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Case of the Month: Faith

August 09, 2013

FaithFaith is a 9 year old, unspayed, female toy poodle that was examined by Dr Fisher on March 2, 2012 for a distended belly. She had previous X-rays of her abdomen with a small mass noted in March 1st, 2012. She was placed on antibiotics at that time and did well, except her abdomen has now bloated up to 3 times her normal size. She previously weighed 6.8# but is now up to 7.5#, She is still eating and drinking normally and has no diarrhea or vomiting. She was in heat last about 2-3 months ago.

On physical exam she had a normal temperature of 101.0, and her heart and lungs were clear. She has a few mammary nodules due to going thru heat cycles and she also has a mass around her vulva. Her urinations have been normal and unaffected by this mass. Her eyes were cloudy and her ears were normal.

She had an X-ray taken of her abdomen and it showed a very large soft tissue mass in the rear of her abdomen that was pushing all her intestines and colon up toward her back. There was very little fecal material in her colon. There were no lesions seen in her lungs related to her other masses in her mammary chain.

She was diagnosed with Pyometra at this time, meaning her uterus was pus filled and displacing all the other organs in her abdomen. This is a very dangerous condition because the pus filled uterus is poisoning the bloodstream and all the other organs. It can be fatal sometimes even if treated promptly. Pyometra happens frequently in older female dogs and cats that have not been spayed. It can happen at any age and as young as one year. It is thought to be caused by a combination of bacteria and hormones.

Faith was scheduled for surgery the next morning to have her infected uterus removed. She was taken off her food at 6pm the nite before and was admitted to Angel Animal Hospital. She had a blood test to confirm the function of her kidneys and liver before the surgery. She was also placed on IV fluids before surgery and that was maintained for several hours after surgery. She also was on an EKG to monitor her heart during the procedure.

She had an exploratory surgery that revealed her uterus was pus and fluid filled and weighed more than 2#. After surgery Faith only weighed 5#. She had a complete hysterectomy removing both ovaries, both horns of the uterus and part of the body of the uterus up to the cervix. There was a special stitching pattern used to close the uterine stump so no discharge would leak into her abdomen. This is a very difficult surgery since the uterus is friable, enlarged, and full of pus that could contaminate the abdomen. In this condition the uterus could rupture during the surgery. Faith did very well during the procedure. She was monitored during and after surgery by a licensed Veterinary Technician. Another licensed Technician was assisting Dr Fisher with the surgery. She had two antibiotic injections and a pain injection during the surgery. Both oral and pain medication was continued while in the hospital.

Faith was hospitalized for 2 days then released. She ate well while in the hospital and did not have any problems.

She took oral antibiotics and wore a buster collar at home. After 10 days she had her stitches removed and was well healed. Faith is a very lucky dog and has no risk to ever have this happen again.

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