A dog’s life has been saved from a deadly infection thanks to quick-thinking Blue Cross vets.
Border terrier Chelsea hadn’t been feeling herself for a couple of days, so her worried owner booked her in to our Merton animal hospital for vet help.
The five-year-old dog had been off her food, was being sick, and had an upset stomach. These simple-on-the-surface symptoms could have indicated any number of illnesses, and our veterinary experts needed to investigate further to decipher the mystery cause.
“Our vet asked whether Chelsea was neutered, and when we found she wasn’t, we needed to know when her last season was”, explained Elise Smith, Blue Cross Veterinary Nurse. “Her owner explained Chelsea had been cleaning the area around her vulva more often, so we began to consider a pyometra.”
Pyometra is an infection of the womb – also known as the ‘uterus’ - which can occur in any dog (or cat) that has not been spayed. It is caused by the womb filling with pus and is extremely serious, and sadly can be fatal, if not recognised and treated quickly.
Signs are not always obvious but usually occur a few weeks after a female dog’s season has ended. They include being off their food, lethargy and in some cases discharge from the vagina. As the infection becomes worse, bitches may get sick and become unwilling to move.
An ultrasound of the uterus, following an examination of her swollen belly, confirmed that Chelsea was suffering from an infected uterus.
When an animal is already debilitated – as Chelsea was in this case – the body is less able to cope with an anaesthetic as well as a healthy dog would. Elise Smith, Blue Cross Veterinary Nurse