Pyometra is an infection of the uterus that can happen in any species of animal. The uterus becomes filled with pus, blood, and mucoid material. The cervix can either be open, allowing some* drainage, or closed. Many times it occurs following a normal heat cycle and signs can begin to show within a couple weeks following. In either case, this is an EMERGENCY and the animal needs to be taken to surgery and have a spay procedure completed immediately to remove the infected uterus. In the case of the “Closed” pyometra, with no immediate* medical attention, the uterus will fill up with material so much that it will rupture into the abdomen and cause severe sickness and death. This can also happen with the “Open” form even with some drainage through the cervix. There is no way to remove the infection without removal of the uterus via surgery. In either case, animals are very lethargic, febrile, anorexic, vomiting, and many other clinical signs. Blood work (Complete Blood Count) will show a very high white blood cell count, indicating an infection. It may also show dehydration and anemia depending on severity and length of sickness. This is one of the very important reasons to spay your pets at a young age!! Due to the large amount of fluids, antibiotics, emergency status, surgery, and hospitalization, this situation is an expensive*, dangerous, and meticulous procedure.
The picture below is an ultrasound of the abdomen showing a thickened, fluid filled uterus (red arrow) just adjacent to a full bladder (green arrow). This is a confirmation of the diagnosis, because there is no other internal organ the would be in this position, and have this anatomy, in an intact female.
The picture below (CAUTION: may be graphic to some) is during the Spay surgical procedure. Please note how FULL the uterus is of the infectious material. In this case shown, it was even the “Open” form. This dog was given large amounts of antibiotics and IV fluids, then immediately rushed to surgery.