Pyometra in Cats

Pyometra in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Pyometra in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Pyometra?

If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body or rupture the uterus. Both types of pyometra can be fatal, so it’s important to bring your cat into a veterinarian as soon as you spot the symptoms.

Pyometra is a bacterial infection that occurs in the uterus of a cat. Infections occur in sexually intact female cats after they have been in heat. If your cat has pyometra, you may notice a change in her drinking and urinating habits, or the presence of vaginal discharge.

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Pyometra Average Cost

From 535 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,500

Average Cost

$850

Symptoms of Pyometra in Cats

Pyometra is a very serious, life-threatening health condition that requires immediate medical attention. If you spot any symptoms of pyometra, take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • High fever
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst

Types

There are two types of this condition: 

  • Open: Pus drains out of the cat’s vagina.
  • Closed: Pus is held inside the uterus by a closed cervix. 
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Causes of Pyometra in Cats

This condition occurs after a period of estrus or “heat”, when progesterone hormones stay at an elevated level in your cat’s body. The cat’s uterine lining will begin to prepare for a potential pregnancy by becoming thick. If no pregnancy occurs, the lining is supposed to thin out again, but some cats will begin to experience abnormal cystic growth instead. This creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow, and when it does, the result is pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus. 

Every sexually intact female cat is at risk of developing pyometra, however, those who are taking progesterone-based drugs to treat another condition are at a higher risk.

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Diagnosis of Pyometra in Cats

If you spot any of the symptoms of pyometra, bring your cat to a veterinarian immediately. Describe the symptoms you have observed, when they began, and tell your vet whether your cat is spayed or not. You should also let the vet know when your cat’s last heat cycle was, since this condition only develops after a period of heat. 

Basic tests such as a complete blood count and blood chemistry profile test may be performed at the beginning of the examination. These tests will show the vet your cat has an elevated level of white blood cells, which indicates an infection is present in the body.

There are two types of pyometra: open and closed. If your cat has open pyometra, there will be vaginal discharge that will help the vet make a quick diagnosis of the condition. However, cats with closed pyometra do not have discharge, as it is kept inside the uterus by a closed cervix. The vet will most likely need to perform an X-ray of the lower abdomen to spot the enlarged uterus and make a diagnosis. A vaginal exam may also be performed so the vet can check the area for abnormalities.

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Treatment of Pyometra in Cats

Regardless of whether the pyometra is open or closed, the vet will recommend that your cat be spayed to treat this condition. Spaying a cat involves surgically removing the sexual organs, including the uterus and ovaries. Your cat may need IV fluids prior to the surgery in order to stabilize her condition. Antibiotics will most likely be given after the surgery to ensure the infection does not return or spread to other parts of the body.

If your cat is needed for breeding purposes, the vet may be able to offer an alternative treatment to spaying. Hormones will be administered that cause the uterus to contract and the cervix to open so the pus is able to drain out of the uterus. The vet will then be able to culture the bacteria to determine which antibiotics should be administered. Cats may experience side effects from this treatment, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Spaying is usually the preferred method of treatment, so this method is only used if breeding is absolutely necessary.

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Recovery of Pyometra in Cats

As long as your cat receives treatment before the uterus ruptures or the infection spreads, she should make a full recovery from pyometra. However, you will need to closely watch her once she is home to ensure she is not experiencing the same symptoms you first noticed. 

Be sure to carefully follow your vet’s instructions and administer all medications as needed. Missing just a single dose of an antibiotic can lead to a major setback in your cat’s health. 

If your cat went through surgery, keep her as clean as possible so no bacteria makes its way into the incision. You will need to bring your cat back to the vet for a follow-up and to have the stitches removed. If your cat did not have surgery, she will still need to return to the vet so he can see if the uterus is healing as it should be.

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Pyometra Average Cost

From 535 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,500

Average Cost

$850

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Pyometra Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Aidi

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Six Years

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5 found helpful

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5 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Redness Discharge From Vagina

Is the only diagnosis pyometra when a cat is spayed nut leaking a clear odorless doscharge from her vagina?

Aug. 4, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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5 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Spayed cats tend not to get uterine infections, as most of their uterus has been removed. It is possible but not common. More likely, she has an infection with her bladder or urinary tract, if you are noticing a discharge. It would be best to have your cat seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine her, take samples if needed, and see what might be going on so that they can get treatment for her. I hope that all goes well for her.

Aug. 4, 2020

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Derpy

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Cat

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4 Years

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7 found helpful

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7 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Pain

I have a 4 year old cat that just had surgery yesterday for pyometra. I am certain some level of pain is to be anticipated but what should I watch out for? She is eating and drinking if I put her by the bowls and she has been to the litter box a few times during the day. But she is mostly just laying on her side. Should I go back to her vet and ask them for something for pain? She is on antibiotics for the next week or so as well.

April 25, 2018

Derpy's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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7 Recommendations

If Derpy is not on any pain medications, it is definitely indicated after a surgery like that. Cats are commonly sent home with a medication of some type - it would be best to call your clinic and ask about pain medication to make sure that she is on something. I hope that she is okay.

April 25, 2018

My four year old cat just came out of heat last week and she is not spayed. She has a discharge now that is clear with bit of blood in it could it be Pyometrs

May 28, 2018

Ann H.

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Pyometra Average Cost

From 535 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,500

Average Cost

$850

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