Many old female dogs that have not been spayed develop pus in their uterus. This 13-year-old Jack Russell had "white sticky" vaginal discharge for the past 5 days. Today, it is brownish red. The abdomen is swollen. I could palpate swollen uterine horns around 3 cm in diameter. Closed pyometra is the diagnosis confirmed by X-rays.
"It is open pyometra," my assistant Julia said to me.
"It is closed pyometra at first. The cervix was closed but later, the cervix opened a bit, discharging some pus. The strict definition of closed pyometra means no vaginal discharge, but in this case, the disease progressed. The cervix had opened a bit, letting out some pus. X-rays show that the uterine horns are packed to the gills with pus and so my diagosis is closed pyometra initially. In open pyometra, the female dog passes pus without the uterus being so swollen.
In any case, this is a very high-risk anaesthesia for surgery. Spaying is the solution. No drugs can help this old dog.
"She had never been sick for the past 13 years," the owner said.
The dog was stabilised with 2 bottles of IV drip and antibiotics. She was operated 6 hours later and went home.