Feline Uterine Infection
"Feline uterine infection (pyometra or endometritis) is seen in female cats (queens) that have not been spayed and are greater than 5 years of age. Treatment involves spaying and the use of antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection."
Uterine infection is usually seen in female cats that have been partially spayed or not spayed at all. A feline uterine infection is either a condition called endometrial hyperplasia or pyometra. It is a term used to describe changes in your cat's uterus. These changes sometimes allow bacterial infections to take hold. These infections are known as pyometra or endometritis.
Pyometra occurs when the uterus become filled with pus and then becomes infected. The bacteria and toxins leak through the uterus into the blood. This leakage can be toxic to your cat and has to be treated on an emergency status to avoid the death of your cat.
When the uterus is functioning properly the uterus enlarges when your cat is in heat. If the body doesn't clean itself well after heat then bacteria can take hold.
It is seen in cats as young as 5, but usually at the age of 7 or older. Endometritis is treated with a combination of spaying and antibiotics.
Feline Uterine Infection Symptoms
- Sticky reddish/yellow pus (possible to have no discharge)
- Unusual Smell
- Low energy
- Poor appetite
- Distended firm Abdomen
- Avoidance of being touched
- Increased thirst
- Increased Urination
The condition pyometra has more puss, but less uterine inflammation. Symptoms appear 4 weeks after your cat is in heat.
Diagnosis of Cat Uterine Infection
Cat uterine infection is difficult to diagnose. Tests are done with a "smear" which is a sample of cells from the cervix.
A queen (female) cat may appear pregnant but in fact has pyometra. Your veterinarian will do tests such as ultrasound or x-rays which will help to diagnose the condition.
Cat Uterine Infection Treatment
Endometritis is treated by spaying your cat (ovariohysterectomy) plus antibiotics to kill any infection.
Pyometra is treated with spaying (ovariohysterectomy) where the uterus and ovaries are removed.
Spaying for both conditions is more involved than normal spaying and will cost considerably more. There is an alternative treatment use the injection of hormones, however, the pyometra could return at a later time.
Cats that are not treated with spaying do not recover from the condition.
McGinnis, Terri DVM
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