How Long Does Pyometra Take To Kill A Dog? An Ultimate Answer

How long does Pyometra take to kill a dog? It is a crucial question that you should know the answer to before making the spaying decision for your dogs.

Dogs with Pyometra are more likely at risk as the uterus is threatened with infection, affecting their health condition.

I understand your worry. That’s why I’m here to explain more about the sickness with its progression, symptoms, causes, and how to cure your pet. Follow up right now!

What Is Pyometra In Dogs? 

how long does pyometra take to kill a dog


Pyometra is a dangerous infection in the dog’s uterus where the pus accumulates. It usually happens to non-spayed female dogs over six years old, 4 to 8 weeks after their last heat.

Since the cervix is open during the heat, bacteria easily come inside and flourish, causing the terrine wall to be thicker and full of fluid.

Gradually, you may notice your pet has some symptoms of malaise.

Types Of Pyometra

How long will my dog live with Pyometra? It might depend on the type; the disease has two types: Open Pyometra and Closed Pyometra.

Open Pyometra

With this type, the dog’s cervix is relaxed, and the discharge from the vulva looks like pus and has a foul odor.

Sometimes, you may find the pus with tomato soup color on the floor or in the areas where your dog rests. Besides, there can be no other symptoms.

Open Pyometra is considered less dangerous than the other type, but it can still cause endotoxemia if improperly treated.

Closed Pyometra

Contrary to the first type, a closed Pyometra means the pus can’t leak out but is trapped inside the uterus, causing abdominal swelling.

The enlarged infected uterus can be too heavy for the dog to get up normally. Its rear legs also experience weakness.

Since, in this case, the pus can’t be released, there’s a higher chance that your pet’s bloodstream will get some bacteria toxins, leading to endotoxemia.

How Long Does Pyometra Take To Kill A Dog? 

It depends on what type of Pyometra your dog has (Open or Close). However, both cases require prompt action and emergency surgery as soon as you spot a symptom.

If left untreated, fatality can happen within 24–48 hours.

How fast does Pyometra progress? It also depends on the disease type and the dog’s specific situation.

With the open cervix case, the symptoms may take days or weeks to show up.

On the other hand, closed cervix cases can develop quite fast, even within a few days or hours.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pyometra? 

How long can a dog have pyometra before symptoms

How long can a dog have Pyometra before symptoms? It’s difficult to say how long your pet has suffered from the disease before the first symptom appears.

Still, pay close attention to your canine at the time of 4 to 8 weeks after a season if it has one of the following common symptoms:

  • Require much more water than usual (due to the kidney failure in retaining fluid well due to the infection)
  • Urinate more frequently
  • Lost weight
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomit (but if your dogs vomit stones, it indicates different reasons)
  • Breathe with difficulty
  • Lost of interest
  • Lick the vaginal area
  • Pale gums
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal distension
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge (with pus and blood). It’s commonly seen when the cervix is open. If the cervix is close, this sign may not appear.

So, among the above symptoms, what are the late signs of Pyometra in dogs

When you see your pet is sick and lacks energy and enthusiasm, it means the uterine infection is getting worse.

But anytime you notice any prodrome above, contact your vet as soon as possible to increase the chance of survival.

Causes Of Pyometra In Dogs

The stimulation of hormones (including the hormone estrogen and hormone progesterone) in the uterus is known to assist the development of the disease.

During the hormonal cycle, if the uterus gets some bacteria inside, the natural hormonal action in the ovaries will encourage the bacteria to spread and cause infections.

The disease also can happen when:

  • The dogs have urinary tract infections
  • The virginal area is not clean
  • Your pet did estrogen injections to prevent pregnancy after mating
  • The use of progesterone (for oestrus delay)
  • The dog’s urine wall gets inflammation postpartum 

What Is The Prognosis Of Pyometra? 

The prognosis of the disease is based on the dog’s health status and infection level. Plus, if cured early, the prognosis will be much more positive.

Most canines will recover fully after the treatment.

After medical treatment (without surgery), the success rate is reported to be more than 80%, and the fertility rate is almost 70%.

However, the prognosis of recurrence is relatively poor. 30% of treated dogs face the sickness again after 2 years.

The key is you need to detect the disease early since prompt action can save the pet’s life.

When the disease is ignored, your dog can be in serious medical condition because of uterine rupture and sepsis.

Uterine rupture is also the cause of more than 8% of the mortality rate after surgery.

Pyometra Treatments 

What are late signs of pyometra in dogs


Spaying dogs is the best way to prevent this common (or, in some cases, deadly) disease.

With neutering, female dogs will not go into heat; thus, the urine wall will not be thickened and infected by any cyst.

Though there can be stump pyometra, the remaining uterine tissue can still be inflamed if the part is accessible. However, it rarely happens.

If you can’t spay your dog, be more aware of the potential symptoms above to best prepare for the bad scenario.


The diagnosis will be performed based on the canine’s symptoms and physical examination.

The clinical signs that appear 2-4 months after the recent heat may not be enough to conclude. Yet you should tell your vet about the estrus cycle of your pet.

An ultrasound scan or X-ray may be conducted to confirm the situation. Radiographs show if an enlarged uterus presents (usually as a mass).

Ultrasound examinations are also important as ultrasonography can show abnormal results with a correction rate of 90%.

In addition, the vet may require a biochemical profile and blood tests, including CBC (a complete blood count).

The former is needed to evaluate the increased level of liver and kidney enzymes and globulin proteins.

Meanwhile, the latter can indicate the increase of white blood cells and the decrease of red blood cells.


Once Pyometra develops, dogs get weaker quite fast, and you should not ignore or cure it at home with antibacterial medications.

You’d better bring your pet to the clinic for surgery.

Using only antibiotics may or may not help, depending on the situation.

For example, if your canine is young and quite healthy, the medical treatment can work, but it’s not recommended.

For those who are old and not meant for/are not able to breed, surgery should be done.

Veterinarians will remove the uterus and ovaries, which typically happens in a spay procedure.

Surgery works quite effectively to prevent recurrence and other uterine diseases.

Your vet will start giving antibiotics before the surgery and after it for 7-10 days.

Recovery And Outlook

As mentioned above, medical management can sometimes be accepted but is not advisable.

After the treatment, the risk of having the disease again may be reduced in the next oestrus cycle. However, if it reoccurs, the pet needs to have surgery to remove the uterus.

After the surgical treatment, the vet will prescribe a two-week course of oral antibiotics. A post-operative check is also required after 14 days to ensure your dog recovers well.

For optimal healing purposes, follow the vet’s instructions and don’t let the pet exercise too much. You should encourage your dog to urinate after surgery if there’s any difficulty.


The ovariohysterectomy surgery costs around $1,000 to $1,500, depending on your region and clinic.

The Bottom Lines 

How long does Pyometra take to kill a dog? This life-threatening infection can take the life of your pet away within 1-2 days if left untreated.

It means the earlier the canine gets cured, the higher chance it will survive and recover well.

Be attentive to your dog after 4-8 weeks of her heat! If you notice any symptoms mentioned above, speak with your vet immediately to have the proper diagnosis.

In most cases, spaying dogs is highly recommended. It is a common and effective treatment to clear the issue and prevent the recurrence risk.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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