Pyometra in Dogs

What is a Pyometra?

Pyometra is a serious and life-threatening condition that occurs in unspayed female dogs. Pyometra is defined as an infection of the uterus, it is a secondary infection that occurs because of hormonal changes that occur when a female dog is in heat.

Pyometra is a critical condition that needs to be treated immediately, rapidly and aggressively. The most common treatment is to remove the ovaries and uterus (ovariohysterectomy), commonly referred to as ‘spaying’. Pyometra surgery can be quite complicated, as the presenting female dog is usually quite ill and needs more medical attention prior to and after surgery.


There are two different types of Pyometra:

Open Pyometra

Simply means that the cervix remains open

  • Pus will drain from the uterus
  • Pus or discoloured discharge will be noted on the skin, bedding, and hair of the infected dog.
  • She may also be suffering from a fever, lethargy, depression and discomfort.

Closed Pyometra

Simply means that the cervix remains closed

  • Consequently, the pus that forms from the infection cannot drain to the outside.
  • It will collect in the uterus and may cause the abdomen to become distended.
  • Dogs who are experiencing a closed Pyometra become ill very quickly.
  • Signs may include depression, lethargy, inappetence, increased thirst and urination.

What do I do if my female dog is acting oddly?

  • If your dog is an intact female and she begins to experience any signs of illness, discomfort, pain, inappetence, vaginal discharge that appears to be purulent – don’t delay seeking an assessment immediately with your veterinarian.

How do I prevent a Pyometra infection?

Don’t Delay Spay! The best way to prevent a Pyometra infection is very simple spay your female dog before she experiences her first heat cycle. If you have more questions regarding, spaying and its benefits – please call us at the clinic to discuss.

Written by Marie Hearn