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Pyometra - Don't Joke Around

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We took in a stray right before winter, a kitten we named Kiara. She always had a big belly, or vet assuring us it was worms. She is a sweet little spotted tabby cat.

Well one day my wife and I were sitting on the couch cuddling and she came up and laid on my arm. I felt a liquid.

A white foamy discharge with a bit of red, making it peach, came from her vaginal area. I was terrified she was pregnant because she was still chubby, and although we had already had her long enough to know she did not get pregnant outside, our neutered male cat Caesar mounted her many times while she was in heat!

Vet on the phone said bring her in immediately. It was late, so we at 11pm went to the 24 hour emergancy vet.

They told us it was Pyometra, which I did not know what it was, and will explain in a minute. They also said she might be pregnant and self aborting.

They took her in and called us in twenty minutes later.

They put up an x-ray of our kitty and it looked like from her vagial area to her chest there was a sausage in her, about a quarter roll in diameter. It was her swollen infected uterus, also called Pyometra. It was puss exiting her vaginal area.

It was killing her. Making up a bit more than 1/5 of her weight, Pyometra breeds toxins. It can kill a cat in a short while.

The emergancy vet told us for him to do it the fines are doubled, it would cost $1100. He made an apointment for us with a friend of his (that God bless him, came in on the next day, a Sunday).

After about $600 later, Kiara was in surgery being spayed to take out the infection.

Now this is a warning to all you folks out there.

-Pyometra is deadly. It can kill them. Putting it off till a Monday if you find it on a Friday could kill the cat.
-They usually act normal, like nothing is going on, or in cat fashion, hide out and don't want bothered.
-We were lucky. Our case was what is called "Open Pyometra", where fluids drip from her body. "Closed Pyometra" accures and with no warning but the swelling, the pressure and swelling building up till she dies. I spoke to one of the ladies at the vet who had many cases where this happened.
-Pyometra surgery is the same as spaying, but in truth, costs more because one needs to remove a much more swollen uterus and sometimes venture near the heart and lungs, a dangerous place on a small animal. The surgery is more dangerous and tedious.

Solution to assure your kitty is safe:

Spay them. Don't put it off. If you spay your kitty, you won't have a fear of this. The longer you do, especially with former stray/feral cats, the higher the chance the infection can thrive.

Things to look for...

Is you kitty swollen, unspayed, a lot like pregnancy, but rounded, unable to feel fetuses?

Is your kitty leaking any fluids? Hiding from you lately or "laying low" from you and other cats?

Is she a former stray/feral kitty?

I don't mean to be preachy, but another fine reason to spay your female kitties. If I lost Kiara, the first kitty I helped feral train to become a lover, I would have never recovered from it in many respects.

Trapper Charlie
post #2 of 11
wow! sounds like a very good reason to Spay a kitty!!!! What causes it??? just out of curiousity!

Glad you saved her
post #3 of 11
Thank you for sharing Kiara's story and such wonderful advice!
post #4 of 11
Trapper Charlie is right. I have seen 3 cats die from this, and two died before we could get them to the vet (we had to trap them first) and one died at the vet's office. Pyometra is usually found in cats that are 7 years old that have not been spayed. But it also can occur in younger females as well. If a cat goes into heat and does not become pregnant, after several cycles like this, the uterine wall changes and the disease is introduced. The puffiness seen in the cat is the infection, the puss and the discharge this happens because the cervix is closed and the discharge has no recourse but to build up inside. The thickened lining secretes the fluids and the cat will get very ill quickly. It will appear lethargic, be incredibly thirsty and vomiting and diarrhea will set in. If you even suspect your cat has pyometra get her to the vet NOW! Don't even waste on second posting on a bulletin board asking for opinions. Get veterinary intervention ASAP!
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hissy more or less answered the cause. Good work.
post #6 of 11
Trapper Charlie, I hope you don't mind, but I copied your post as a reply to a spay/neuter question on "The Cat Lounge Forum", simply because it was definitely a terrific response.
post #7 of 11
OMG , how scary that must have bin for you Trapper Charles . I am sure glad your baby was saved
I am sure happy all of my cats/dogs are spayed/neuter .

This thread shoult be a warning to all who are playing around and waiting to spayed/ neuter .

If you have not done so , maybe now it is a good time to get your cat/s spayed/neuter . It is never to late and a cat is never to old to get her/him fixed .
post #8 of 11
hmmmm interesting. But no worries here Willow was spayed about 5 months ago and Blade goes to get snipped next month.
post #9 of 11
I know this is a cat site but Pyometra can occur in unspayed females dogs as well. In fact, during my years at a vet office I would say that dogs are more likely to have this problem.
It is so much easier (and cheaper) to just get your pet fixed. Imagine the pain a dog or cat would be going through during this time?

post #10 of 11
I just had this happen with my Bling. I thought she was pregnant so I just waited. Finally she started having the discharge. I too thought she was aborting but after not seeing any kittens I took her to the emergency vet. It cost me a GREAT deal of money but they saved her right on time.

It was so hard to distinguish between a pregnancy and the pyometra. People def need to be aware of this.
post #11 of 11
I had my breeding queen operated for pyometra this summer. It pretty much happened the same way as it did for you Trapper Charles. If caught in time it can be treated with antibiotics, but it's probably mostly breeders who treat pyo with antibiotics (experienced breeders can basically smell pyo miles away so they often get the cat to a vet well in time before it turns into an acute matter).

Pyo is quite usual on fertile females. Vets say that it's most common in older females, but every female I know who have had pyo have been under the age of 5 years so I don't really believe the vets. It can happen to any fertile female! It's caused by bacterias and/or hormones.

It truly is an awful disease so for all of you out there with fertile females: Spay your cat, if no at least learn to know the symptoms of pyo. It probably saved my oldest females life. I knew what to look for and when she did become ill, there was no doubt about what it was.
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