Pyometra or Pregnancy??
Hi everyone, this is my first post.
My dog was AI'd on the 12th of July.
On the 31st of July I had her out for a ride in my truck and noticed a small amount of dark brown jelly like substance on my seat. (1 time seeing this, never happened again)
I brought her to the vet and they did a swab and blood test to rule out an urinary infection and brucellosis, both tests came back negative.
They prescribed my dog baytril for 1 week.
She completely lost her appetite the 1st of August, and has barely started to get it back this past week.. Eating small amounts at a time.
She is still active, but is more cuddly than usual.
Today we brought her to get an ultrasound done (37 days today since the AI)
They really couldn't see much except for MAYBE some fluid in her uterus.
They took a blood test to check her white blood cells- came back normal.
They also took her temperature and that was also normal.
She has stayed at the same weight despite her appetite loss.
Vet keeps bringing up pyometra, but says it doesn't make sense that she has no fever and her white blood cells are normal.
I contacted an experienced breeder (owner of the stud), he told me that in his opinion it could be too late for an ultrasound and to wait another 10 days and do a x-ray. According to the breeder, as the pups get bigger, fluids and placentas start building up making it harder to see the puppies. The vet said it is suppose to get easier to notice the further along they are but this is not the first time the breeder would be right over the vet.
I have read stories on similar situations and the fluid ended up being puppies.
She is 3 and this is her second breeding.
Any thoughts or opinions? :confused:
I don't know much, but if the vet can't tell the difference between pyometra or pregnancy, I'd find a new vet. Hopefully, the breeders can chime in. Meanwhile, just my 2 cents.
After about day 35 from breeding it is hard to feel the puppies as in palpating because the "puppies" can feel like intestines, however a good ultrasound machine and the person doing it should easily be able to see the little hearts beating and the separate puppies in their sacs. I love seeing little hearts beating. An ultrasound done correctly will be visible up until birth, lots of breeders, including me, did ultrasounds right before 8 weeks to make sure the puppies were all viable with good heartbeats.
xrays will show skulls and backbones at about 45/50 days.
Pyometra : your girl would be showing signs. There is closed and open pyo's. Closed and your girl would be deathly ill, high temp, and you can really tell she is sick. Open pyo's mean nasty smelly discharge all the time, talking puss type discharge and most likely will still be running a temp......
I am curious about your vet. Is he/she REALLY experienced in doing ultrasounds? And I would question why he is thinking pyo if the girl is showing no signs, no high white count, etc.
I might think of another ultrasound by a competent vet who can read ultrasounds. If the female is pregnant, you can see heartbeats. Heck, you can see little black circles at 28 weeks that are their hearts, as they get older you can see them beating.
Beat me to it!!! Nice post.
OP there is the possibility that your girl is resorbing the fetus'. That would explain the oddness on ultrasound. I would have it done again by a different vet.
One of my four year olds is owned by a lady and is intact. She had boarded the dogs because she went on vacation, and a few days after getting them back the four year old started going off her food. She took her to the vet. No fever. She was thinking some sort of blockage.
The ER vet, on hearing that she was intact, kept saying Pyometra and that she needed to be spayed immediately. She told them not to do surgery, so they told her they would keep her overnight but if she ran a fever they would probably have to do the surgery. In the morning, the lady called me. I told her to take her to a 24 hour clinic that I have used in her area that has a good reproductive department, a good lab, and ultrasound, etc. I told her it did not sound like pyo, but they would be able to diagnose her.
She was on route to pick up the dog. They told her she should be spayed as soon as possible. She asked if she had her vet do an ultra sound and blood work if they would be able to tell her whether or not it was pyometra. They told her no.
She called her regular vet. They also told her to go to the clinic I suggested. And she did. When she got in there, the dog had gas building up in her system because of something she had eaten but was passing. But she did not have pyo. She explained what the ER vet had said, and she said the guy just rolled his eyes. He told her that even if it was pyometra, they could probably give antibiotics to bring down the infection. Emergency spays are not necessarily the best treatment plan. Which makes sense as it is far more dangerous to do a surgery on a dog with an infection.
I think some vets try to scare people into spaying their bitches. And some, when they hear the bitch is intact, they become blind to other possibilities.
Sometimes breeders who have been around the block a few times do know more about some things than vets do.
Recently I had a friend who has a dog that had pyometra. Other then not eating, there were no other signs for quite awhile. Finally she did have the fever and all that stuff, but none of the vets caught it for weeks until the fever presented itself. The vet that finally caught it couldn't believe the dog was still alive, it was that bad. So I wouldn't be on a forum asking questions but getting a second or even third opinion if it played heavily on my mind. Without the fever very few if any vets will think pyometra. I would also just come out and ask the vet why they think it's pyometra.
I have treated tons of pyometras. The vast majority do not have fevers, even when very, very sick. Many also do not have have high white blood cells....makes sense because the infection is typically walled off. Sometimes it is difficult to diagnose in the early stages, a common symptom I always ask about is increased thirst & urination, most people do not offer this up unless I ask. Unless you have done lots of ultrasounds of pregnant uteri, it's not always that easy either. I didn't learn this in school; I'm basically learning as I go by doing free ultrasounds here and there if I have time and then comparing what I see with the actual results.
You cannot always "just do antibiotics first" because a closed pyometra will only have a minimal response, you must remove the infection. I don't think they are wrong to chase that, but I wouldn't go that route entirely by spaying.
I removed an 8.5 lb pyometra from a 50 lb dog one time; that dog did not have a fever or high white cell count even though she was sick for weeks (hadn't eaten in over a week).
Thank you guys for your response. My dog has been eating and drinking normally. She seems perfectly fine which is leading me to believe that in the worst case scenario it's a false pregnancy and her health is okay or maybe she is pregnant, the breeder said that it could be too late for an ultrasound due to the puppies building fluids and placentas which would make it hard to see the ultrasound. We were told it looked like fluid in her and that they also saw cell looking circles in her which I am thinking could maybe be a heart beat.
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