Pyometra is abscessed, pus-filled infected uterus.Pyometra needs to be treated or death ensues. Spaying your dog removes the risk of her developing pyometra. Pyometra happens rarely in cats.Pyometra(pus in the uterus) usually happens in middle aged dogs and is more common in older dogs. The typical time for pyometra to occur is about 1-2 months following estrus. Common signs of pyometra are vaginal discharge, polyuria(release of large amounts of urine), polydipsia(drinking water excessively, lethargy, and gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting and poor appetite and depression. Treatment is surgery in open and closed pyometra and in open pyometra, one can try prostaglandins.

The following contains the latest research abstracts on pyometra from pubmed.

Ragni RA.
Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol.

A female, stray crossbreed dog, approximately four years old, was presented for routine spaying during a charity neutering programme in Romania. On clinical examination the bitch was lethargic and pyrexic (40.6 degrees C), but no other signs of illness were detected. Laparotomy revealed an enlarged uterus, severed at the cervix, with no communication to the vagina. Abdominal inspection showed an apparently normal, ligated vaginal stump. An ovariohysterectomy was performed and the dog was treated with a seven-day course of netilmicine. It subsequently made a full recovery.

J Vet Med Sci. 2005 Jan;67(1):1-6.: Influence of a PGF2alpha-analogue, etiproston tromethamine, on the functional corpus luteum of dogs.
Kirihara N, Naganawa A, Hori T, Kawakami E, Tsutsui T.
Department of Reproduction, Nippon Veterinary and Animal Science University, Kyonan-cho, Musashino-shi, Tokyo, Japan.

To induce luteal regression-related abortion/delivery and treat pyometra in dogs, various PGF2alpha-analogues (PGAs) are administered, but a PGA most appropriate for clinical application in dogs, with a low incidence of side effects, is being investigated. In this study, we compared the effects of etiproston tromethamine (PGA-E), which has not been investigated in dogs, with those of cloprostenol (PGA-C), which is routinely used in dogs. A single dose of PGA-E at 100, 200, 400 or 800 microg or PGA-C at 12.5, 25, 50 or 100 microg was administered to beagles (n=5 per group) 25 days after ovulation, when the corpus luteum was in the functional phase. We compared the state of luteal regression by measuring plasma progesterone levels. As side effects, the incidences of salivation, vomiting, tachypnea, diarrhea and the drop in body temperature were investigated. In the 400-microg and 800-microg groups treated with PGA-E, the mean intervals from administration until luteal regression were 18.6 days and 31.2 days, respectively. In the dogs treated with 50 microg or more of PGA-C, luteal regression was noted 2 days after administration. The above side effects were observed for 3 hr after administration of PGA-E/PGA-C. In the dogs treated with 800 microg of PGA-E, the mean body temperature was 36.7 degrees C 4 hr after administration; hypothermia persisted. PGA-E may be less useful than PGA-C for promoting luteal regression in dogs in clinical application.

Theriogenology. 2004 Dec;62(9):1652-62. : Recovery, morphological quality, and in vitro maturation of follicular oocytes from bitches with pyometra.
Hishinuma M, Minami S, Okamoto Y, Miyatake K, Sekine J.
Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Tottori University, Tottori 680-8553, Japan.

The objective of this study was to collect oocytes from ovaries of bitches with pyometra and to characterize the quality of the oocytes recovered. In 10 of 12 cases of pyometra, follicles with a diameter of 500 microm to 1mm were observed in the ovaries. A total of 710 oocytes were collected from 10 bitches by puncturing individual follicles after slicing the ovarian tissues. Oocyte recovery was successful from a bitch with severe clinical signs of pyometra. Of the oocytes collected, 53.5% were surrounded by > or =2 layers of cumulus cells, and 55.0% of these cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) had a darkly pigmented ooplasm >110 microm in diameter (large-dark COCs). The number of large-dark COCs per bitch varied from 1 to 72. A germinal vesicle with fine filaments of chromatin (Type A) was observed in 51.8% (range 21.1-100%) of the oocytes of large-dark COCs. Out of 50 oocytes cultured for 72 h, 6.0% developed to Metaphase II. In conclusion, there were many follicles with a diameter of 500 microm to 1mm in ovaries of bitches with pyometra, and many oocytes recovered from these follicles underwent meiotic maturation in vitro. The number of oocytes and COCs, and the morphological quality of the germinal vesicles varied among individual bitches.

Vet Res. 2004 Nov-Dec;35(6):671-9.: An automated spectrophotometric method for measuring canine ceruloplasmin in serum.
Ceron JJ, Martinez-Subiela S.
Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, Veterinary School, University of Murcia, 30100 Espinardo, Murcia, Spain.

An automated method for the determination of ceruloplasmin activity was developed and validated in canine serum. The method is based on the in vitro oxidase activity that this protein shows with substances such as p-phenylenediamine. In order to determine optimum assay conditions, the effects of the substrate concentration, buffer pH, reaction time and EDTA on the reaction were evaluated. The precision of the assay was good with within-run and between-run coefficients of variation lower than 10%. The method measured the ceruloplasmin values in a proportional and linear manner (r = 0.99) with a limit of detection of 0.0007 +/- 0.0001 Delta Abs/min. A temperature of -20 degrees C kept the reagent stable for 30 days. The method is cheap and easy to adapt to any automated biochemical analyser, considerably decreasing the processing time required with the manual method. Additionally it allows to differentiate dogs with pyometra and trauma from clinically healthy dogs

: J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2004 Sep-Oct;40(5):391-9. : C-reactive Protein in the Differentiation of Pyometra From Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia/Mucometra in Dogs.
Fransson BA, Karlstam E, Bergstrom A, Lagerstedt AS, Park JS, Evans MA, Ragle CA.
Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-7060.

Hematological parameters, plasma C-reactive protein (CRP), and tumor necrosis factor alphawere analyzed in 64 dogs with a presumptive diagnosis of pyometra. Final diagnosis (i.e., pyometra or cystic endometrial hyperplasia [CEH]) was determined by histopathology. As a single test, the percentage of band neutrophils had the highest sensitivity in the prediction of pyometra (sensitivity, 94%). The combination of percentage of bands and CRP had the highest sensitivity (97.7%; specificity, 75%) in predicting the presence of pyometra. The most common clinical signs noted in the study were vaginal discharge, polyuria, polydipsia, lethargy, and gastrointestinal signs. A combination of three or more of these clinical signs was significantly associated with pyometra.

: Theriogenology. 2004 Aug;62(3-4):614-23. : Serum estradiol-17 beta, progesterone and respective uterine cytosol receptor concentrations in bitches with spontaneous pyometra.
Ververidis HN, Boscos CM, Stefanakis A, Saratsis P, Stamou AI, Krambovitis E.
Clinic of Obstetrics and Artificial Insemination, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 546 27, Greece.

The role of serum estradiol-17 beta (E(2)) and progesterone (P(4)) in relation to uterine estrogen (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR) was investigated in canine cystic endometrial hyperplasia-pyometra (CEH-P). Blood and uterine samples were collected pre- and post-ovariohysterectomy, respectively, from 54 bitches presenting spontaneous CEH-P and 25 healthy control bitches. Competitive enzyme immunoassays (EIA) and enzyme ligand immunoassays (ELIA) were applied to estimate serum hormones and uterine cytosol active receptors, respectively. Animals were classified in the stages of first half of diestrus, second half of diestrus and early anestrus on the basis of reproductive history, clinical signs, uterine and ovarian macro- and microscopic inspection and serum P(4) concentration. Bitches with CEH-P, compared to their respective stage controls, exhibited (a) similar P(4) fluctuations, (b) higher E(2) concentrations, (c) lower PR concentrations during diestrus first and second half and (d) lower ER concentrations during diestrus first half and early anestrus. Negative correlation was detected between P(4) and ER within both CEH-P and control groups. It was concluded that P(4) was the main uterine receptor regulator for both PR and ER during diestrus and early anestrus in healthy and affected uteri. However, in CEH-P bitches, high P(4) levels in diestrus appeared to over-activate uterine PRs, leading to stronger PR self-down regulation and ER suppression. These findings indicate an increased sensitivity of CEH-P uterus to P(4) action. During early anestrus, a complementary role of endogenous E(2) was considered, since reduction of P(4) action appeared to permit uterine ER replenishment and activation by relatively high E(2) levels.

Reprod Domest Anim. 2004 Jun;39(3):136-40. : Ultrasonography and cystic hyperplasia-pyometra complex in the bitch.
Bigliardi E, Parmigiani E, Cavirani S, Luppi A, Bonati L, Corradi A.
Unit of Obstetrics and Reproduction, Department of Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Parma, Parma, Italy.

Cystic endometrial hyperplasia-pyometra complex is the most frequent and important endometrial disorder encountered in bitches. The pathogenesis of the disease is related to the activity of progesterone [Feldman and Nelson, Canine and Feline Endocrinology and Reproduction (1996) W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia]. Cystic endometrial hyperplasia (CEH) is an abnormal response of the bitch's uterus to ovarian hormones [De Bosschere et al. Theriogenology (2001) 55, 1509]. CEH is considered by many authors to be an exaggerated response of the uterus to chronic progestational stimulation during the luteal phase of the oestrous cycle, causing an abnormal accumulation of fluid within the endometrial glands and uterine lumen (De Bosschere et al. 2001). The resulting lesions of pyometra are due to the interaction between bacteria and hormones. The aim of this study was to evaluate if transabdominal uterine ultrasonography can be a useful and reliable diagnostic method to confirm Dow's [Veterinary Record (1958) 70, 1102] and De Bosschere's histopathological classification of CEH-pyometra complex. The study was carried out on 45 bitches with pyometra, 10 purebreds and 35 crossbreeds, 1-15 years old, 20% of which had whelped at least once. None of these animals had received exogenous oestrogen or progesterone treatment. On admission the 45 animals were in the luteal phase of the oestrus cycle. Clinical signs, blood parameters, uterine ultrasonography, bacterial swabs and uterine histopathological results were recorded. Results suggest that ultrasonographic examination is a useful and reliable tool for the diagnosis of cystic endometrial hyperplasia.

Theriogenology. 2004 May;61(7-8):1259-72. : Canine pyometra: a study of the urinary proteins by SDS-PAGE and Western blot.
Zaragoza C, Barrera R, Centeno F, Tapia JA, Mane MC.
Department of Medicine and Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Extremadura, Avda. Universidad s/n, 10071 Caceres, Spain.

Canine pyometra often causes glomerulonephritis by immune complex deposition in the glomeruli. Proteinuria, ranging from moderate to severe, may be present secondary to renal damage. To determine urinary protein excretion due to pyometra, sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) was conducted on urine from 15 bitches with pyometra and 10 healthy bitches. To characterize urinary immunoglobin excretion, Western blot analysis of the urine samples using antibodies to canine IgG and IgA was also performed. Nine bands were detected by electrophoresis in bitches with pyometra, while only four were detected in the healthy animals. The urinary proteins from bitches with pyometra were primarily of glomerular origin; 58% were of medium-high molecular weight (MW), and the remainder were low MW. None of the healthy dogs had IgG or IgA in their urine, whereas three bitches with pyometra had IgG in their urine and another bitch with pyometra had both IgG and IgA. The low proportion of bitches with urinary immunoglobins was probably be due to early diagnosis of the disease. Although only a limited number of dogs was used, this study is apparently the first to characterize the electrophoretic pattern of urinary proteins and to quantify urinary excretion of IgG and IgA in bitches with pyometra.

Am J Vet Res. 2004 Apr;65(4):404-8. : Vasopressin secretion in response to osmotic stimulation and effects of desmopressin on urinary concentrating capacity in dogs with pyometra.
Heiene R, van Vonderen IK, Moe L, Molmen GS, Larsen NH, Kooistra HS.
Department of Companion Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146 dep, 0033 Oslo, Norway.

OBJECTIVE: To determine vasopressin (VP) secretory capacity during osmotic stimulation and the response to desmopressin treatment in dogs with pyometra and control dogs. ANIMALS: 6 dogs with pyometra before and after ovariohysterectomy and 6 control dogs. PROCEDURE: Urine osmolality (Uosm) was measured during 12 hours. Values measured on the first day defined the basal Uosm pattern. On the second day, dogs were given desmopressin to induce a desmopressin-stimulated Uosm pattern. On day 3, the VP response to osmotic stimulation was examined. RESULTS: Median Uosm on day 1 was 340 mOsm/kg (range, 104 to 1,273 mOsm/kg) and 807 mOsm/kg (range, 362 to 1,688 mOsm/kg) in dogs with pyometra before and after surgery, respectively, and 1,511 mOsm/kg (range, 830 to 1,674 mOsm/kg) in control dogs. Median Uosm during desmopressin treatment was 431 mOsm/kg (range, 168 to 1,491 mOsm/kg) and 1,051 mOsm/kg (range, 489 to 1,051 mOsm/kg) in dogs with pyometra before and after surgery, respectively, and 1,563 mOsm/kg (range, 1,390 to 2,351) in control dogs. In dogs with pyometra, threshold for VP secretion was lower before surgery (median, 340 mOsm/kg; range, 331 to 366 mOsm/kg) than after surgery (median, 358 mOsm/kg; range, 343 to 439 mOsm/kg) or in control dogs (median, 347 mOsm/kg; range, 334 to 360 mOsm/kg). Highest maximum plasma VP values were found in dogs with pyometra. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Dogs with pyometra had increased urine concentration in response to desmopressin but not to the degree of control dogs, whereas VP secretory ability was not reduced.

Immunobiology. 2004;209(8):619-27. : Effect of ovarian hormones on periodical changes in immune resistance associated with estrous cycle in the beagle bitch.
Sugiura K, Nishikawa M, Ishiguro K, Tajima T, Inaba M, Torii R, Hatoya S, Wijewardana V, Kumagai D, Tamada H, Sawada T, Ikehara S, Inaba T.
Laboratory of Cell Pathobiology, Graduate School of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, 1-1 Gakuen-cho, Sakai, Osaka 599-8531, Japan.

In bitches, the onset of pyometra, an infection of the uterus, characteristically occurs in the first half of the diestrous stage in the estrous cycle, in which the blood concentration of progesterone peaks and that of estradiol-17beta is lowest. To investigate the immunological mechanisms governing stage-specific onset of pyometra, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNCs) were collected from beagle bitches during different stages of the estrous cycle and examined using various immunological assays. When we examined the proliferative response of PBMNCs to PYO-252, that is a clone of Escherichia coli isolated from the uterus of a dog afflicted with pyometra, the response of PBMNCs significantly decreased in the first half (day 10) of diestrus, but increased in proestrus/estrus. No significant differences were observed in the responses to concanavaline A between stages of the cycle. Throughout the estrous cycle, canine PBMNCs did not respond to lipopolysaccharide derived from E. coli. The response of PBMNCs collected in anestrus to PYO-252 was significantly enhanced upon the addition of estradiol-17beta to the culture. In contrast, these responses were significantly suppressed in the presence of progesterone. Progesterone progenitor or metabolite molecules, which have a low affinity for the progesterone receptor, did not affect proliferative responses. Expression of gamma interferon (IFNgamma) in response to PYO-252 was also significantly enhanced by estradiol-17beta, but suppressed by progesterone. This evidence suggests that in the first half of the diestrous stage, suppressed activity of cellular immunity results from increasing progesterone concentration and minimal estrogen release. This marked decrease of immune resistance allows the expansion of E. coli, which enter the uterine cavity through the loosened cervical canal during estrus, leading to pyometra onset.

: J Vet Med Sci. 2004 Jan;66(1):103-5. : Decreased apoptotic polymorphonuclear leukocyte rate in dogs with pyometra.
Sano J, Oguma K, Kano R, Tsumagari S, Hasegawa A.
Department of Pathobiology, Nihon University School of Veterinary Medicine, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-8510, Japan.

Polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) apoptosis was examined in three dogs with pyometra by TUNEL assay in a 24-hr incubation period and compared with that in healthy control dogs (n=5). The incidence of apoptotic PMNs in dogs with pyometra was 26.4 +/- 5% and that in healthy dogs was 54.3 +/- 7%. The results indicated that apoptotic PMN rates in dogs with pyometra were significantly lower than those in control dogs (p<0.05), suggesting the prolongation of PMN survival.

Pol J Vet Sci. 2004;7(4):337-41. : Dietary origin of mycotoxins with estrogenic potential and possible health implications to female dogs
. Golinski PK, Nowak T.
Department of Chemistry, August Cieszkowski Agricultural University, ul Wojska Polskiego 75, 60-25 Poznan, Poland.

In Poland, occurrence of toxigenic fungi in cereals, foods, feeds and their components as well as mycotoxins accumulation in such material has been studied by numerous teams including our research group for over thirty years since 1969. Mostly cereal kernels and feeds have been examined for presence of toxigenic fungi, their toxigenic potential and natural contamination with mycotoxins. Ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, nivalenol and moniliformin were found to be significant contaminants of agricultural products in high percentage of cereal grain samples. The profile of toxic metabolites was similar but the concentration levels of the toxins were lower when compared to already published data of the same climate zone. Zearalenone (ZEA), a nonsteroidal mycotoxin with estrogen-like activity, is synthesized by molds (Fusarium) commonly contaminating poorly stored agricultural products and foodstuffs. Since in the course of examinations and during surgical procedures performed in dogs, ovarian cysts were detected and because frequently this is the first stage of the endometrica pyometra complex (EPC) found in approximately 30% of the females we assume that both factors, mycotoxins (ZEA) and pathological aberrations are possibly related in these animals. Similar activity of the toxin (possibly present in pelleted dog feed) and effects including infertility of female dogs is speculated with indication and suggestion on necessity of additional studies on the problem.

Pol J Vet Sci. 2004;7(1):59-66. : Zearalenone applied per os provides adverse effects in structure of chosen parts of bitch reproductive system.
Gajecka M, Jakimiuk E, Polak M, Otrocka-Domagala I, Janowski T, Zwierzchowski W, Obremski K, Zielonka L, Apoznanski J, Gajecki M. Division of Veterinary Prevention and Feed Hygiene, Department of Veterinary Health Protection, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland.

Both earlier investigations and complete formulas of pet food for dogs show that professionally prepared pet food is based in 30% on the material of the plant origin. Our own investigations prove that animal feeding stuffs of the plant origin are very often vectors of many undesirable substances (including micotoxins) that are unfavourable for carnivores. Zearalenone is a micotoxin, which frequently occurs among them. It was revealed in pet food in quantities from 5.0-299.5 microg/kg. It is a very dangerous xenobiotic because of its quick and easy absorption in the organism after per os application in monogastric animals. It is also a sterid and despite its plant origin it binds estrogen receptors in the reproductive tract and causes its hypo- and dysfunction. It is clearly visible in young, growing organisms and those during the menopause. In bitches, dysfunctions of the reproduction system, such as: endometritis-pyometra syndrome, prolonged oestrus, ovarian cysts and others are often found. It is supposed that specific for this species hormonal regulation of the reproduction processes based on the long progesterone and prolactin cycles, and on high sensibility to estrogens plays an important role in the etiopathogenesis of these dysfunctions. The application of hormones in bitches in therapeutic and biotechnical (contraception) purposes are the other factors, which should be taken into account in this aspect. There are some suggestions that therapeutic management, unfortunately connected with mistakes in the medical art, is often a cause of pathological condition in a reproductive organ in bitches. However, another reason of these disorders may be that bitches take zearalenone with the commercial pet food. The long-lasting intake of the feed with a low dose of this micotoxin may be the factor, which complicates hormonal regulation of the reproduction processes and is the cause of many disorders. Our own pilotage investigations showed that application of zearalenone at a dose of 200 microg/kg b.w. for 7 days leads to apoptotic-like changes in granule cells in the bitch reproductive system, atresia of follicular cells and oedema and hyperplasia of the oviductal and uterine cells. They could also indicate a follicular phase of the oestrus cycle in bitch. However, it did not take place.

Vet Anaesth Analg. 2003 Oct;30(4):220-8. : A comparison of preoperative tramadol and morphine for the control of early postoperative pain in canine ovariohysterectomy.
Mastrocinque S, Fantoni DT.
Surgery Department, School of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnic, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

OBJECTIVE: To compare morphine with tramadol for the management of early postoperative pain following ovariohysterectomy after pyometra in dogs. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective randomized blinded clinical trial. ANIMALS: Thirty female dogs, 2-14 years old. METHODS: Animals were randomly divided into two equal groups. Group 1 received 0.2 mg kg-1 of morphine IV and group 2 received 2 mg kg-1 of tramadol IV after the induction of anesthesia. The dogs were premedicated with acepromazine, and anesthesia was induced with intravenous midazolam and ketamine. Isoflurane was used for the maintenance of anesthesia. The variables measured were: analgesia; sedation; cardiac and respiratory rates; arterial blood pressure; end-tidal isoflurane and carbon dioxide (Pe'CO2); oxyhemoglobin saturation (SpO2); plasma catecholamines; serum cortisol and glucose concentrations; pH and blood gases. The animals were monitored for 6 hours after the administration of the analgesic agent. RESULTS: There were no differences between the two groups with regard to analgesia, sedation, SpO2, pH and blood gases, cardiovascular variables, glucose, catecholamine and cortisol concentrations. Forty minutes postopioid administration, the end-tidal isoflurane concentration was significantly lower in the morphine-treated group as compared to the tramadol group. At 30 minutes following opioid injection, Pe'CO2 was significantly higher in the morphine group than in the tramadol group. Two dogs in the tramadol group and one in the morphine group were given morphine postoperatively because of increasing pain scores. CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Morphine and tramadol, administered preemptively can be used safely in dogs to control early pain after ovariohysterectomy without significant adverse effects.

Theriogenology. 2003 Sep 15;60(5):901-8.: A study of two protocols combining aglepristone and cloprostenol to treat open cervix pyometra in the bitch.
Gobello C, Castex G, Klima L, Rodriguez R, Corrada Y.
Small Animal Clinic, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, National University of La Plata, CC 296, La Plata B1900 AVVW, Argentina.

To compare the efficacy and safety of two protocols using a combination of aglepristone and cloprostenol for the treatment of open cervix pyometra in the bitch and to describe the progesterone (P4) serum profiles before and during treatments, 15 bitches were randomly allocated into two treatment groups: I (n = 8): aglepristone was administered at 10mg/kg, s.c., on Days 1, 3, 8, and 15 (if not cured), combined with cloprostenol at the dose of 1 microg/kg, s.c., on Days 3 and 8, and II (n = 7): received the same treatment with aglepristone as Treatment I but cloprostenol on Days 3, 5, 8 10, 12, and 15 (if not cured). Before the beginning of the treatments and then on Days 8, 15, and 29 all bitches were evaluated for clinical signs, side effects, hemogram, serum P4 concentrations, and uterus diameters. Bitches in both treatment groups, with (n = 6) or without (n = 9; > or =1.2 ng/ml) initial basal P4 serum concentrations, achieved treatment success without side effects and no significant differences, either on Day 15 (6/8 for Treatment I and 4/7 for Treatment II) or on Day 29 (2/8 for Treatment I and 3/7 for Treatment II). In both treatments groups, clinical signs, blood parameters, and uterine diameters improved to normal values throughout the experiments. A significant interaction between day and treatment was found for percentage change in P4 when all bitches were considered together. Redevelopment of pyometra in the next estrous cycle occurred in 20% of the bitches. One nonrecurrent bitch was mated and whelped a normal litter. It is concluded that these two combined protocols proved to be efficient and safe in reversing clinical signs of open cervix pyometra independently of initial P4 concentrations and that the number of cloprostenol administrations seemed to have an effect on P4 serum changes throughout treatments.

J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med. 2003 Sep;50(7):375-9. : Follow-up examinations of bitches after conservative treatment of pyometra with the antigestagen aglepristone.
Trasch K, Wehrend A, Bostedt H.
Clinic for Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Andrology of Large and Small Animals, Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, Germany.

The aim of this study was to determine the therapeutic success of the medical treatment of canine pyometra with the antigestagen aglepristone and to document the recurrence rate in relation to the time interval after treatment with antigestagens. In 48 (92.8%) of the 52 treated bitches, healing could be achieved within the first 3 weeks after the treatment had been started. One bitch died as a result of renal insufficiency; in three bitches there was no emptying of the uterus, so ovariohysterectomy became necessary. In these three patients, ovarian and endometrial cysts were present. Forty-one bitches could be followed up for 3 months. Four animals developed a recurrence (9.8%). In three bitches ovarian cysts and cystic endometrial hyperlasia could be found intra operationem. The development of 37 bitches could be followed for at least 1 year. Seven animals developed a pyometra again (18.9%). Two received a repeated treatment with aglepristone and have been free from recurrence for over 12 months. In 37 animals data on the subsequent sex cycles are available. In 22 bitches next heat started at the expected time, in seven animals heat started too early. In eight bitches the period of anoestrus was prolonged. Five of the six bred bitches delivered at least one litter. The presented data show that treatment of pyometra by aglepristone results in a high healing rate. The recurrence rate can be minimized by the selection of bitches without ovarian cysts and cystic endometrial hyperplasia.

Histol Histopathol. 2003 Jul;18(3):787-95. : Lectin binding patterns in normal canine endometrium and in bitches with pyometra and cystic endometrial hyperplasia.
Leitner M, Aurich JE, Galabova G, Aurich C, Walter I.
Clinic for Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Andrology, Institute of Histology and Embryology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.

Cystic endometrial hyperplasia (CEH) and pyometra in the bitch are dioestral syndromes, supposed to be caused by hormonal disturbances and changes in endometrial steroid hormone receptor levels. Histologically, the endometria show cystic dilated glands and, if bacteria succeed in invading the uterus, pyometra may develop in the following metoestrus. In this study, lectin histochemistry was performed on paraffin sections to compare carbohydrate expression of uterine glands and surface epithelium in healthy dogs and in dogs with CEH and pyometra. Lectin binding is a useful tool to identify glycoconjugates, especially of the glycocalyx, which has essential functions in the endometrium during reproduction. Uterine tissue was obtained from 18 healthy bitches in metoestrus or anoestrus and 18 bitches with a clinical diagnosis of CEH or pyometra. Normal endometria showed cycle-dependent changes in SBA, PNA, HPA and UEA binding during metoestrus and anoestrus. LCA did not show cycle-dependent changes and WGA bound to Golgi regions in the apical parts of surface epithelial cells only in metoestrous. Endometria with inflammatory alterations lost cycle-specific lectin binding patterns and, with increasing severity of pathological changes, showed a marked decrease in binding intensity to the glandular and surface epithelial glycocalyx and secretions. In dogs with CEH, unaltered glands with generally strong lectin binding to the glycocoalyx and Golgi regions were found adjacent to altered glands. The decrease of lectin binding in pyometra cases is supposed to be a result of glandular exhaustion after cystic hyperplasia. In addition, bacterial adhesion to sugar residues on the uterine surface epithelium might impede lectin binding.

Vet Microbiol. 2003 Jun 24;94(1):57-69. : Uropathogenic virulence factors in isolates of Escherichia coli from clinical cases of canine pyometra and feces of healthy bitches.
Chen YM, Wright PJ, Lee CS, Browning GF.
Department of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, 250 Princes Highway, Werribee 3030, Vic, Australia.

Escherichia coli is commonly isolated in canine pyometra, but little is known of the virulence factors that may be involved in the precipitation of this disease. The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of uropathogenic virulence factor (UVF) genes in E. coli isolates from canine pyometra and from feces of healthy bitches to evaluate their role in the pathogenesis of pyometra. E. coli from 23 cases of canine pyometra and from the feces of 24 healthy bitches were analyzed, by polymerase chain reaction, for UVF genes associated with canine and human urinary tract infections (UTIs). The prevalences of UVFs in E. coli from canine pyometra were similar to that in canine and human uropathogenic E. coli. The prevalence of pap was greater (P=0.036) for E. coli from pyometra (52%) than for fecal isolates (21%), and the papGIII allele was present in all pap-containing isolates. The prevalences of genes for alpha-haemolysin and cytotoxic necrotising factor 1 were not significantly higher (P=0.075) in E. coli from pyometra than from feces. The proportion of pyometra strains with >or=3 UVFs was higher (P=0.039) than that of fecal strains, suggesting that possession of >or=3 UVF genes enhances the pathogenicity of the strain. Our findings demonstrate that E. coli associated with canine pyometra are similar to uropathogenic strains, and that operons that encode P fimbriae, alpha-haemolysin and cytotoxic necrotising factor 1 probably enhance the virulence and pathogenicity of the strain in the canine genital tract.

Theriogenology. 2003 Jun;60(1):59-66.: Influence of reproductive status on in vitro oocyte maturation in dogs.
de Avila Rodrigues B, Rodrigues JL.
Laboratory of Embryology and Biotechnics of Reproduction, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UFRGS, Cx Postal 15004, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.

In the bitch, oocytes need 48-72 h to complete post-ovulatory maturation to the metaphase II stage in the isthmus of the oviduct, an interval similar to that found in in vitro studies. The effect of estrous cycle stage on in vitro meiotic competence of dog oocytes has been described in several studies. However, there are no reports evaluating the possible effects of pyometra or pregnancy on subsequent potential of oocytes recovered from such females to undergo in vitro maturation.In this study, immature cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were recovered from fresh excised domestic dog ovaries in various reproductive states. The donor females were classified into groups based on stage of the estrous cycle: follicular (proestrus or estrus), luteal (diestrus) or anestrus or at the clinical conditions of pregnancy and pyometra. Grades 1 and 2 oocytes were cultured in vitro at 37 degrees C in TCM-199, supplemented with 25 mM Hepes/l (v/v), and with 10% heat inactived estrous cow serum (ECS), 50 microg/ml gentamicin, 2.2 mg/ml sodium carbonate, 22 microg/ml pyruvic acid, 1.0 microg/ml estradiol, 0.5 microg/ml FSH and 0.03 IU/ml hCG. The nuclear maturation rate was evaluated at 72 h of incubation under Hoechst 33342 (10 microg/ml) staining for fluorescence microscopy. There was no statistical difference in nuclear progression to the MII stage among the various reproductive states (follicular phase, 5.4%; diestrus, 4.2%; anestrus, 4.4%; pyometra, 8.1% and pregnancy, 4.7%). Resumption of meiosis was 24.6% at the follicular phase, 19.6% for diestrus, 16.4% for anestrus, 37.1% for pyometra and 29.2% for pregnancy. Positive and higher numbers of residue above the expected value were observed for the pyometra and pregnancy conditions at the metaphase/anaphase I (MI/AI) stages.Our results indicate that in vitro nuclear maturation of dogs oocytes is not influenced by the in vivo reproductive status of the female. The quality of the oocyte is a more reliable indicator of its potential for meiotic maturation in vitro than the hormonal environment of the donor female at the time of oocyte retrieval.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2003 Mar-Apr;44(2):196-8. : Emphysematous pyometra in a dog.
Hernandez JL, Besso JG, Rault DN, Cohen AH, Guionnet A, Begon D, Ruel Y.
Department of Medical Imaging, Ecole Nationale Veterinaire d'Alfort, 94 700 Maisons-Alfort, France.

An 8-year-old intact female West Highland White Terrier was examined for anorexia, vomiting, abdominal distension, and mild purulent vulvar discharge. The results of physical examination, laboratory testing, and radiography are presented. Emphysematous pyometra was suspected and confirmed at surgery. Clostridium perfringens was isolated from the uterine lumen. A brief discussion of emphysematous pyometra is presented.