Mares certainly get uterine infections--I've seen a ton of threads on the breeding forum about it. I don't know about cats.
I'd suspect that long haired or low slung breeds are more susceptible to pyos, but that's just a guess. I'd think the more hair or the lower to the ground the dog is, the greater chance of bacteria getting stuck in there. The study I posted previously did find different rates in different breeds, although I think you need access to the full article to view the data.
In other species (human, horse, cow sheep, goat, pig,and cat to name a few), progesterone levels drops after about two weeks of diestrus if the female does not become pregnant. Once progesterone levels are low, the “off” switch is released, uterine defenses gear up and the uterus can clear itself of any pathogens. In the bitch, however, uterine defense systems remain “off” for a much longer period of time (45 days or longer). When pathogens invade the uterus and are not removed during estrus, they are protected within the uterus and allowed to multiple for the entire diestral period. This explains why we see pyometra commonly in the bitch and rarely in the other domestic species. And this is why you should think of pyometra as not just an infection. It is also a hormonally induced disease.
Mares can and do have a problem with it but most seem to just be able to exist with it and just not get pregnant. Broodmares are also regularly flushed out and treated with antibiotics to try and get them in foal so maybe they don't get as bad. Beyond that, I have no clue. Cats can also get pyometra but it seems that cats are either mostly A) spayed or B) pregnant! Once they give birth maybe they flush themselves out better than dogs do.
A lot of the cancers that people seem to be blaming early spaying on are thought to be from inbreeding by dog genetic experts. (however expert they may be!) I know a lot of the breeds I love are much much more prone to bone cancers and other cancers and it is more to do with being that breed than if it was spayed or neutered. Sad really.
Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.
Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.
Domestic intact bitches are also often not bred on their heat cycles (my girl never was) and I wonder how that contributes to pyo. I would assume wild canids are almost always bred, often resulting in pregnancy, during their heats. I also wonder if you can tell the difference between "severely septic" and "pyo" on necropsy of a wolf or coyote that died in the wild from it's infection...
Though now I do wonder about the wolves and coyotes; the collared wolves are usually checked for a cause of death. Maybe I'll call one of the wolf peeps on Monday and ask.
I wonder if the shorter expected life span of a wild coyote, and the fact that most are bred on each heat is why they don't tend to get pyo as often as domestic dogs. Plus, I'm not sure that the cause of death would be as readily apparent...if one died in the wild, other animals would feed upon it, possibly not leaving enough of an intact body to determine cause of death.
edited- just read above posts...apparently some of us think alike.
thanks guys, good points. see I do feel stupid. dang bacteria anyway.
OP I hope your dog pulls through!
don't feel stupid, if you haven't had experience with it and breeding or showing dogs isn't what you do...how would you know?
Just earlier today on the Sport Horse forum a thread title caught my attention about a 25 year old mare with a pyo. It was interesting to read. I had no idea mares ever got them. Not quite so easy to treat in a horse!
I wish my sense of logic was moving a little more quickly!
A coyote would be hard to find but they usually go find the wolves as soon as they die. I wonder about that; we have local wolf biologists I should ask some day. But you're right, they are on more of a breeding schedule than your average house dog. thank heavens.
threedogpack we call that the Tom Cat Dance and it drives me crazy too, the yowling! And I wouldn't want to deal with the mess or crazy inducing behavior of an unspayed dog either, aside from the medical and reproductive reasons.
Jingles for OP's dog, this sounds like a very painful illness to have and I hope she pulls through.
Originally Posted by jetsmom
In 40 years of owning dogs that were spayed/neutered, I've never had one develop any cancer. And I've usually had at least 2-5 dogs at any given time (and kept them all until they died of old age, were euthed for heart failure, or other age related illness.
Thank you for the support and prayers. Shadey seems to be doing well at the moment. The swelling has gone down and she is alert - eating and acting normal. Looking at her, you would think nothing is wrong with her at all. I am terrified that she will start going down hill rapidly though.
We are looking into other vets and getting her the help she needs ASAP. I`m really hoping getting the infection under control before the surgery will help save her life.
As for the people flaming me about spaying - I get it. 100% my fault she is not spayed and this could have been prevented. If she dies from this, it will break my heart and hurt my entire family.
But continue to flame away.
I will update on her progress for those that would like to know what happens with her.
OP I dont think anyone is flaming you for not spaying, its a choice and there are facts to show benefits of leaving a female intact, and for spaying. You have to do what you are comfortable with. I think people were saying that the most common thing to go wrong with an intact female went wrong, and you were not prepared for it. Clearly you love your dog and want the best for her. We all understand that Glad she is doing well and sounds like she will hang in there just fine until Monday when you can call around and find a vet who will spay her within your budget.
Right Squish! But I can imagine how OP must have felt with some of the criticism of her decision not to spay. Some might not be aware of the results of this study http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_...lasso?id=10498
by well respected vets at UC Davis on Golden Retrievers. The relative risks of bone and other cancers vs pyometra is something that clearly varies by breed, and statistics that do not take this into account can be misleading. In most giant breeds and in track greyhounds, osteosarcoma is unfortunately much more common than in some other breeds. For example, in my breed Irish Wolfhounds, it is one of the leading causes of death. In the forty years I have had them, I have lost about a dozen to bone cancer, and several more to other cancers such as hemangiosarcoma ( Yes, this is a heartbreaking breed). By contrast, I have had only one case of pyometra which was successfully treated surgically. Most of my hounds have been intact, but a few have been spayed or neutered for various reasons, and nearly every one of those has gotten cancer. According to the Rottie study as well as the Golden one, spaying or neutering more than doubles the chances of bone cancer. This may be insignificant if your breed has a very low incidence of bone and other cancers to begin with, and a long lifespan thus greater incidence of pyometra, but if you are starting out with a considerable risk of cancer, doubling that chance vs the chances of getting a possibly treatable problem is a different sort of choice. With this decision, it is very much a "your mileage may vary" type of situation. I am not familiar with the relative risks of osteosarcoma or other cancers compared to pyometra risks in Labs, Border Collies, or crosses between them, but there is no reason for the OP to be judged for her decision not to have spayed her bitch by those who have made different choices for their bitches.
OP, jingles for your girl, hope you will have much more good quality time with her, and please keep us posted on her progress.
Right Squish! But I can imagine how OP must have felt with some of the criticism of her decision not to spay..
my posts were reflective of the fact that the OP is unable to address a very serious illness NOW, when spaying the dog at a younger age would have prevented this now emergent situation and the misinformation the OP had. As is often the case, it is easier to prevent, than attend to an emergency.
I understand what you are saying, threedog, but it seems to me the OP is indeed addressing the problem by treating with antibiotics until a more affordable surgeon can be found- perhaps not the way you or I might have handled the situation, difficult to know, but it does seem OP is pursuing treatment options. None of us has a crystal ball, who's to say that if OP had spayed this bitch, that increased chance of bone cancer might have kicked in and she would have died years ago. We cannot know that, so it seems to me we should support OP and his/her bitch and provide what info or experiences we have about potential outcomes of nonsugucal or delayed surgical treatment of pyo.
Our old vet used to say it was 50% of unspayed females that sooner or later would develop pyometra/breast cancer.
Not much of a contest with the more rare incontinence or any other that spaying may bring, according to him, who had to treat all.
He was all for spaying and doing so as close to, but before the first heat.
I consider these debates in the dog world about like the barefoot or not ones in the horse world.
When you look at the big picture, well, there still is a sensible way to decide, do not let fads pull you around and eventually determine for you.
Get a good vet and go by what you both decide is best.
Worked fine for all the dogs I have had and known and that is many.
Our properly spayed females passed on in their old age from old age, not any problems from spaying and definitively didn't have any problems from not spaying.
This just for those that may be on the fence, be sure you study all sides carefully before deciding for your own pet.
Still today, I would spay, no question about it.