV treatment and to let Shasta learn to “want” to eat again on her own.  We had a small victory last night as she started to show signs of interest in food and even ate a few bits of her own food.  Very small victory, but it’s a start.  We still have a long battle ahead and we may lose.  She’s had this raging infection running through her body for quite a while and until those toxins finally are beat by the antibiotics we are giving her, she won’t be back to her “normal” and she may die.

We normally spay our bitches — Kota was due to be spayed this winter and well, with Shasta, time got away from us.

Please, I can’t stress this enough, if your bitches are not going to be whelping on a regular basis, get them spayed right around the time they turn 6 months old.  It might save you the anguish and grief we have gone through.

  2 comments for “Get yer bitches spayed…

  1. Linda Kennerö
    September 16, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Omg sweetie i´m so sry. This is so sad and i feel like an idiot, i didnt understand on your tweets it was so serious. My heart is with u and i will send all my positiv thoughts to u and Shasta and of course your husband. It sucks to lose a family member, and i consider pets big or small are family members to. I really hope everything goes well and i feel like an idiot bcuz i have missed this thing u are going through.. Love my my friend and if u have time and just want to talk/write u have my email.. Big hug to u and i miss u and i love u ~Mwuah~

    • September 16, 2010 at 12:24 pm

      Hi ya sweetie…please, don’t feel bad. It’s just been horrid and I really haven’t had a chance to really talk to you about everything that’s been going on. Look for an email this weekend – lots to talk about. love you and thanks so much. *muah*

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