Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus in Dogs

Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What are Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus?

Bacterial infection of the uterus (metritis) is the acute or chronic swelling of the lining of her uterus caused by a bacterial infection after giving birth. This disorder can happen the day after she gives birth or even a week later. Sometimes your dog can contract metritis after an abortion (medical or natural) or a miscarriage, but this is quite rare. This disorder causes a high fever and vaginal discharge and can be a life-threatening emergency if your dog goes into shock from toxemia.

Bacterial infection of the uterus (metritis) is the acute or chronic swelling of the lining of her uterus caused by a bacterial infection after giving birth. This disorder can happen the day after she gives birth or even a week later. Sometimes your dog can contract metritis after an abortion (medical or natural) or a miscarriage, but this is quite rare. This disorder causes a high fever and vaginal discharge and can be a life-threatening emergency if your dog goes into shock from toxemia.

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Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus Average Cost

From 70 quotes ranging from $250 - $2,500

Average Cost

$2,000

Symptoms of Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus in Dogs

The first symptom you will probably notice is the bad smelling discharge (with or without pus) coming from your dog’s vulva (vaginal area). Some of the other symptoms of metritis are:

  •  Fever
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Dark red gums
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Neglecting pups
  • Lack of milk production
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast heart rate
  • Vulvar discharge
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Causes of Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus in Dogs

The cause of metritis is a bacterial infection commonly caused by Escherichia coli (E.coli), but can also be from streptococci, staphylococci, Proteus. Any of these bacterial infections may be prompted by:

  • Problematic birth
  • Long delivery (maybe with a large amount of pups)
  • Obstetric manipulation (like vaginal examination amniotomy, or amnioscopy)
  • Unbirthed fetus or placenta
  • Natural or medical abortion or miscarriage
  • Natural or artificial insemination (rare)
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Diagnosis of Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus in Dogs

The veterinarian will need to do a complete physical examination of your dog including body temperature, weight, heart rate, blood pressure, and a vaginal examination. You will need to provide all of the information you can on your dog’s previous medical history including any recent illnesses or injuries, date of pregnancy, complications during pregnancy, length of the whelping (birthing), how many puppies she had and if they all lived, recent changes in her behavior, and any changes in diet. Tell the veterinarian what symptoms she has had, when the symptoms started, and if they have gotten worse over time. The veterinarian will also need to perform a few tests such as complete blood count (CBC), blood chemistry profile, electrolyte panel, urinalysis, stool sample, bacterial and fungal culture, and a vaginal swab. Your veterinarian will probably also do an ultrasound and digital radiographs (x-rays) of the abdomen.

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Treatment of Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus in Dogs

The veterinarian will probably want to admit your dog to the hospital to give her IV fluid therapy to stabilize the electrolyte imbalances and to help with shock if your dog has sepsis. Your veterinarian will start your dog on some broad-spectrum antibiotics such as doxycycline or amoxicillin and may give her prostaglandin F2 alpha to encourage the uterus to push out whatever is left inside. Most veterinarians will only use oxytocin if it is really necessary and even then with caution. This is because it may cause uterine contractions that are so severe that they are uncontrollable and may cause the contents of the uterus to be forced through her fallopian tubes instead of through the cervix to the vaginal canal. This is extremely dangerous and can sometimes cause death.

Once your veterinarian gets the lab results back that tell which bacteria is causing the metritis, he will put her on the specific antibiotic that will kill that bacteria. However, the metritis cannot always be controlled with medication and other supportive treatment, even if your dog is hospitalized. Therefore, if you do not plan to breed your dog, the best choice for your dog is to get her spayed right away. As a matter of fact, if your dog’s uterus is severely infected or at risk of rupture, your veterinarian will probably suggest getting your dog spayed immediately anyway. This is especially true when a portion of the placenta or deceased fetus is left in the uterus. Spaying your dog is a routine surgery that has little or no risk, and you can take your dog home the next day in most cases.

 

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Worried about the cost of Bacterial Infection Metritis Of The Uterus treatment?

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Recovery of Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus in Dogs

Your dog has a good chance of recovery if the metritis was mild and you got treatment right away or if you get her spayed. Getting your dog spayed is actually the suggested method of treatment in most cases because it eliminates the infection and the risk of future or recurring infection.

You will probably have to hand feed your dog’s puppies because she will probably be too sick to do it herself and the infection, or medication for the infection, may be passed through her milk. Be sure to follow up with your veterinarian and bring your dog back for a checkup and future appointments.

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Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus Average Cost

From 70 quotes ranging from $250 - $2,500

Average Cost

$2,000

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Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Trinket

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Bichon Frise

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2 Years

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4 found helpful

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4 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

My dog was in labor for 48hours and only had 1 pup so I took her to the vet where she got x-rays and oxytocin. She had one more that night but went 24hours without another. I took her back and they gave her another injection and she had 4 more that night. Well, she was actively pushing but didn't deliver a pup so I took her to the er vet where they gave her another injection because she had a dead pup in her canal. They wanted to do csection and spay but I couldn't afford 1500.00 that night so I took her home and gave her calcium. Her vitals were normal and she seemed OK until I got her home. She began vomiting and appeared lethatgic..then a foul discharge..I took her to the vet the next am and they said she had to have spay and csection or put her to sleep because she was septic at that point. The doc said they removed 4 dead pups, her uterus was infected. She made it through surgery yesterday and through the night. She ate some this am but her temp went up some so doc kept her again tonight. Do you think she will make it through this? I am so worried

March 30, 2018

Trinket's Owner

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4 Recommendations

Without examining Trinket I cannot determine the severity of her condition, I’ve seen dogs bounce back from this before but I cannot give you any assurances; a delay in the caesarean section didn’t help but now she has been spayed she stands a better chance. Now it is a case of antibiotic therapy along with supportive and symptomatic care given by your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

March 30, 2018

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Brandy

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German Shepherd Dog

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4 Years

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7 found helpful

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7 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Low Fever

My dog was diagnosed with Metritis when her 3 day old puppies started to get sick and die. My vet prescribed antibiotics for the puppies and the mom. He said I needed to have her spayed because there is no real cure for this. She is otherwise a happy goofy house pet. She is a well bred long coated GSD. Spaying her will end her show career. Her pups are spectacular and are also being shown. She will be 5 in August. Is there any thing we can do to enable one more litter of puppies?

March 24, 2018

Brandy's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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7 Recommendations

I'm sorry that Brandy's pups did not survive. The fact that she has had metritis definitely puts her at high risk for life-threatening uterine infections. If she is bred again, the problem may or may not occur again, but if it does, it can often be severe enough that is isn't controlled with antibiotics, and some dogs can die from this condition. It would be in her best interest to spay her, as hard as that might be, to make sure that she remains in good health.

March 24, 2018

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Bacterial Infection (Metritis) of the Uterus Average Cost

From 70 quotes ranging from $250 - $2,500

Average Cost

$2,000

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