Can one of you guys (and I'm not at all knowledgeable about this aspect of whelping) -- define for him what you are referring to as "open pyo" -- just to clarify terms?
In cases *I* have known where pyo infection is found typically they spay THEN. But I have a feeling what Gina is referring to as "open pyo" is when it has ruptured and gone systemic. In that case you wouldn't want to make ANY cuts but you'd just treat with massive antibiotics.
Also -- could someone else verify this for *me* -- it's my understanding that a mature (as in geriatric) bitch will have lessening bleeding as she ages -- that it becomes almost imperceptible in appearance.
They don't go thru menopause like a human woman and "stop" cycling.
Just wanting a little clarification here. And I also know primary behind John's question is the IMHA issue (he has a dog with IMHA and he's actually one of the primary ones who keeps that 200 page thread going with his research -- so his questions are all going to serve as information for IMHA-dog owners.
Just trying to keep the vocabulary on common ground here -- you get used to thinking one way when you're thinking about IMHA (and the things that trigger it) and pyo treatment and spay surgery are kinda at opposite ends of that spectrum.
The bottom line understanding for ANY lurkers has to be that pyometra is a viscious nasty disease and one you need to protect your female from. If you choose to leave her intact in her younger years that's one thing. But I've seen dogs even under a year old develop pyometra.
No, it's not super common -- but it's the responsibility of every human who HAS an intact bitch to understand the always-possible element of pyometra in an intact bitch and that such a possibility increases almost exponentially as they age past the prime breeding age.
A couple of years ago a casual friend of mine was relating to me that her under-a-year-old bitch had just gone thru her first heat and how "funny" it was to see the dog moping around and dragging a toy around and how "different" she was ... but that she was still spotting just a little (5 weeks after onset??) and I told her to get her dog to the vet NOW.
She had never heard of pyometra -- she gave me a HARD TIME bout this because she was SURE little poochie was just SO cute and she'd promised the guy at the PET STORE that she'd bring her puppies in to see him some day *sigh*.
It ticked me off because she thot the dog's morose behavior was funny -- but I put the fear of doG in her a little bit (imagine that - ME? forceful??) and told her if it WAS pyo she could lose her precious bundle EASY.
Yep -- it WAS pyo and little Poochie got spayed in a heartbeat (the vet didn't even tell her anything else was an option -- thankfully so -- good breeder material she is NOT)
But intact bitches of any age can get pyometra. But old gals really don't stand much chance.
John -- my best guess is that the surgery likely saved her life -- and it would be typical by anything *I* have ever seen done (and I've fostered MANY older bitches recently-spayed and one who HAD suspected pyo).
IMHA is just something pretty newly named -- even 10 years ago if a dog had slipped into IMHA after something like this, no one would have thought a thing of it -- simply because the treatment for Pyometra is SO difficult, the drugs are harsh, surgery at that age IS risky and if a dog became anemic afterward and died no one would have questioned it.
IMHA isn't totally new -- it's just newly "recognized" - if that makes sense. And as I said above -- likely it wasn't just the surgery and pyo treatment -- I bet she got vax and a bunch of other things so it's pretty impossible to even guess what triggered the IMHA.
I'd even hazzard a guess that since tick disease and IMHA are often inextricably linked, that pyometra and IMHA could also be -- because it's an infection that goes septic so easily. Did that make sense?
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