Carroll County Animal Hospital

August Case of the Month: Izzo


Izzo, a 7 year old female chihuahua mix canine presented to Carroll County Animal Hospital for lethargy, decreased appetite, and discharge from her vaginal area. Izzo's owners noticed these clinical signs about 2 days ago. She is not spayed and she went into her last heat cycle about one month ago.

On exam, Izzo is depressed. She is an ideal weight. Her temperature is low at 99.8 degrees F. Her heart rate and respiration are normal. Her mucus membranes (gum line in her mouth) are tacky and dry and not moist like they should be. When her abdomen is examined, she grunts in pain. Izzo has excessive bloody discharge present from her vaginal area.

A full panel of blood work was performed including a complete blood count and chemistry profile. Izzo's red blood cell count was found to be extremely low and her white cell count was found to be dangerously high at 82,000(Normal is 5,000 to 16,000)indicating a very bad infection. On the chemistry panel, Izzo's blood sugar was low at 69 (Normal is 74-143).

X-rays of Izzo's abdomen were performed. Please see the image below.

This is a lateral view of her abdomen. She is laying on her side with her head facing the left and hind end is to the right.
There is excessive fluid present in the uterus (White tube structure close to the right side of the picture).

Izzo has a pyometra, or infection of the uterus. This condition is a result of the female canine's inappropriate response to progesterone following ovulation (heat cycle).

The treatment should be prompt and aggressive. An I.V. was placed in Izzo. Fluid therapy, antibiotics, and pain medication were administered to Izzo. She was stabilized so that her temperature became normal and she was no longer dehydrated.

She was then taken to surgery to have an ovariohysterectomy performed (spay procedure). Izzo spent several days in the hospital but recovered well from her dangerous condition.

This condition can be avoided if you have your female dog spayed at 5-6 months of age. Spaying at this time also decreases their chances of developing breast cancer later in life.

Izzo is playful and back to enjoying life as a lap dog!