Friday, December 13, 2013

1263. "Judgement Day" for a closed-pyometra dog

The video was produced by Intern Clara as part of her internship training to be a vet. Images are blurred for some technical reasons although most of the other interns do not have this problem..

She was not comfortable with the use of "Judgment Day" but that is the theme of the story. Judgment Day for Christians has a much different meaning but many phrases in writings have been taken from the Bible and they are not meant to denote the same interpretations.

A concise video clip. However, the 2nd and 3rd alternatives to make a judgment call by the owner were confusing and is given below.  


The old female dog had a bloated abdomen. Closed pyometra was diagnosed on history, palpation x-rays and blood tests.

The options for the owner were:
1. No operation. The dog will die from septicaemia.
2. Operation on the same day after I/V drip & medication of around 3 hours. Higher anaesthetic risk as the dog is lethargic and unfit for anaesthesia. But delay of several hours may result in the swollen uterus rupturing, spilling out the bacteria and toxins into the abdomen, killing the dog.
3. Operation on the next day after I/V drip & medication. This stabilises the dog's health as the drugs have time to take effect to kill off the bacteria inside the blood stream. However, the uterus is about to burst anytime and an emergency spay is strongly advised (Option 2) with its much higher risk of anaesthetic death on the operating table .

This is a judment call for the owner and the vet. The owner bears the responsibility for the dog's death. She selected took option 2. The dog survives the operation. She comes back on Day 11 for stitch removal. Everybody has a happy ending in this case but not all closed pyometra dogs survive.  Many die as the owner delays several days seeking veterinary treatment or the vomiting dog has had been mis-diagnosed for gastro-enteritis when the owner does not permit blood testing and X-rays. Spaying your dog young would have prevented pyometra, higher medical costs and much emotional distress when closed pyometra occurs and remain neglected resulting in the dog's untimely death.

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