Hoogland Dierekliniek April 2017 Newsletter
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The easiest way to describe a pyometra is that it is an infection in the uterus which causes it to fill up with pus. This condition is very common in older, unsterilized bitches or those that have been given medication to force their bodies to go off heat.

How does it happen?

After the heat cycle, the uterus is under the influence of a hormone called progesterone for 8-10 weeks. Progesterone prepares the womb for pregnancy, whether the dog was mated or not. The lining inside the womb thickens and the glands secrete fluids that accumulate in the closed space. In addition, progesterone also lowers the inherent protective mechanisms of the uterus. These factors then provide an ideal environment for the overgrowth of the bacteria that are normally present, resulting in the infection we call a pyometra.

What are the symptoms?

The clinical signs depend on whether or not the cervix is open. If it is open, pus will drain from the uterus, soiling the hair under the tail as well as the bedding and furniture where the dog lies. The dog may be depressed, lethargic and have a fever.

Should the cervix be closed, the pus accumulates in the uterus and the dog’s belly may expand as though she is pregnant. The toxins produced by the bacteria in the uterus are absorbed into the bloodstream leading to blood poisoning. These patients become severely depressed and listless, anorectic and feverish. They are often collapsed and dehydrated - If left untreated for too long, they will die!  

How is it diagnosed?

If it is an open-cervix pyometra, the diagnosis is usually very easy. With a closed-cervix pyometra, it could be more of a mystery unless your vet always considers this possibility in any unspayed bitch. The best way to confirm the suspicion of a pyometra is by doing an ultrasound.

What is the treatment?

These dogs are severely ill, so immediate intensive treatment is essential to save the dog’s life.
Surgery to remove the infected uterus is the preferred treatment option. Your dog will receive intravenous fluids, antibiotics and pain killers, and may spend a few days in hospital.

What about alternative treatment?

Medical treatment using antibiotics and hormones called prostaglandins is theoretically possible. However, there are real risks and limitations with this treatment:
  • It is only possible with an “open” pyometra - using this treatment on a “closed” pyometra could lead to uterine rupture, causing life-threatening infection of the abdomen (peritonitis).
  • Prostaglandins can cause restlessness, vomiting, uncontrolled defecation, salivation and intense abdominal pain.
  • The prostaglandins take 48 hours to improve the condition of the dog – by this time, a dog with blood poisoning would probably have died.
  • With this treatment, there is a 60% probability that the pyometra will recur in the dog’s next heat cycle.
All in all, the benefits of pre-emptive sterilisation far outweigh the risks and major financial implications of treating a pyometra!

For the month of April, Hoogland Dierekliniek is offering a 10% discount on spays and castrations, so book now!
Please note our hours over the Easter weekend: 

Friday 14 April: CLOSED.
Saturday 15 April: 8:00-12:00.
Monday 17 April: 9:00-11:00.

Product of the month: 
Dog Rocks

Do you struggle with ugly yellow patches on your otherwise lovely lawn because of dog urine? Well, here is a product that can really make a difference to your grassy haven.

Dog urine will burn grass when it is very high in nitrogen - even higher than the concentration in the fertilizers we apply to lawn. Not all dog urine will cause such burns - the factors that influence this are things like the sex and size of the dog, as well as the dog's diet.

Dog Rocks work by neutralising the nitrogen in the urine to levels that are not so damaging to the grass, leaving you with lush lawn! All you have to do is pop a Dog Rock into your dogs' drinking water!

Plants unsafe for dogs!

Although this list is not all-inclusive, here are some common plants that are not entirely safe for your dog to chew on.  
  • African daisy, African violet,
    Amaryllis, Apricot pits, Azalea.
  • Baby’s breath, Bamboo palm,
  • Camelia, Carnation,
    Carob, CYCADS!
  • Daffodils, Date palm,
  • Elephant ear.
  • Ferns – Asparagus, bracken.
  • Iris, Ivy.
  • Kalanchoe, Lillies.
  • Morning glory, Mother in law’s tongue.
  • Oak tree, Oleander, Onion.
  • Philodendron, Primrose, Privet.
  • Rhododendron.
  • Sago palm.
  • Yesterday today and tomorrow.

For more extensive lists of plants that are unsafe for your dogs please see the links in the article "Plants that are not safe for dogs" on our website under pet info>tid bits. 
Plants unsafe for rabbits!

Although this list is not all-inclusive, here are some examples of woods and plants that your rabbit should not chew on!
  • In general, do not use the wood or leaves of any trees with stone pits instead of seeds. E.g. cherry, peach,plum. 
  • Keep away from anything with “poison” in the name.
  • Aloe vera, Amaryllis, Angel
    trumpet, Avocado.
  • Chrysanthemum, Clivia, Cycads.
  • Day lilly, daffodil, Garlic.
  • Eucalyptus, Elephant ear,
    dieffenbachia, philodendron.
  • Iris, ivy.
  • Jasmine.
  • Oak, Oleander, Onion.
  • Poinsettia, Potato, Primrose, Privet.
  • Rhododendron, Rhubarb.
  • Strelitzia.
  • Wisteria, Yarrow, Yesterday today
    and tomorrow.
For more extensive lists of plants that are unsafe for your rabbits please see the links in the article "Plants that are not safe for my bunny" on our website under pet info>tid bits. 

By Appointment?

Yes please! 
Call 012 661 0346 / 2256

Consulting Hours

Weekdays 8am-12:30pm
           & 16:00-18:30pm
Saturdays 8am-12:00pm
Public holidays: 9-11am

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Hoogland Dierekliniek
6 Panorama rd Rooihuiskraal Centurion
Centurion, Gauteng 1058
South Africa

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