Dog Manual

Pus Dripping From The Female Opening

If there is a fairly persistent dripping of pus from the female opening, the likelihood exists that the condition is pyometra, a disease of female dogs in which pus accumulates in the womb—or, as it is called anatomically, the uterus. A fairly common ailment of dogs of all ages, but occurring most often in older animals, it is a condition that demands reasonably prompt professional attention, for excessive delay will render the most effective method of treatment too dangerous to apply.

Pyometra is caused by an infection of pus-forming organisms. The cardinal symptom of the disease is a discharge from the female opening. The character of the discharge may be anywhere from a thin mixture of blood and pus to a thick, creamy accumulation of pus. The offensiveness of the odor of this discharge will increase as the concentration of pus becomes greater. Sometimes the pus is not readily observable because the animal licks it. Any constant licking should attract the owner's attention and its cause should be determined. As the disease progresses, the uterine tubes become filled with more and more pus thereby giving the animal an abnormally fat appearance. The animal may harbor the disease for several months and remain in apparent good health, but as the condition progresses the animal gradually shows lack of appetite, depression, and occasional vomition due to toxic reactions from the absorption of pus. If the disease is allowed to run its course, considerable quantities of pus will become absorbed into the blood and the animal will die of this complication, which is called pyemia.

In mild cases, pyometra is treated by the administration of drugs which will cause the uterus to contract, thereby expelling the pus. To obtain this reaction, stilbestrol or pituitrin are most commonly used. These are combined with other agents, such as penicillin or the sulfa drugs, which will assist in destroying the pus-forming organisms. But the most permanent and most effective method of treatment is the surgical removal of the uterus. This operation is usually quite safe, but the outcome will be less certain if the animal is too old or too debilitated or if the disease has been allowed to progress too far.

It is obvious that pyometra can be prevented by spaying the animal when it is young, since, in spaying, the uterus is removed. This, however, is an alternative that is entirely at the discretion of the owner.