Have Your Pet Spayed At A Young Age……Posted September 18, 2012
Sam is a 9 ½ year old unspayed female Chow cross who has had a pretty healthy life. She is both a companion and a faithful guardian to her family.
Over several weeks Sam had developed a swollen tummy and was more tired than usual. When she stopped eating her full meals, her family knew it was time for a checkup.
Our examination revealed, indeed, a potty belly that caused some discomfort to Sam during palpation. She also had a thick sticky discharge around her vulva that had been present for a few days. We ran a CBC and chemistry panel to check her organ function and see what kind of pathology was going on internally.
Sam’s white blood cells were off the chart at 48,000 (normal 4000-15000) and she was anemic (low red cell count). She was definitely fighting an overwhelming, chronic infection. Thankfully she had normal serum chemistry.
The potty belly, severe infection, and sticky discharge from her vulva all pointed to a disease called “pyometra”, a severe infection of the uterus. The only safe treatment is surgical removal of the large, pus-filled uterus, being prepared to flush her abdomen if it ruptures during surgery. If not treated, Sam would die . – normal canine uterus – Sam’s Uterus
We used a modified anesthetic protocol that was appropriate for an older dog and Sam went to surgery. There was no spillage as we removed this very large uterus from her belly (imagine removing an activated bomb….no shaking please!). Sam’s recovery was rapid and complete and she was home the next day, back to guard duty.
The lesson from this case is that spaying your dog at a young age is not just about birth control and heat prevention; it is also about avoiding this life threatening disease at an older, more fragile age.
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