Any number of pet sites claim one of the reasons
for spaying queens
is pyometra. A queen who comes in heat but is not bred are at risk from
- Vaginal discharge and often lethargic attitude
- When the cervix closes sometimes the discharge
is ‘locked in’ the
uterus. This causes swelling and if the bacterial infection takes hold
without being treated it can have fatal results. Early treatment is
advised – if untreated it can be serious enough to require an emergency
spay in order to save her life.
This infection is less common from
September to December due to a resting of the body from heat cycles.
Watch for several signs of something being wrong.
With or without a vaginal discharge there can be lack of
appetite, depression, vomiting, diarrhea and excessive thirst.
If they drink excessively of course they will also urinate excessively.
it is an infection, pyometra can be connected to hormone
- Progesterone levels remain high with heat
cycles, but if several heats
pass without pregnancy the lining continues to thicken.
- Cysts form and
the lining secretes fluids that can allow bacteria an ideal medium to
- It is most common in older cats but can occur
in young to middle
age cats as well. Typically signs will show up one to two months
following a heat cycle.
- It’s important to note that the
discharge can only happen if the cervix is open. If it is not
fluid is trapped in the uterus and results in a distended
might have high levels of white blood cell counts in order to fight off
the infection. The toxins overwhelm the kidneys just as it does with
Although the most common treatment
some cases can be treated with use of prostaglandins that reduces the
hormones and open the cervix, allowing the drainage needed to get the
infection out of the body. However this is an early treatment, and once
cats are ill it can be too late for such measures.
some success in treating it this way but some statistics show there is
a 50-75% chance it will recur with an equal chance of a breeding being
successful. Antibiotics and fluids can help treat the queen and the
prostaglandin treatment is not without side effects.
can be confused with pyometra in queens. A veterinarian
check with a
broad spectrum antibiotic can treat this, but it is also often the
first sign of this vaginal infection. Queens with endometritis or
pyometra are candidates for retirement from a breeding program, a spay
and being a pet.
Although it is a serious condition and should be
treated seriously as with any medical issue do not panic.
Pay attention to your queens’ normal behavior and investigate if it
changes. Catching problems when it’s small problems is much easier on
the owner and the queen.
If you can stomach it, this video shows a uterus
that has been removed from an infected cat.
Need any advice now? Ask a vet
From Pyometra to Health
From Pyometra to Queens'