« What is the best way to prevent pyometra ? »
My answer, in one word : « Gestation. »
The person I was talking to sounded surprised. « Really ? I was thinking more of an antibiotic treatment. »
And I can understand why she would think that.
Pyometra literally means « pus in the uterus ». And true, it is associated with a a bacterial infection.
But it also develops because of hormonal impregnation.
The sex hormone involved here is called progesterone. It is secreted in the bitch and queen (as well as in all other mammals) after ovulation.
Among other things, it blocks the uterine contractions.
It closes the cervix, this anatomical structure that makes the connection between the vagina and the uterus.
If some germs are present in the uterus, when this one is under progesterone impregnation, well, they are trapped.
They cannot escape.
Which means all conditions for the development of pyometra are then met.
There are still many unanswered questions behind what leads to the development of pyometra in bitches and queens.
But here, one thing remains : best prevention = gestation.
That is even more true in a bitch or a queen that had a pyometra before and was cured following medical treatment.
For you guys breeding dogs and cats, what does it mean then from a practical standpoint ?
Simply that you need to make sure you do everything you can to optimize fertility in your breeding females.
In the bitch : it starts with a timing of ovulation.
In the queen : a proper breeding protocol will definitely help.
If you want to prevent pyometra, that should definitely be your priority.
In a world where antibiotic resistance is on everyone’s lips, that’s definitely the best approach I think.