(From Dr. Tracey Hungler)
That’s what “Marcy’s” owners told us, “she’s just not herself.”
“Marcy” a nine year old female Yorkie-Maltese was presented for not feeling well. She had not been eating much for 7-10 days. She had also started with vomiting and diarrhea. She was lifeless and weak. She weighed 4.8 pounds. She had lost a few ounces from her previous visit.
The owners were fairly sure she had not eaten any table food or garbage but may have eaten something in the yard. She was also exposed to a carpet cleaner the owners had been using for her accidents. She was not on any medications other than heartworm prevention and frontline.
On presentation, “Marcy” was very depressed and lethargic. Her body temperature was low at 97 degrees F, a sign of being very ill. (Normal temp. is 101.5-102.5). She was very dehydrated and her abdomen was tense and slightly distended. “Marcy” was really sick.
We decided to hospitalize “Marcy” to run some diagnostics and start IV fluids and antibiotics. We obtained blood to screen for kidney failure and pancreatitis. We then took an x-ray and saw a large mass in the abdomen in the area of the bladder. The mass encompassed 2/3 of the entire abdomen.
It was a curious find until we realized “Marcy” is a non spayed female. The owners had been concerned about her small size and the risks of anesthesia and never had “Marcy” spayed. PYOMETRA. A condition where the uterus literally fills with pus/infection.
It follows a heat cycle and over time, the dog becomes sick as the infection overwhelms the body. The only option in most cases is to perform ovariohysterectomy (spay) and remove the source of infection. This was a risky surgery considering the compromised health of this patient but there was no other option.
So we took this little trooper to surgery and removed her uterus. The pyometra weighed in at a whole pound! “Marcy” weighed 3.8 pounds after surgery. She was then treated supportively with antibiotics, pain medications and fluids for several days.
I am happy to report “Marcy” is doing very well and has made a full recovery. On follow up, she was playing and eating well and had gained her weight back.