Pyometra symptoms and treatment in dogs

Pyometra in female unspayed dogs is very risky.
Pyometra in female unspayed dogs is very risky. | Source

Another reason why dogs should be spayed


The simple thought of having a female dog potentially go through a condition as serious as pyometra, should allow new owners to quickly make the decision of having their dog spayed. Pyometra is basically a life threatening infection in the uterus causing an accumulation of pus in the uterine cavity. The condition appears to typically occur in non spayed female dogs over the age of 6 years old.

Typically, a case of Pyometra may present approximately between 4 to 8 weeks after the last heat. Because during a dog's heat the cervix is relaxed, bacteria may easily have access and flourish on the thickened uterus walls. Once the bacteria has set ground, shortly thereafter, the uterus will become thick, fill with fluid and cause symptoms of malaise in the dog.

Symptoms of Pyometra

There are two types of Pyometra: open and closed.

  • In an open pyometra, the cervix is relaxed and the dog will have a foul pus like vaginal discharge often resembling tomato soup. Such discharge may be found on the floor or in places where the dog lays on. There may not be many other accompanying symptoms.
  • When the Pyometra is closed, the dog pus is trapped inside causing the uterus to enlarge often causing abdominal swelling. Some times the enlarge uterus become so heavy that the dog has a hard time getting up and the rear legs will be weak.

Because of this toxic build up, closed pyometra affected dogs will begin to appear lethargic for no reason. They may refuse to eat and may drink a lot of water in an attempt of flushing the harmful bacteria out. The increased drinking obviously will cause increased urination. Vomiting and diarrhea may also develop. If left untreated, the uterus may rupture and the dog may develop sepsis with a high fever with rapid pulse and symptoms of shock. The condition at this point will ultimately be fatal within 24-48 hours.

Diagnosis of Pyometra

Any time an intact female dog becomes sick for no obvious reason it is a good idea to rule out this serious condition. Diagnosis is usually obtained via blood work confirming signs of infection such as a high white blood count. An ultrasound or X-ray may show a uterus filled with pus or enlarged.

Treatment of Pyometra

When diagnosed early treatment can be very effective, Treatment mainly consists of fluids to correct dehydration. Antibiotics to fight off the infection and surgery which in reality is the a spay with the removal of the uterus, The surgery per se can be quite risky, because any spill of the toxic contents of the uterus may cause peritonitis.

In some cases, when the pyometra is open and the dog is a dam used for breeding, antibiotics may be given and prostglandins(Lutalyse) that relax the cervix and stimulates contractions that help remove the pus from the uterus. However, there are high chances of the pyometra to recur unless the dog is bred on the next heat cycle.

As seen, Pyometra is a very serious condition not worth the risk. If you own an intact female, but yet, you are not a professional breeder, it is strongly advised to have your dog spayed.

Vet explains pyometra

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Comments 86 comments

henry 7 years ago

I do recommend spaying your dog aswell, my dog just got pyometra and she suffered a lot, and it cost me 2,300$. And even after the surgery they re not sure if she will make it.

Sage 6 years ago

my Dog just came out of surgery and she doing way better her stonmach gotten way skinner at first it was big but it went down now she can walk and everything when we went to go see her yesterday she was up walking and everything so we go get her today at 1:00 .

Mel28 5 years ago

This is an awfull thing for a dog, mine in vets waiting for emerg surgery, im hoping i hear good news when i call in morning.she not old atall...... Not quiet 4!

Laura 5 years ago

My baby has just had emergency surgery tonight and it's still touch and go whether she will pull through but I had her to the vets on Monday and she was just coming off heat and I mentioned to the vets that she was loosing a thicker blood bit clotty and they never picked up on it. I have taken her back today because she looked to have an eye infection and that is when they have picked up the Pyometra she was ready for rupturing and I mentioned that we had had her there on Monday and that no one had picked up on why she was so poorly.The vets said that she could have developed the pyrometra with in 24 hours ...Do you think they are just covering their backs...May I add that my dog hadn't been herself due to the fact that she started being Epileptic less than 3 weeks ago and she isn't 4 yet....Please if anyone has any answers please help I nearly lost her and I am gutted.

Michelle 5 years ago

Hi Sage or Henry, I was wondering how your dog is from her surgery . My Shana just went in emergency surgery today with the same thing were all praying that she pulls through it all and back to her happy self . surgery went well now its the wait with IVs flushing her out . good luck

Amy 5 years ago

My dog was spayed 3 and 1/2 years ago with 1 ovary left as the vet said it was better for her health. She has gone into heat every 4 to 6 months ever since. The vet explained that she has cysts on her remaining ovary. When I asked about surgery, the vet explained that it was not recommended and would be dangerous. The vet´s therapy has been to give the dog hormone injections each time she went into heat. The last time she went into heat, my husband and I said that we felt that surgery was necessary. We went to another vet and explained the situation. To our horror, the new vet found that our dog wasn't spayed but that her tubes were tied and her uterus was completely cut up. Vet 2 performed emergency surgery and found that the dogs spleen was very inflamed. My dog has been in the vet clinic for over a week now with septic peritonitis. She is on IV fluids and has not eaten for over a week. She is now beginning to drink water and fluids. Her spirit has improved and a can take her on slow and short walks. She is only 4 and I can't imagine losing her to such negligence on the first vets part... What is the prognosis for her?

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Septic peritonitis may have erupted as a complication from surgery or as a result from pancreatitis, pyometra and other conditions causing the upbringing of material and microorganisms into the dog's bloodstream.

Prognosis obviously varies depending on how quickly treatment is sought and response to antibiotic therapy. The first few days are the most critical, so if your dog is doing better it is a good sign.

According to the article below: survival rates range wildly between 27 to 80% so as seen it is difficult to give a straightforward answer. Sending best wishes your way for a full recovery.]&hl=en&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShjhWDeNPwFxGL4cNigLVY3Tg1sgFczVUQLSLTLLuFN_pHJB_TFHpMCEJ_P8iXyi2lbYh3LO3mSZWHEUuZGbpfwvnOrzZVkzX_b9HOTQMpwme5LXw3vsxNllAma5BX1-tPKPkLx&sig=AHIEtbTVNXVaxEvtOy4ZWKteQPKbdHkz8g

Derena 5 years ago

My 6 year old sheltie was fine on Friday night, ate her dinner, went to bed normally. At 6.00 am Saturday morning she was lying on the floor and could not move. We rushed her to the vet to be told it was a closed pyometra, temp of 105, blood pressure in her feet. She was on a drip for 4 hours to stabilise her and had surgery at 2.00 pm - she came through the surgery but has serious sepsis and the vet has told us to expect the worst. She is haemorrhaging from the bowel, with bloody diarrhoea. I am at my wits end. Friday evening she was fine, now we are living on a knife edge, just waiting on the call, the vet has said, her organs will probably shut down, as a result of the sepsis. We are heart broken over this dreadful, silent disease.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

I cannot imagine how terrible and nerve wrecking the wait may be. Keeping fingers crossed for the best.

Derena 5 years ago

Many thanks, her breathing is now laboured. Just waiting on a call from the vet. I think its time to make a decision. I am devastated. She is only 6 and has been placed at Crufts, best in show, best of breeds,group wins etc., She is so precious to me.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

I am so sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, closed pyometra is one of those conditions with quite a poor prognosis, a very unfortunate event. Sorry you are going through such a devastating ordeal. Sending you a virtual hug.

a m 5 years ago

Two weeks ago, my female dog 6 years of age had vaginal bleeding. Prior to that, she had bouts of scanty vaginal bleeding. I called a vet and he said that my dog might be just "menstruating." I thought it was not anymore normal that she was bleeding (Blood oozing from her vagina) with every movement. So I called in a vet to pick her up and sent to a hospital. The suspected pyometra and she turned out to be positive with adult heartworms. They were supposed to perform removal of her uterus and ovaries but they said that it would be a very risky procedure since she has heartworms and already 6 years old, which might cost my dog's life soon they said. After 9 days, they sent her home since the bleeding has already ceased but she has a distended abdomen, and they put my dog on supportive medications: Furosemide 40mg 2x/day, Pet tabs 2x/day, Milk Thistle (Silymarin) for the liver, and doxycycline 2x/day. What is the prognosis of my dog? Do you think she'll pull through. She was breathing fast and always panting. What should I do? Please advise. I can send you images or video of my dog if you want :) Thanks.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

It never hurts to ask the opinion of another vet.. have they prescribed anything to get her rid of heartworms? or did they assume it was too risky? Her prognosis ultimately depends on what grade of heart worm she has, here is a table:

Tahlia 5 years ago

My dog sharna is 15 to 16 nearly and just started to worry because she was leaking white fluid from her vagina we were worried thanks to google I found out what she has got now its just decision to if we should get her surgery or not

Linda 5 years ago

My boxer is only 17 months and has been diagnosed with pyometra. She is now recovering after surgery. Is my boxer very young to have this, I thought this was a condition older dogs developed.

Saorabh 5 years ago


I have a small side dog and she is around 10.5 years now.

She has pyometra and the vet is suggesting immediate surgery. the only concern we have is that even after the surgery, if she suffers more due to her age and that she is quite weak at the moment.

We had seen the vet on friday noon and was her surgery was scheduled for saturday morning, but after getting to know about a few cases totally gone bad with a dog as a small size and this age having surgery during pyometra, we kinda got in double mind and have asked the vet to postpone it to monday.

meanwhile, we are going to see another vet to ensure that the surgery is the last option we have.

Meanwhile, a family friend doctor has advised to give her tablet norflox and also some paracetamol drops morning and evening.

My worry is that till yesterday her cervix must be open that pus was dropping out of her uterus, but since morning there is no pus and she doesn't seem quite comfortable. If the cervix has closed and we are waiting till monday, could it lead to something leathal?

I am just looking for the best solution to her problem. Be it whatever.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

With such a serious condition I would be concerned on waiting too long, so I would personally feel safer having her see a vet as soon as possible since she does not seem to be getting better.

Chop Chop Lover 5 years ago

I feel for everyone learning about this deadly disease and am having an issue myself. I rescued a 3 year old? chow mix dog and the Vet checked her and saw a scar so he and also another Vet who did vaccines thought she was spayed. I noticed she was not eating recently but drinking lots of water and took her to the vet right away first day after she stopped. 3 days and 3rd Vet later he diagnosed her with quick results blood work and ex-rays saying he suspected pyometra. I told him to fix her that day and he did surgery to remove it. He said the surgery looked good and she seemed ok when I got her and was improving every day with no signs of pain and wanted to do her daily walks but never would eat and after a week still will not eat anything. She likes to drink a lot of water still as before surgery but seems ok except for that not eating fact. She took her antibiotics for 4 days of injections and oral meds and is almost her self personality wise and her activities. I am always home and I try every few hours many dry and wet dog foods and even human foods and her treats she used to crave. Took her back 2 times to Vet that did surgery and he can not find any problems and the blood work is normal after 1 week post surgery. Now 9 days after surgery she still refuses food. Any suggestions or ideas are appreciated. Going to another Vet starting today with all records and blood work and will try a new Vet a day until she starts eating. Please help!

Saorabh 5 years ago

Hi Alexadry,

thanks for your suggestion and concern. The other Vet who i took her said that she doesn't seem in as bad condition as been said by the previous Vet.

Got her blood test and culture report. Things seem to be as such ok.

This new Vet has given oral antibiotics - Norflox 200 mg(1/4th - mrng and evening) and she is again going to have a look this coming saturday.

the new Vet said that Spay would be the last option she should go for.. since she is around 10 years+ and at this age and the size, its quite risky taking anesthesia.

I hope this antibiotic works and we don't have to go for her surgery.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Chop chop lover, I have no idea how to help you. I wish I could but I am not a vet and the vets you saw are already doing their best. I hope your other vet figures something out for you, best of wishes.

Chop Chop Lover 5 years ago

Thank you alexadry for your concern and wishes. I got my dog to eat finally but it was a scarey 10 days or so until she would eat anything. She at least was drinking lots of water to survive. I consulted another Vet who ran more blood work to test liver, kidney and pancreas etc. which showed she was good after the pyometra surgery. My Vet agreed with me thinking that she may be in pain and gave her a pain injection and a liquid pain medicine that I could get her to swallow 2 times a day since she would not swallow pills or food. She suggested a Royal Canin Vet food for gastrol intestinal distress and human heartburn medicine Pepsid AC since she thought she may be sick to her stomach with heartburn etc. I enticed her with boneless skinless chicken and lean hamburger cooked in water as I slowly got her to eat human food and a few days later she began to eat some of the Vet food and some beef wet dog food but I had to feed her with a spoon. She finally got her appetite back for her treats and her dry dog food eating more each day after almost 2 weeks and did not need me to spoon it to her. Now she is back to eating her normal amount after 3 weeks since she got ill and seems back to her happy self patroling the yard and wanting to walk twice a day and she is not tiring at all. Hope my experience helps others who are having similar problems. Jim

Raj 5 years ago

Hi My Female dog pet who is my life is 10 years and diagonised with pyometra.she is oozing pus out. She has been weak and the psu is dark green and her stool is watery mud brown. we have put her on Byroin tb 150 mg (i assume it is antibiotic) as advised by vet. iam asked to go in for Emergencysurgery and am really really very concerned about the safety.How safe are these surgeries considering she is 10 years.she has lost weight as the pus is thck and green and coming out in small clots.

Chop Chop Lover 5 years ago

I think Raf that you must make a decision quickly like I did. My decision was to let my dog have surgery right away and my Vet was optimistic he knew what to do to save her and she would do well. I would do some research on success rates for this surgery since it is available here on this hub and on other sites. My dog was a chow mix who I rescued and we estimated her age to be 3-6 years old. I saw my girl was not eating and was lethargic for just a couple days and the other symptons were just starting. So I took her to the first Vet to find out why. 3 Vets later he did the surgery as soon as he diagnosed it as pyometra. I gave the ok since he told me survival is dependant how advanced the pyometra is. My dog had eating problems after surgery as I posted in this hub (read what I wrote) but she is almost 4 weeks post surgery and back to being herself in all ways including her appetite. Good luck!

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K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California

Fantastic information on Pyometra! I am linking in with a new hub. Thanks for always having such spot-on canine research.


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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Not to happy actually about it, this was probably written some years ago, I do better hubs now and should re-model all the old ones, lol!

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K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California

I found it to offer the exact information I needed to assure my readers get the best experience. But, I always find your work a great linking choice! ;)

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks K9, you are really kind!

starr 4 years ago

Our 8 year old blue heeler just had the surgery. She also had to have 2 blood transfusions one before and one after surgery. I can only get her to eat chicken breast cooked in the crock pot. She is also losing all her toes and pads on her front paws. It is absolutely horrible. Like some flesh eating disease. We still do not know what is going to happen. There needs to be more awareness about this disease.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Starr, I never heard of that! that is awful, I hope they figure out what is causing that; it does not sounds like something that would happen in this condition.

aims 4 years ago

My dog has just been diagnosed with Pyometra.hers is open. She is 13 and the vet says with or without the surgery she will die. I have her on antibiotics and a pain killer because she also has arthritis. I am giving her a fighting chance just because I know she is strong. I am losing my bestfriend and I can't do anything to help her. Today she was a different dog. She was happy, wanted to play catch. I saw hope in her. Although she doesn't want to eat. I don't want to put her down but I don't want her to suffer. If I put her down I'll never know if she would've beat the odds. I feel very heartbroken and extremely lost. I know if she dies from this it will be painful for both her and myself, but she is a tough girl. Please can I have some advice. Thank you

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Aims, is there an underlying medical condition? I am not sure why your vet is not wanting to perform surgery,the only way I know of that antibiotics will treat a pyometra is if used along with a drug to cause uterine contractions, called prostaglandins. Antibiotics alone will not treat a pyometra. It may be worth it to ask a second opinion.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Old age is not a disease, if they perform blood work, she may be OK to have surgery. I have seen vets perform this surgery in dogs as old or slightly older as yours with success. See if another vet is willing to give prostglandins and suggests surgery. If you do not have her spayed, the next time she comes into heat, she may likely have another pyometra. Best wishes!

sarah 4 years ago

All three of our dogs had pyometra and survivred theres were closed. Now this other dog has open and is on antibiotics hoping she makes it

cyndy428 4 years ago

I took my female in for an ear infection 9 yrs ago and they did blood work cost over $500. Vet did not even check for Pyometra. Two weeks later was told emergency surgery at $2400 and she had little chance of surviving. Sad at prices charged by many vets and their lack of knowledge. She died horribly. If not breeding a dog then should be spayed

Chop Chop Lover 4 years ago

I agree cyndy428 sad but true. I am sorry to hear of your loss and pain. Many Vets charge so much for so little and the test results some use take several days. Time is important for proper diagnosis and to save a life since dogs don't tell you how they feel. I posted my story above in this Hub and now a summary here. I almost lost my rescue chow mix last September, she would not eat and it took almost two weeks for three vets to figure out what she had. And I took her in right away after two days of her not eating and lethargy. The tests results from two vets took several days and she got worse fast. Luckily my third vet was smart, did tests, got results in a couple hours, recommended x-rays and we found it (the pyometra) and did surgery immediately to remove it. He charged me only $1500 for tests and successful surgery and follow-ups.

The previous two vets said she had already been spayed (had a scar) and never found anything after $1000 in tests. One thought she had valley fever--wrong. Anyway she was saved and is doing great and I always recommend friends with dogs not spayed to check for that. Spaying is important!

Rick 4 years ago

It is amazing how lack of knowledge could pay such a hjgh cost (fatally) just to love a pet. My parents never allowed me to have a pet of any sort. Now in my fifties I accumalated two collies one spayed one not both from the same kennel. The non spayed developed pyometra at seven years. Did not know what it was or how fatal it can be till I read your feedback columns. Now I'm scared of losing my girlfriend, and I can't bare the thought. My other dog is a year older and a half sister. They are inseperable. I beleive it is time that first time pet owners take a twelve week course on raising, living with and handling of a pet, with all the signs of complications that could arise. No more broken hearts, and loss of a life. This should be mandatory through the SPCA. God love our pets cause we do. I pray for all and hope for the best. I am not too late for mine but it will be a long road to recovery.

Mom542 4 years ago

We are going throw all of this now, with our 9 year old baby girl. They thought she might have a Pyrometra, but did Xrays/blood work and do not see an enlarged uterus. They are leaning towards a Mammory Gland infection as she has some pus draining from one of her teets. She also has very little puss draining from her Vulva. This all occurred yesterday after noticing the night before, that her breathing was labored, she was shaking (feared a fever) and she didn't eat and was lethargic. Off to the vet the following morning (yesterday 7-23-12). She is on Antibiotic only and we are doing hot compresses. It is important that she eat with the Antibiotic, but I cannot get her to eat anything. Even Bologna which she would have grabbed from my fingers previously. I have placed a call to the Vet today, but am still concerned that maybe she DOES have a Pryrometra, that somehow went undetected in the Xray. Thoughts anyone?

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

This is something you should really discuss with your vet to see if he may have missed something. At times, in advanced mastitis some dogs may experience loss of appetite, lethargy or fever. This hub may give you some idea for the pills:

Roger 4 years ago

We just lost our yorkie to this awful disease. One day she was lively and playful, the next she was gone. At 12 years old we elected not to have the procedure done for fear she would not be able to handle the surgery. Now we second guess ourselves. In our case, once detected, the seriousness of the disease went fast (about 24 hours). I urge anyone reading these comments to PLEASE have your dog spayed early in age to avoid this terrible end of a great relationship with your dog. Once the puss starts draining out it is very often too late. It is awful to see the suffering knowing there is nothing you can do to help.

NicG 4 years ago

My 10 year old Jack Russell/Collie cross is undergoing surgery now (Tuesday) She became lethargic on Sunday. She wouldn’t eat anything and only drank a very small amount. During the night she was panting heavily & then I noticed discharge (obviously the pus draining) She wouldn’t even take a drink and I had to carry her to bring her outside. I rang emergency vet who met me and immediately diagnosed a pyometra. She had a temperature and was very tender but her heart was ok. He gave her an anti-inflammatory and also antibiotic injection, took blood for tests and arranged for her to be admitted the following morning. She was livelier but still wouldn’t drink or eat. Brought her to the vet yesterday morning and she was put on a drip immediately. They did a scan and reckoned that although it’s not too bad I had done the right thing by acting quickly. Her bloods showed her to be healthier than most 10yr olds. It is 'open' and he assured me that it would be a success although mentioning the slight possibility of problems occurring (the scary bit). She looked sad yesterday evening when I called to see her but her temperature was down & she had eaten a small amount. I hated leaving her as she has never been on her own before (She did have a wolfhound as company though) but I knew I had no option. I went to see her this morning but she was already sedated so I couldn’t get in - my vet said she was lively earlier and if all goes well she can come home this evening. I am a nervous wreck waiting but I am very grateful for the information/posts on this site as I'd never heard about Pyometra before.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Nicg, great to hear you caught this in time. This can really make a big difference! Thank you for sharing you story. I hope all goes for the best, she sounds like a healthy and strong girl! Best wishes for a speedy recovery, keep me updated if you wish!

Nicg 4 years ago

Stitches coming out on Friday. (10 days post op). All well My pet is almost back to herself :-)

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Great! best wishes for a speedy recovery!

D.Churchill 4 years ago

Well our boxer, Cynammin, is 12 years old and we made the mistake of not having her spayed. She contracted pyometra. Bad decision, if I ever get another boxer, she or he will be fixed. My poor dog is really suffering. We had the surgery, but now she is panting when I left her this morning for work. I do believe she will die when I get home, so I am preparing myself. Thanks everyone for the information. I feel so sad about my pet.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

oh, no! If she is panting it could be she is in pain from the surgery. Did the vet give you any pain meds? Can you give your vet a call? Many vets will do follow ups for free or a small fee. I hope for the best.

FC94 4 years ago

My dog was diagnosed with Pyometra today and the doctor recommended surgery. She stoped eating about a week ago but we thought it was the food so we switched it and she ate very little. She drank a lot of water and only last night did she start with vaginal discharge. :( Problem is my mom is out of town she will be back next Friday(a week from now) I don't have the money for the surgery $1600 I had to take my dog to the vet myself. The vet gave her Baytril..he said he was going to check on her the next week. WHEN is it too late for even surgery? Is her infection too advanced by now? She's not eating so I don't see how she's going to be strong enough for a surgery...HELP :'(

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

The earlier the better. This is a serious disease that can go down hill fast, I would be concerned on waiting too long. I would call the vet and ask him since he saw your girl, got her vital signals, and has the best idea on her condition. You can also inquire about payment plans or call around other vets. The humane society may also know where vets charge cheaper or offer payment options. best wishes.

joyce 4 years ago

My dog Coco died few days ago.I suspected she was killed by pyometra because she suffered from all the painful symptoms as stated above : lethargy, excessive of water, totally not eating, distended of abdomen,2 days standing without sleeping, rapid of breathing & panting, but i wonder that she started suffering this awful disease after having stud with a male dog?The disease occurred through sexually transmission?Please advice.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

You can read the answer to this question here:

Sorry about your loss:(

Katrina xxx 4 years ago

My 10 year old german shepard had an operation on Monday for pyometra, she made it through the op but started bleeding afterwards, she died later that night, my vet sais she had a condition that her blood wouldn't clot, im unsure this is the truth, my family is destroyed by her death, i just wish i knew if this were true, if she bled to death or her organs failed, i thought they would have tested her bloods beforehand. Has anyone else experienced anything like this???

rhonda 4 years ago

my sweet ginger a beautiful cream coloured miniature poodle who was much loved by everyone who met her died half hour into operation to remove uterus where vet had done x-rays and blood work with high white blood cell count . at first vet and i decided a few days prior to just put her on antibiotics for two weeks and then spay her. well a few days later she turned for the worst and got chills, very sad looking and lethargic and her stomach bloated. she stopped eating. i rushed her to vet that night and vet to do surgery the next morning. well she did not make it as half hour into operation showed the pus had already leaked out into her whole system. I rushed to operating room to see her and was able to see that the inside of uterus was so infected and pus had gone to other organs. i had to say goodbye to her on the operating table but she died when sleeping under the anaestetic which is a blessing. our family is devasted as she was the love of our home. she went everywhere with us. loved seedo rides, the cottage, boating, and was the sweetest personality. i feel so terrible she died prematurely like this. i had no idea of this dreaded disease. i have always had female dogs who were not spayed but this is my first experience on my dog dying of this. i suggest that vets need to inform everyone coming in with a new female pup to get spayed if not using for breeding. so many people are not aware of this disease. vets need to inform everyone of this on consequences of not spaying - not just because to control the animal population. i have planted a flowering almond tree in my backyard in memory of my ginger who dies oct. 20, 2012. i will always have her in my heart. it is going to take a long time to get over this loss.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

I am so sorry to hear about Ginger, my deepest condolences.

Debbie 3 years ago

I took my 10 year old Husky Freya to the local vet as she cried a couple times after getting up from having been lying down. I had felt around her tummy and groin and found a lump.

The vet was on maternity leave and the locum was supposed to be standing in until she returned.

He was an older quite friendly South African vet.

But he didn't examine her, just felt the lump and said that has to come out.

I said she was intact and that she'd put on weight recently, was otherwise herself but wasn't, if you know what I mean. I explained her pain and the position of the lump in her mammary gland.

Surgery was scheduled for Monday, so we starved her and took her in. Made a point of saying she hadn't wanted to eat the previous day.

Again, several alarm bells should have rung by now.

Assumed they knew what they were doing and would at least give her an ultrasound or look for other problems.

I asked them to look at her teeth and give them a clean up.

Went back for her later and found she'd had four teeth out and was happy all had gone well.

She seemed better when she came home, wanting to eat.

The following morning after starting her on antibiotics she cried again.

So we thought it was pain from the surgery or the antibiotics.

She gradually went off her food through the following days and got very weak on the Saturday evening. We had continually tried to feed her different foods she normally liked, to no avail.

I looked up the antibiotic doses and found that for a 60lb Husky, 250mg of plain amoxicillin was completely inadequate.

So in desperation gave her my 500mg emergency antibiotics.

She got a bit better over night and the next day.

But was not eating still, so brought forward the vet after care (joke) a couple days.

Tuesday we went, they said we didn't have an appointment, but saw us anyway. How they managed to mess up the appt I have no idea.

The vet said she seemed fine, again no examination, just looked at her scar. Then gave us Hills Prescription A-D and to bring her back next week.

So we spent the next week trying to feed her, but she still didn't eat properly.

We took her back, the vet who was standing in, wasn't there, it was a new guy. No one said why.

He just took her stitches out and said it all looked fine.

We said she still wasn't eating. She cried loudly when he leaned across to turn her over on the floor.

I asked about that, he said she was just afraid.

More alarm bells!

I can hear them now, but you trust these people and expect professionalism.

The next few days she still didn't eat. So Saturday we started to feed her by syringe in the side of her mouth. She couldn't stand to put her head over the food bowl, but syringe in the side of her mouth seemed to bypass the insult to her nose.

Sunday she started licking her vulva frantically trying to keep herself clean.

So the hub was sent to inspect after she did this a few times.

There was just a single grey drop outside.

He said it looked fine.

Unconvinced I made the poor man squeeze it. That opened the flood gates!

She poured with pyometra pus and discharge, grey at first, then pinkish brown.

It went on for 12 hours, just pouring out of her.

We started her immediately on my emergency antibiotics as a precaution until we could get to the vets in the morning. We live in the New Forest, and it was Sunday evening now. We wrote a note explaining we thought she had an open pyometra or ruptured cervix/pyometra and put it through the vets door, so they could hopefully prepare for surgery.

We cleaned her and comforted her, mopped and wiped and cleaned up after her until 8 am Monday morning, then went straight up the vets.

The vet wasn't there again, apparently they had suddenly parted company.

Which I now find very suspicious. Had something happened with someone elses animals? Who knows.

More alarm bells should have rung.

They didn't know why we were there!

We had to wait for half an hour for a vet to come from another surgery.

Then he was quite annoyed with me for saying what I thought was wrong.

Obviously I was the idiot and he the qualified vet.

He assured us he could save our Freya. We were worried by this time, thinking she must have had the pyometra untreated for three to four weeks by now. We'd studied everything we could find on the www overnight and knew it meant Kidney damage/failure or liver damage.

But he said, no, she should be fine.

So we decided we should give it a go, if she wasn't going to suffer and end up being put down in the end.

The new vet operated and we collected her later. We had to insist on painkiller, they were sending her home without any. It had to be opiate based to prevent further damage to her kidneys.

She has been home two days now and not eaten.

But she is looking a little brighter.

The hub lies on the floor with her when she cries, his stroking her helps soothe her.

We're trying syringe feeding low phosphorous/low protein mushy dog food. She ate a few chicken tidbits earlier.

We are praying, a lot.

Now if only someone had taken the time to tell us why they recommended female dogs be spayed?

alexadry profile image

alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

I am so sorry you had to go through such an ordeal, sending prayers your way for a speedy recovery.

Jadamybaby 3 years ago

I have a 8yr old mastiff and she has had pyometra twice the first time it wasn't so bad because we caught it fast. to her to the vet got meds to help her they said she needed surgery eventually but never stressed to me that it was very needed maybe because she was still lookng good and being her self and never stop eating or drinking. The second time I almost lost her about three weeks ago but I never gave up on her, she had the surgery abut two weeks ago. Sense she has been bleeding very bad. I have called the vet three times asking questions t make sure this is normall I even to her back and they asure me that her systoms was normal but I'm not sure because she is bleeding like she got shot. I have her in my bathroom and she is ruining it no matter how manytimes we clean it's more and more each time. It lok the the first 48 hours in there blot clots every where and large mass of blood puddles. Has anyone experienced this after their older dog had surgery do to pyometra. Please anybody help share all the info you have. I pray this normal and it wil get better because I love my Jada she is a big part of my family, one of my kids. Everybody loves her my granny, people ask about her like she's a person. They request for me to tell her hi and what's up. I just can't lose her I have spent a lot of money and she came so far to not get better. She is a fighter and she has the will to want t live because she love me and my family maybe more than we love her. Please Help Me save my Jada I will be the first person to call the vet in the morning they gone have to tell me something!!!

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

Jada, I hope your vet was able to tell you something or do something about it. This does not sound normal AT ALL. If your vet thinks it's normal to be bleeding so much, have her see another vet ASAP or take her to an emergency clinic. Please read what this vet says about a similar case where the bleeding is much, much less:

ariesram77 3 years ago

I am so glad that I have found this hub, My Giant Schnauzer is currently at the vet right now recovering from a closed pyometra. For starters I feel so stupid and ashamed for what my carelessness has caused my baby girl. I should've had her spayed years ago but at a very costly stupid mistake I chose not to and what would've only cost a hundred dollars or less has now cost me over a thousand and the risk of losing my best friend.

3-4 weeks weeks ago I had her bred to my male Giant, I already had homes for all the puppies and every thing was great! (Boy was I ever wrong). About 5 days ago she became very depressed acting not wanting to walk very far, not eating at all except for a saltine cracker every now and then. I went on the internet and looked up symptoms of pregnant dogs not eating and found that around 21 days into the pregnancy it is normal for some dogs to become sick acting not wanting to eat, possibly vomiting due to hormonal changes in the dog, as well as increased water intake and output. Well these all fit my dog perfectly, I just knew she was pregnant, after all my dog was around 21 days pregnant, her teets seemed to be getting a little larger, and she was starting to get a little wider around the rib cage, and all the other indications of being pregnant. Well today when I woke up I went to take her out and she could hardly get up, she had urinated beside her bed which she never does, and there was big blobs of orange slimy stool every where. I knew this wasn't right, so I called my vet right away and they told me to bring her in immediately and that's what I did. They checked her out and every thing seemed to be good she did have a little temp of 103, but other then that seemed fine, the vet palpated her stomach to see if she could feel any pups and said that she didn't feel any pups but said something didn't feel right and immediately asked if they could do an ultrasound to see if they could see any heart beats or spines. I agreed to it and a few minutes later she came back in and said she had bad news. My dog was infact Not pregnant, but her uterus was full of pus, and was going to need an immediate emergency surgery. Well in shock I agreed to the procedure and that is where I am at now. The vet called me earlier and told me her surgery went great, she said the uterus did not rupture and they were able to get it out with out any drainage. She said that they did blood work before and after her surgery and said that her kidneys and liver were all functioning well and every thing else looked great too. She said they are going to keep her on IV fluids tonight and if all goes well she should be able to come home tomorrow.

I know my post is kind of long but I wanted to make people aware that it is almost impossible to know that your dog has pyometra if you are also expecting puppies. I was lucky that she had slimy stool or I would've never known until it was too late. Not all dogs experience diarrhea with this disease and some dogs show no signs at all until it is too late. People need to be more informed of pyometra, I have raised and had dogs all my life and have never ever heard of this.

marie 2 years ago

my dog was diagnosed with pyometra on Tuesday,was given an emergency op the next day to spay her,they then noticed she had peritonitis,she had a very low she is still critical was just wondering what the chances of her surviving is,i cant get my head around what is happening as they have said my dog is in a critical state.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

At times, pyometra can lead to secondary peritonitis, when there is leakage of pus from the uterus. The best person to ask in this case is the vet who is monitoring her vitals and can give you updates. Sending best wishes for a good outcome.

Joy 2 years ago

My 4yo chowchow named Xena had her pyometra surgery exactly 24hrs ago. I just visited her a while ago and im worried since she had long sleep last night accdg to the vet (which made the vet also worried) I saw her earlier having labored breathing, has a little appetite but ate just a few small meatballs and cannot get up from her bed. Are these all normal? Please help! Thanks!

Joy 2 years ago

We visited xena again and she got better. She ate already and looks more pleasing compared earlier. I might have been too worried. I hope she gets well soon so she could go home. :)

alexadry profile image

alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

Good to hear Xena is doing better! I have seen some dogs who were very lethargic after surgery, some did't even want to live their heads, but many bounced back. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

terylo25 2 years ago

I just lost my 9 yr old Yorkie from pyometra on 3/31/14 and we are totally devastated! It was very unexpected on a Sunday night right before her spaying appointment on that Monday. I am feeling so guilty for not spaying her a long time ago that I cannot stop crying or thinking about it. I dont deserve another dog as long as I live.

eric 2 years ago

2 nights ago(Saturday evening) I noticed a change in my 13yr old Labrador's activity. She was lethargic, had a difficult time standing, and wouldn't eat. So I looked her over and saw that she was oozing pus from her vaginal area. I immediately started searching for what might be wrong. It wasn't difficult to find that, most likely, it was pyometra. She had finished her heat cycle about 2 months ago, not spayed, elderly, and had all of the symptoms. Not being able to afford emergency care, I looked heavily into problem and it's treatment.

Her being 13yrs old with hip problems already, my financial situation, and looking at so many deaths of older dogs having had the emergency surgery, surgery was not going to be an option. So even taking her to the vet on Monday seemed useless. So I called my mother, who is 70yrs old and a walking pharmacy, to see if she might have some antibiotics. She said she had an unused bottle of sulfameth/trimethoprim 800mg/160mg. I looked it up and found it was a popular antibiotic for dogs. I figured it was worth a shot, so I got it from her. I looked up dosage information and figured with her weight the 800mg would work perfectly.

I gave her one. About 4 hrs later I gave her another, and would proceed to give her one a day after that. It's Monday afternoon and only 4 pills later, I have got to say, the change in her behavior is amazing. She is starting to eat, she is drinking plenty of water, and she is walking around as if nothing was wrong. She still doesn't have the the energy to run around much, but she was just outside playing in the sprinklers(one of her favorite pastimes). I was so happy to see that, it brought tears to my eyes.

So far the antibiotics have decreased the swelling to almost her normal size. Her change in attitude and energy is almost miraculous. So I have two questions for you.

First, have you ever seen, experienced, or heard of a purely antibiotic treatment(successful or otherwise) for pyometra?

Secondly, is there any literature on the treatment of pyometra that shows that antibiotics will not work without prostaglandin?

Thank you for your time.

eric 2 years ago

I have read a few documents on why prostaglandin is needed, but I have yet to find any studies on antibiotic treatment failing to cure pyometra. If the infection goes away, can't the body resort back to normal function of luteolysis?

alexadry profile image

alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

If your girl was leaking fluids, she likely had open pyometra which has a better prognosis than closed. This link takes you to a person whose vet prescribed antibiotics and the dog seemed to get better. Surgery though was still recommended as there are risks for recurrences.

Here is another vet explaining how it's rare for antibiotics alone to treat pyometra as they may not be successful in completely removing the pus from the uterus:

This vet talks about the role of hormones:

alexadry profile image

alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

Here is another vet explaining the importance of prostglandins:

Jessica 2 years ago

I took my yorkie to vet and was diagnosed with open pyometra. Told me she wouldn't make it through surgery because she had lost so much weight plus the fact that her temperature had begun to drop. She hadn't walked eaten or gone to the bathroom in days. They sent me home with antibiotics and the option to bring her back in 24 hrs to be euthanized. She had what appeared to be a seizure the following day but as of yesterday shes been walking around, eating and going to bathroom. She is still resting a lot but have seen a 70% improvement. Called vet and she is amazed at improvement. Have to go in for more antibiotics Monday. Her stomach is now starting to swell..I dont know if its because shes eating or what . Any idea on this?

alexadry profile image

alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

Pyometra rarely gets better with antibiotics alone, and when they are prescribed, they are usually given with prostaglandins which encourage the uterus to contract to expel pus and bacteria. I am not sure if your vet prescribed prostaglandins. Any how, the swollen abdomen is concerning. Even though an uterus is more likely to rupture in a closed pyometra, it can also happen in an open one simply because the walls of the uterus are diseased. A swollen abdomen in pyometra is often indicative of the uterus spilling out its contents. I would follow up with the vet or get a second opinion to see what is causing the swollen abdomen.

mickey 19 months ago

my 9 yr old german shepehered was gone through pyoetra surgery but after surgery she is so weak and even could nt walk..her head shivers and its been 11 days shes not eating by herslf..and her stool is watery and black..pls suggest something

alexadry profile image

alexadry 19 months ago from USA Author

That's very scary, I would see another vet and see what they suggest if your current one isn't giving you any help or support. It sounds like a complication for the surgery. Perhaps see a veterinary internist for a proper assessment. Have they done blood work on her? The black stool is suggestive of bleeding somewhere and that's not good! Please see your vet, nothing really you can do at home at this point!

kelsey 14 months ago

hey i really need help my female 6yr old american bulldog had open pyometra she is back home its been 12 days since the op and she has alot of virginal blood and some clotting we took her to the vets but they don't know what is wrong with her and sent her home and told us to keep an eye on her please does anyone know if this is normal or is she in danger im really worried.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 14 months ago from USA Author

This is something you need to discuss as soon as possible with the vet that carried out the surgery, if they are of no help, see a specialist. Your vet should not have sent your dog home with these symptoms, they should have run some tests to figure out what is going on.

julie 12 months ago

My 7 yr old dog went threw pyometra surgery 8 days ago she got septicima collapsed day of surgery it was 50/50 she been home a week recoverin well but 2 days ago stopped eatin now being sick back to vets today prayin for her she only gets of her bed to wee and be sick so sad to see her so dopey after she perked up was playing before .... if you have a female dog get her spayed its horrid goin threw this pain

oceane 12 months ago

Hello. I have a dog name coco, she is about 13 years old. matess and toy poddle mix.the Vet found pyometra and immediately decided to give her a surgery. I was asking if she will go thrus this. He said she will be ok. By look at her blood work, she is normal before the surgery. I have her done on last Sat morning. now she has been at home for two days. she is very weak, not eating or drinking . leaking pees LOT and have black stools. we tried to feed her some protein shake, milk, and water. and of course giver her antibodies and pain killer twice a day. she just on the bed whole day , hardly move anywhere. what can I do to help her? i am really worry, and scary. thanks

My baby lola 12 months ago

My Lola was fine until one morning she became lethargic ,vomited and would just lay down. When I took her to the vet she put her head sideways on the floor while standing ,she was diagnosed with pyometra. She went straight into surgery ,she ruptured and her heart stopped ,we had her 10 years and was one of 4 dogs ,we are heartbroken for she was a strong girl a yellow lab, we never seen any symptoms until that day I took her in

Dutchie owner 10 months ago

My 6 year old Dutch Shepherd is 6 days post surgery after being diagnosed with Pyometra. I wanted to add some symptoms/behavior as my dog was asymptomatic until it was almost too late. Her appetite and energy level was unaffected. Perhaps working dog breeds are different. I came home one evening to a house with every cushion off the couches and chairs. As I hadn't seen this behavior in years (as a puppy she regularly displaced every movable object in the house) I was confounded...but she ate normally with gusto and it wasn't until later that I noticed she was panting unusually (while lying in relaxed position) and she kept "burrowing" into me as we sat side by side. She was consistently licking her vulva and it was then I saw that it was very swollen and had a pus discharge. She wouldn't settle down at bedtime, insisted on jumping into bed with me over and over (she never sleeps in the bed) and eventually I gave up, letting her in the bed. Fitful night - no sleep for either of us...panting and whining and burrowing continued. The next morning a trip to the Vet confirmed Pyrometra and resulted in emergency surgery. The Vet called the next day advising the results were e coli bacteria and she had been very close to being septic. She seems to be recovering well now. Just wanted to put the word out that symptoms vary and strong dogs may keep secrets. It breaks my heart now to think that she was in so much pain that day...she had apparently torn the house up to show me her suffering. They can't talk...but they do what they can to tell us.

Megan 9 months ago

For about a week I noticed my dog was peeing about 3 times per hour and drinking a lot more water than usual. We were confused but didn't think much of it. On Satuday morning, she had a reddish brownish discharge flowing out of her, but she still acted normal. We made sure we contacted the vet, even though they were closed, the decided they would take her in. They gave her blood work, an ultrasound, and hooked her up on meds to bring down the infection after being diagnosed with pyometra. On Monday, today, she had her surgery, and she is home sleeping right now. She is very upset, a lot skinner, but she made it through the surgery:)

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alexadry 9 months ago from USA Author

Thank you so much for sharing your story and symptoms you observed in your dog with pyometra. Fortunately, you were attentive in recognizing that something was not right. I am sure it will turn helpful to others, best wishes for a speedy recovery.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 9 months ago from USA Author

Megan, best wishes for your dog's recovery.

kathyp 7 months ago

We lost our little coco on Thursday 17/3 She was pregnant our male dog was the father. She was due to give birth when she stopped eating, got very lethargic, the vet told us she was going into labor. 2 days later, I rang the vet she still wasnt eating her stomach seemed to have dropped and she couldnt walk without collapsing, I took her straight to the vet. He was amazing with her. He did an ultrasound and what he saw was purely shocking. He told me she was in sceptic shock and the puppies had all perished due to the poison that had gone right through her. There was nothing he could do. She was shaking very badly and was discharging. He said there was really no choice but to put her to sleep. The vet told us it was more than likely pyometra. But him, like us with the first symptoms of her not eating and being lethargic put it down to the onset of labor. I like many of u had never heard of pyometra before. Reading others comments on here has made me realise it is so much more common than id ever realised. The vet did tell me it wasnt my fault, there wasnt anything I could have done, as it happened so close to her giving birth, that only the ultrasound when we took her in confirmed our little girls condition. I think we are still in shock, have cried alot and have been giving lots of cuddles and extra love to our 9yr old boy (the father), who by the way is missing her terribly. Please everyone i cannot stress enough, if your little girl is pregnant and she has the symptoms of going into labor, please go to your vet to double check that she is in labor. I dont want anyone to go through this most horrific nightmare that we have just been through. Goodnight our little Coco, dance with angels little girl.

Tammie 6 months ago

I have a beautiful 12 year old border collie/husky mix. Her name is Jedi. We had always hope for her to have puppies one day. She wasn't interested in any of the male dogs. LoL We noticed she was groaning a lot a month ago. We were told it was her teeth & she had one removed. I told the vet she was licking her vulva a lot & seem to be in heat. They dismissed me.

11 days ago, she was playful, ate normally. At 11pm, I found her on our tile floor shaking uncontrollably, almost convulsing. We took her outside & she had several bowel movements. She laid in the grass & her abdomen was still in spasms. My gut instinct said uterine infection & take her to ER stat. They confirmed by x-ray she had a pyrometra. She was given a shot of antibiotics & pain meds. They told me to get her in our vet STAT that morning. Poor thing kept shaking & now whimpered. She went to our regular vet & they told me emergency surgery & her life was threatened. I WAS SHOCKED! There was no time for antibiotic regiment. I gave her hug & wondered if it was the last time I see her alive. I'm crying now. Later, they called she was in recovery and they had also removed a golf size tumor! It was a rough 3 days. She whimpered a lot & didn't want to eat or drink. We managed to feed her with shredded chicken & turkey lunchmeat. Finally, she got stronger each day. She got her stitches removed yesterday. She still has a mucous like discharge from vulva they say from removal of vaginal tumor. Told me not to worry. I'm insisting on ckup in 1 month.

We had many prayers for her from family & friends. Lord has blessed us!!

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alexadry 6 months ago from USA Author

Tammie, so glad your precious dog has survived this terrible condition! Best wishes for a speed recovery.

Helen 5 months ago

My beautiful blue heeler got spayed at 8 months of age due to pyometra. So grateful after getting a second opinion from a different vet who acted quickly and saved our dog.

Liz 2 months ago

Im home alone and my parents arent here and i have my 13 year old golden doodle with me. She is bleeding and leaving pools of blood with a little bit of white wherever she sits. She is sleeping alot but she has always done that. The blood is also all over her but tail and back legs. She also has trouble getting up sometimes but is that just because she is a little over weight? She hasnt eaten alot over the past few days and this has been going on for a couple of days. Is this Pyometra or is she just in heat. And i cant take her to the vet im not able to drive seeing as im only 13. And my parents are far away im only with my older sister but she isnt old enough to drive either and also none of us have money to take her to the vet. If anyone knows if this is Pyometra please inform me. Thank you so much for reading this also.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 2 months ago from USA Author

Liz, if this does not look like the usual discharge you usually see when she is in heat,it could be pyometra. When was her last heat cycle? Considering that she also seems unwell, I would call your parents and have them call your vet and let him/her know what is happening. Some vets will allow a payment plan Hopefully, with the help of your parents you can take her in.

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