What’s the difference between a $200 spay vs. a $2000 spay? This is a great question and the answer is …..when you do it. Let us explain.

There are many good reasons to spay a dog or cat. These include trying to minimize the terrible pet overpopulation problem, the increased risk of breast cancer in dogs and cats that are not spayed, and also a condition called pyometra.

Pyometra is a pus-filled, infected uterus which is life threatening and requires emergency surgery. Unspayed female cats and dogs are susceptible.

Pyometra commonly occurs in dogs 4 – 8 weeks after a heat cycle. “Sooner or later if a dog or cat lives long enough and hasn’t been spayed, we see them come in sick with a pyometra”, states Dr. Primovic.

Dr. Lech states, “What could have been a $200 routine spay is now a much more expensive and risky surgery because we are now doing it on an older pet that is very sick.”

Typical signs of pyometra include lethargy, inappetance, depression, vomiting, and diarrhea. As the condition progresses, you may see dogs drink excessive amounts of water and urinate often as the associated toxins begin to affect organ function. Occasionally you may see vaginal discharge resembling pus but often you do not.

Diagnosis is based on the history of not being spayed, information about the last heat cycle, physical examination findings, blood tests that indicate abnormal white cell counts, and X-rays (radiographs) of the abdomen that reveal a fluid filled uterus.

The treatment of choice for pyometra is an ovariohysterectomy (spay). Prior to surgery, the patient may require emergency stabilization in the form of intravenous fluids and antibiotics, especially if it is in septic shock or kidney failure.

We hope this gives you a little information about pyometra and the benefits of spaying your dog or cat when they are young and healthy. If you have any questions about spaying your pet or pyometra, please call us.