Metritis in Dogs: Understanding Uterus Infections in DogsMetritis in dogs is an infection of the uterus, during or after pregnancy. It is different than a pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus unrelated to pregnancy.
Metritis SymptomsMetritis can be diagnosed based on symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, a sick female, and a larger volume of uterine and vaginal discharge with a thick dark color and a foul smell.
Causes of MetritisA retained pup that dies inside the mom can lead to metritis. Other causes include retained placentas, or fluid in the uterus.
There are steps you can take to lessen the chances of your female developing this infection. Using calcium such as Breeders' Edge® Oral Cal Plus during labor can reduce the risk of a placenta being left in her uterus. In addition, knowing how many pups the female should have and intervening if all the placentas have not passed using oxytocin and calcium can save the cost of medical or surgical intervention, the female's uterus and possibly her life. Working with a veterinary clinic that has the ability to take high quality x-rays is essential. Taking her to the vet without breakfast and after walking her to have her have a stool is an important part of getting an accurate count.
Treating MetritisTreatment of metritis in dogs consists of antibiotics, drugs to help the uterus empty, probiotics, and supportive care including fluids and medications if needed to manage vomiting. After 24 hours post-whelping, oxytocin will no longer help the uterus to contract. If a retained placenta is diagnosed or suspected, a prostaglandin injection can help the uterus empty. If a retained pup(s) is diagnosed based on ultrasound, palpation or x-ray, surgery is usually required to manage the metritis. After more than 24 hours from the last pup passing, the fluid around the pup is gone, and the pup adheres to the uterine lining, making the pup almost impossible to pass without surgical intervention.
If you have more questions on metritis in dogs, call a Revival Pet Care Pro at 800.786.4751.
Marty Greer, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.