Pyometra in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, & Diagnosis

Pyometra in Cats Feature

Pyometra in Cats: Causes, Signs, & Prognosis

Pyometra in Cats Feature

Pyometra in cats, outlined as an an infection of the uterus, is nothing to mess around with. It’s life-threatening and requires instant and aggressive remedy.

With out remedy, cats with pyometra can change into extraordinarily ailing and probably lose their lives due to the havoc that pyometra can wreak on the remainder of a cat’s physique.

There’s quite a bit to find out about pyometra, so settle in and maintain studying.

To know what causes pyometra, we first have to evaluate some fundamentals a few feminine cat’s reproductive cycle. Like a feminine human, feminine cats have a reproductive cycle, throughout which the degrees of assorted intercourse hormones, together with estrogen and progesterone, fluctuate and have an effect on the reproductive organs.

When a feminine cat enters the estrus a part of her cycle (aka, being in warmth), she is able to mate. For a number of weeks after estrus, her progesterone ranges go up and keep up. Progesterone stimulates the thickening of the uterine lining, known as the endometrium, to arrange for being pregnant.

If the cat goes into warmth a number of instances however doesn’t get pregnant, her uterine lining retains getting thicker. The liner turns into so thick that it begins to type cysts, a situation known as cystic endometrial hyperplasia.

This cystic uterine lining begins to leak fluid. However, as a result of the liner is so thick, the uterine muscle groups can’t contract strongly sufficient to expel the fluid from the uterus. Thus, the fluid primarily turns into a sitting duck for an infection.

To make issues worse, white blood cells (WBCs) are absent from the scene. Throughout estrus, WBCs are blocked from the uterus in order that sperm can journey safely with out being attacked by these immune cells.

As if that wasn’t sufficient, the cervix, by way of which sperm travels to get to the uterus, relaxes when a cat is in warmth. This leisure additionally permits micro organism from the vagina to enter the uterus. As a result of there aren’t any WBCs, the micro organism enter the uterus and arrange store, resulting in pyometra.

Pyometra in cats often impacts cats who’re not less than six years previous however may also have an effect on youthful cats.

Intact feminine cats have the best danger of creating pyometra. Nevertheless, cats who’re spayed (ovaries and uterus eliminated) may also develop this situation.

How may that be?

Sometimes, a spay is incomplete, which means {that a} portion of the uterus, known as a ‘stump,’ stays connected to the cervix. This uterine stump can thicken when progesterone ranges rise, probably resulting in what’s known as ‘stump pyometra.’

Pyometra in cats symptoms

Although pyometra is a critical situation, it doesn’t all the time trigger distinct or extreme signs.

Surprisingly, pyometra doesn’t all the time trigger extreme signs. Additionally, a few of these signs, together with lethargy, anorexia, and vomiting, are non-specific. Affected cats may additionally drink extra water and urinate extra usually, however these signs aren’t particular to pyometra both.

Pyometra signs are usually categorised in line with whether or not the cervix is open or closed.

A telltale symptom of open pyometra is fluid leakage from the vagina. This fluid could be blood-tinged and might be seen underneath the tail or in locations the place a cat frequents (e.g., mattress, furnishings). As a result of cats are such fastidious groomers, although, your cat would possibly clear up the leakage earlier than you see it.

Signs are extra extreme with closed pyometra as a result of the fluid is trapped within the uterus. For instance,  the stomach might be painfully enlarged. Additionally, a cat will look visibly and severely ailing as a result of the micro organism within the uterine fluid leaks into the bloodstream and releases toxins. The kidneys, working extra time to filter out these toxins, cease working nicely. As well as, the uterus would possibly change into so swollen with fluid that it bursts, spilling that liquid into the belly cavity.

Prognosis of Pyometra in Cats

Pyometra in cats diagnosis

Any intact feminine with a swollen, painful stomach who’d consuming an unusually great amount of water is presumed to have pyometra. Additional exams can verify the prognosis.

Any intact feminine cat that has a swollen, painful stomach and is consuming extra water than normal has pyometra till confirmed in any other case. A veterinarian will carry out primary laboratory exams to make the prognosis.

Bloodwork will reveal an elevated WBC rely, which signifies an an infection. Additionally, the urine might be much less concentrated due to kidney dysfunction. These outcomes, although, don’t particularly level to pyometra.

Imaging exams will help verify the prognosis. X-rays are useful with closed pyometra as a result of the enlarged stomach and uterus might be very obvious. This enlargement isn’t so evident with open pyometra; on this case, ultrasound is the higher diagnostic selection.

Remedy of Pyometra in Cats

Remedy for pyometra have to be fast and aggressive. In practically all circumstances, remedy is an instantaneous spay. Cats which might be very ailing first have to be stabilized with intravenous fluids and antibiotics earlier than surgical procedure.

Surgical procedure might be troublesome as a result of a uterus that’s swollen with fluid is fragile and liable to bursting.

After surgical procedure, oral antibiotics are given for a number of weeks.

Not often, pyometra is handled medically with prostaglandins. Prostaglandins cut back progesterone ranges, which can lower uterine lining thickening, open the cervix, and permit the uterine fluid to go away the physique.

Medical remedy could be for cats who might be bred sooner or later. Nevertheless, medical remedy just isn’t all the time profitable, which means that pyometra can recur. Additionally, prostaglandins can have critical long-term well being penalties.


The easiest way to forestall pyometra in cats is to have feminine cats spayed when they’re younger and wholesome. Cats might be spayed as younger as eight weeks.

Do you will have extra questions? Try the FAQs beneath.

Steadily Requested Questions

What if I need to proceed breeding my cat?

By far, spaying is the best remedy for pyometra. Nevertheless, medical remedy is an possibility for feminine cats who’re nonetheless being bred. Prostaglandins will decrease progesterone ranges within the blood, which can cut back uterine lining thickness and assist expel uterine fluid from the physique. Nevertheless, prostaglandins don’t all the time work, resulting in attainable pyometra recurrence. Plus, they will have critical long-term well being results.

I don’t see any fluid leaking from my cat’s vagina. Do I nonetheless have to take her to the vet?

Sure! Your cat may have already cleaned up the discharge, or have closed pyometra. Both means, your cat will want instant remedy.

May my cat get pyometra once more?

In case your cat is spayed after her pyometra prognosis, and her ovaries and uterus are utterly eliminated, she is not going to develop pyometra once more. In case your cat receives medical remedy, her danger for getting pyometra once more is far larger.

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