Thursday, November 29, 2012

Public Service Announcement for dog owners

Important but somewhat unpleasant info below...

Three days ago:  Sunshine's appetite drops off.  She only eats about 1/2 of her bowlful.  Seems otherwise normal.

Two days ago:  Zero appetite.  Lazier than normal but seems OK.  We figure it's just some kind of tummyache.

Yesterday:  Zero appetite.  Laziness has given way to lethargy.  When I got home from work in the afternoon we resolved to get her to the vet early the next day, and left for the evening church service.

Last night:  Got back from church and her hindparts were damp and bloody.  Diluted blood on floor and sofa cusions.  Very obvious discomfort/distress.  Very unhealthy smell.  Transported her to 24 hour emergency vet, where she was quickly diagnosed with Pyometra, which I had never heard of.  It is a NASTY infection of the uterus.  Untreated, the uterus can so fill up with pus that it can burst and cause very rapid death. Even without bursting, the infection can get bad enough to cause shock, kidney problems, or other systemic illness.  BAD STUFF!  Pretty much the only treatment is spaying right then and there.  But it becomes much more complicated than an ordinary spay due to the infection and the steps needed to keep it from spreading, as her uterus is now basically a delicate water balloon full of pus.  Like, umm, a $2200 surgery bill kind of "complicated."  Ugh.

As I'm writing this, my wife just called me to say that the vet left a message saying Sunshine came through surgery last night OK and is recovering normally.  I should be able to take her home tonight after work if things continue to go well.

If you have an un-spayed female, keep an eye on things.  This condition is caused by an incomplete expulsion of uterine material during her cycle.  It's likelihood increases with age (Sunshine is 6 1/2) and it typically starts a month or two after the end of her cycle.  Keep an eye on things for a couple months after her cycles, and get her checked ASAP if things look unusual, as it can go from no symptoms to death in less than 24 hours.

Or, just get her spayed!


  1. Inno, that was a close one!
    I'm glad she is doing O.K.
    Looks like the vet did a "Billfold Autopsy" on you however!

  2. Or, just get her spayed! Or give her some Coca-Cola and she'll be cool.

  3. Wow.. hope she continues a good recovery. nasty stuff!

  4. I hope The Gooble loves this, and you get a million hits on this one. This is very important information, Inno.

    Aside from that...I'm glad she's okay. I know I'd worry like crazy if my Sadie Lou Sunshine was afflicted with this. We had her spayed as a said she had some kind of skin condition that shouldn't be passed on to pups, so we went ahead on and did it early.

    Glad she pulled through. Seriously.

  5. Prayers for Sunshine Inno. I hope she recovers completely and thanks for the heads up. Lu and I are considering adopting another female Lab even now.

  6. " Or, just get her spayed!"

    Sounds almost too simple
    Hope and pray it all works out

  7. Wow. I'm glad ya dodged this bullet, Inno, coz I know what it's like to lose your best friend. I've always owned female dogs (and we WERE tempted to write "bitchez"), always had them spayed at the first opportunity. Which is prolly why I'd never heard of this condition.

  8. Yaugh! There are several possible causes, one of which you cited. If the dog's been (ahem) sexually active, the other possibilities arise - none pleasant. Good job on getting fast treatment! Future reference: normal temp for larger dogs is 100 F; smaller can run to 101.5, mebby 102. That's butt temp, so you may want to get a separate thermometer.... Armor may prove useful, as well.

    Always a good idea to check that if no appetite, other signs such as lethargy you described. If temp's off too, best to hike pooch on over to the vet sooner than later. Just a couple of trail tips that may come in handy down the line, if not for you, then possibly for other dog servants.

    Best to you and yours!

  9. Oh, Inno! I'm so glad she will recover!

    And, your tips are really timely, considering that, on Monday, we picked up Bouie's 8 week-old email-order bride. We plan to have one, maybe two litters when she's old enough, but then I will insist that she be spayed. What happened to Sunshile is too scary to contemplate!

    Give her a hug and a treat from Moogie!


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