8-Year-Old FI Golden Retriever

Signalment & History

An 8 year old FI Golden Retriever presents with a 2 day history of lethargy, inappetance and polyuria.

On physical examination, she is pyrexic.

Left lateralVD Abdomen


The homogenous soft-tissue opacity of the uterus, in combination with the clinical signs is most consistent with pyometra


You have found a soft-tissue opaque, tubular structure between the colon and urinary bladder consistent with an enlarged uterus. Together with this patient’s clinical signs of pyrexia, lethargy, inappetance and polyuria you have a high clinical suspicion of pyometra.

Pyometra is the accumulation of purulent material within the lumen of the uterus. Pyometra, in particular closed pyometra (where the cervix is closed preventing drainage of the pus) is a potentially life-threatening condition due to the development of septicemia and toxemia.

It is common for bitches with pyometra to have developed the disease within 12 weeks of the last estrus cycle; progesterone in diestrus decreases systemic immunity, causes closure of the cervix and proliferation of the endometrium, increasing the risk of bacterial colonization of the uterus.

The most common pathogen causing pyometra is E. coli; a fecal contaminant. E. coli contains endotoxin which leads to septic shock and systemic illness, as well as causing polyuria and polydipsia; a common presenting sign.

Treatment of closed pyometra usually involves removal of the uterus. Open pyometra can be treated medically but decreased fertility may ensue.


Pretzer (2008). Clinical presentation of canine pyometra and mucometra: A review. Theriogenology, 70 (3), 359-363