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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16709
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My dog is a mini pin, about 7 years old, has not had her

Customer Question

My dog is a mini pin, about 7 years old, has not had her cycle for a while until just recently, about ab week, starting with spotting but now is heavy, she seems to have gained weight, did not eat yesterday which is unusual, she always had good appetite, walks very slow, can't climb stairs I suppose because as I said she seemed to have gained weight, is not been herself, is this normal?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: I just did, her paws are fine
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: Fifi
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Fifi?
Customer: Not really, as I said is that blessing that started two days ago, I feed her once a day even though I have been told small dogs should be fed twice but I got concern with her weight, I also take her to the park to the park daily to exercise
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.

Dogs continue to cycle throughout their entire lives, they do not go through menopause like people. She may have been having silent heats or such small amount of discharge that she was able to keep herself clean and you weren't aware of them.

This cycle sounds like an abnormal heat cycle with heavy bleeding that has continued longer then usual.

Because she seems "bloated" (has seemingly gained weight) isn't eating as usual, and is moving slowly I am more concerned.

An increased vaginal discharge can indicate endometritis, which is due to a thickened, abnormal uterine lining. This wouldn't necessarily be dangerous for her, but it would indicate that she likely has abnormal fertility because of her thickened uterine lining. This should not lead to changes in appetite or weight gain.

Another reason for an increased discharge can be a uterine infection called a pyometra. Pyometras can rupture, causing peritonitis and/or the infection can spread to her other organs leading to abscesses in her kidneys, liver spleen and even her heart valves. The toxic metabolites from the infection can affect her appetite and cause her to drink lots of water as the infection progresses. As the uterus enlarges it can make their abdomen look bigger.

Early on the symptoms of an open pyometra and endometritis can be very similar as long as the pyometra is draining. That is because if the infection is draining she may not feel the effects of the bacterial toxins as quickly as if the infection was closed in and the toxin levels build up more quickly in her uterus and bloodstream.

Antibiotics alone do not work to treat a pyometra as they have poor penetration into an infection filled uterus and do not address the pool of infectious material and toxins in her uterus. We sometimes use prostaglandin injections and combination antibiotics in dogs that owners want to breed another time, but the success rate is variable. And even if it works if she isn't bred successfully on the next heat the chances of the infection returning are very high. At her age it is unlikely that she would be a good candidate for breeding anyway.

Ideally she would see her veterinarian for an examination and to check her vaginal discharge to try and differentiate between endometritis and an early pyometra. Today would be best because her appetite is off. The sooner that she is examined the better as if this is a pyometra the sooner that is addressed the better chance she has of doing well. Treatment for a pyometra is stabilizing her with intravenous fluids and antibiotics and surgery to remove the infected uterus. The longer that you wait the more opportunity this infection has to spread and the more difficult it will be to save her.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK how much is something like this is going to cost? I want to do what I can for her, on a reasonable budget, I am not currently employed full time so finances are tight, but as I said if treatment now will avoid her getting sicker and is some what affordable there is no question I will do it, I live in Bergen county, little ferry, I guess a Google search will give me places where to take her?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Every clinic sets their own prices so I cannot tell you what a particular clinic will charge.

Fees will depend upon how sick she is, and therefore how long she needs to be hospitalized, the difficulty of the surgery (how big the uterus is, bleeding, how friable the tissues are, whether she is overweight as increased abdominal fat increases surgical difficulty).

I would estimate at least $700-800 for an uncomplicated case at a general practice clinic. But being the weekend costs can double or triple, and again will depend upon the difficulty of her particular situation.

You can run a google search for local clinics. I am not familiar with your area. Or here is a link to a website that may help you find care for her:

If your regular veterinarian is beyond your means financially now your other option is to contact your local shelter or humane society and see if they run a low cost clinic or know of one in your area.

If not here is a web-page that lists some that may be able to help:

Other sources of help can be found here:

Best of luck with your girl.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****