Pre- and Post-Operative Instructions

Pyometra Surgery

Small brown Dachshund puppy named Wayne

Learning that your pet needs surgery can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are unsure of what the procedure entails. At Anicira, we work with pet parents to ensure that you are well informed before your pet’s surgery. Our veterinary team provides compassionate care before, during, and after surgery to ensure that your pet is safe and comfortable.

What is Pyometra?

Pyometra is a life-threatening infection of the uterus which requires emergency surgery. This infection occurs in pets who are not spayed and is a result of hormonal changes after a heat cycle. About 25 percent of unspayed cats and dogs experience pyometra before the age of 10. During surgery, the infected uterus and ovaries are removed.

When is a pyometra surgery recommended?

Surgery is recommended for all pets displaying symptoms of pyometra. Early detection and treatment of a pyometra infection lead to better surgical outcomes.

Symptoms of Pyometra include:

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Low energy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Vomiting

Pre-Surgical Instructions for pyometra surgery

Admission Time – Bring your pet to Anicira at 7 am.
Pre-surgical exam – Your pet must be in good health and show no signs of sickness such as coughing, sneezing, runny eyes, or diarrhea.
Medical records – Please bring proof of rabies vaccination if this has not already been provided. If your cat or dog has not been previously vaccinated or lacks proof of vaccination, we will administer a rabies vaccine on the day of surgery. If you have not already sent your medical records, please bring all relevant medical records.

Feeding Instructions
Adult Dogs over 1 year Withhold food for all adult dogs after midnight the evening before surgery. Please ensure water is available at all times.
Adult Cats under 1 year Adult cats can have food without restriction of amount up until 6am the morning of surgery. Please ensure water is available at all times.
Puppies and Kittens under 1 year Feed a small meal (¼ of their typical breakfast) to all puppies and kittens on the morning of surgery. Please ensure water is available at all times.

What happens during pyometra surgery?

Before surgery, our veterinary team will perform a thorough pre-surgical examination to ensure that your pet is a good candidate for anesthesia. It is strongly recommended that your pet receives pre-anesthetic blood work to ensure that no health concerns go undetected.

Your pet will be stabilized with intravenous fluids and then they will be sedated and placed under general anesthesia. The surgical team will prepare the surgical site by shaving then cleaning the area to remove bacteria and decrease the likelihood of post-surgical infection

The surgeon will make an incision in your pet’s abdomen, remove the uterus and ovaries, and then close the incision.

Caring for Your Pet After Pyometra Surgery

Anesthesia takes 24 to 48 hours to wear off.

  • Your pet will be groggy during this time period.
  • Keep your pet confined in a secure, quiet, and comfortable space. We recommend a crate or a small room.
  • Isolate them from other pets and children while recovering.

Make sure your pet wears their Elizabethan Collar (E Collar / Cone)

  • Your pet’s surgical site will take 10 to 14 days to heal. During this period, they should wear an e collar at all times.
  • Allowing your pet to lick their incision can lead to infection and scarring.
  • Offer food & water after surgery

When your pet returns home, offer them food and water

  • Anesthesia may cause nausea so your pet may not be interested in food
  • If vomiting occurs, wait 12 hours before offering more food.
  • Resume normal feeding the day after surgery. If your pet was very sick before surgery it may take a few days for normal appetite to return.
  • If your pet refuses to eat, you may try offering a bland diet such as white rice and boiled chicken breast while they regain a normal appetite.
  • Please do not feed your pet junk food, table scraps, or milk

Give all medications as directed

  • Your pet will be sent home with oral pain medication. Please follow the instructions on the label.
    If possible, please give the pain medication with food. If your pet has no appetite please ensure that they still take the pain medication.
  • OTC pain relievers such as Tylenol and Advil are toxic to pets. Please do not give these to your pet.

Check surgical incision daily for the first week

  • Your pet’s surgical site will be healing for 10-14 days.
  • What you see on the day of surgery is what we consider normal
  • There may be moderate bruising.

Limit your pet’s activity and keep them clean, dry, and warm for 10 days after surgery.

  • Keep your pet away from all potential hazards (including stairs)
  • Pets should be kept indoors so they can stay clean, dry, and warm.
  • No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity.
  • Do not bathe your pet or have it groomed during the recovery period.

How effective is pyometra surgery?

Pyometra surgery is a highly effective life-saving procedure.

Pyometra Surgery Complications – Rare, but serious

  • Sepsis
  • Bleeding
  • Spreading of bacterial infection to other regions of the body

Please contact Anicira, your primary care veterinarian, or an emergency clinic if any of the following occur:

  • No urine passed for more than 24 hours
  • Pale gums
  • Severe pain, depression or weakness
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea
  • Labored breathing
  • Decreased appetite for more than 24 hours
  • Lethargy lasting more than 24 hours
  • Abdominal pain and swelling