Willow is a delightful Miniature Schnauzer full of bounce and love and the joy of life. It was with some trepidation, therefore, that her concerned and loving family presented her for examination one cold day in March when she was 9 months old. She had become unwell over the previous 24 hours, refusing her food and was not her usual livewire self. On examination she was obviously depressed and running a temperature. On questioning it was revealed that she had ended her first season about 2 weeks previously. False pregnancies will often occur following a season and can depress an individual. With the fact she was obviously unwell a course of antibiotics was dispensed, with a proviso that if she was not much improved within 48 hours she should be brought back to the Clinic.
Over the following 2 days Willow did not improve and had started vomiting and was in some discomfort on palpation of her abdomen on her follow-up exam. She was admitted for diagnostic tests which included Biochemistry, Haematology, x-rays and ultra-sound scan. Much to our surprise it soon became obvious what her problem was: Willow had a large pyometra. This is quite unusual in puppies and is generally seen in bitches over 5 years of age. It occurs because the lining of the womb, following a season, keeps forming and shedding and this builds up in the cavity of the uterus in liquid form and eventually forms a purulent pool. Toxins from this pool then access the blood stream and cause illness. Internal organs such as liver and kidneys can be damaged because of these toxins. The condition is life-threatening and prompt surgical intervention is required, along with fluid therapy and liver or kidney support as required.
Willow did have evidence of liver damage based on her Biochemistry results but not enough to warrant any major concern. She was immediately prepped for surgery and underwent a panhysterectomy. The plucky little dog sailed through anesthesia and surgery and was able to go home that same evening. When she returned to the Clinic 2 days later for post-op exam she was already a much happier individual, eating and starting to bounce again despite all her stitches and her liver parameters were starting to normalise.
Over the following 2 weeks Willow made an uneventful recovery, with the help of some laser therapy to speed up her healing, and is now back to her normal VERY bouncy self, with a much-relieved family