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Hi everyone & thanks for always being here. I've been in such a state for over a week that I hadn't even broached posting here as I didn't think I could write a complete sentence. I still feel like I have a shovel in my gut.

We are the boarding family of precious 5 ½ year old Stella. I’ve written here about her from time to time. She's my angel. She goes to her breeder 1-2x per year for breeding/attempted breeding. She conceived once and resorbed in 2008 then had a beautiful litter (and I loaded the site with pictures☺) in summer 2009.

Her most recent heat began about 7 weeks ago she was bred at the end of February. Her breeder wanted a pregnancy ultrasound at about 4 weeks. I took her to my local vet on Thursday, March 29 and she had an u/s: negative for pregnancy. The vet mentioned "fluid filled uterus" (but didn't mention any more) - not a peep that this could be the fatal pyrometra that affects intact dogs.

On Friday – Saturday she was more lethargic than usual and avoiding her food. By Saturday night/early Sunday AM she was vomiting and (I thought) peeing everywhere. I immediately called my vet off hours, they referred me to the nearest emergency vet. We headed there immediately and I left messages via text, phone and email w/ our breeder to get her into the loop.

Once we arrived at the emergency vet early Sunday AM the vet diagnosed open Pyometra, did bloodwork, another u/s, and insisted on an immediate hysterectomy. By then my breeder was on board having talked to the emergency vet and me, and wanted us to bring Stella to her – about 3 hours away – she wanted to treat her with antibiotics and other meds.
We did this and according to daily texts from the breeder, Stella is recovering well. She’ll be having another u/s tomorrow and if it is clear and her progesterone is level, I’ll get her back.

This is been one of the most wrenching times of my life. Nearly everything I read said that a spay was the gold standard/only real option for this, with rare exceptions being made when the pyometra is open (that is: discharging pus from the uterus, which Stella was doing). It appears my girl is pulling through but I have a terrible feeling/fear of her contracting this again. I’m also absolutely furious that my local vet didn’t suspect pyometra upon noticing “fluid in her uterus!”

Any support, thoughts, prayers, wisdom so appreciated you all have no idea.

Many thanks. Hug those golden babies today.
 

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Oh man, when I started reading I really didn't expect Stella to make it. I'm so glad she did. I'm surprised she wasn't spayed. I'd probably get a couple of vet opinions on that before letting the issue go with your breeder.

Thanks for putting a personal face on this important issue. It's one thing to read about the rates and outcomes of pyometra generally. It's another to hear about it happening to an individual dog.
 

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I'm very sorry to hear about this! I feel that if you have an agreement with a breeder, they should discuss the possibility of pyometra with you from the very beginning. Not only to make everyone aware of how life threatening it is-- but to make you aware of the signs so that a bad situation can be averted. I'm glad it seems like Stella is going to make a full recovery. Phew!

I have heard of repro vets having some success treating pyo with a course of meds. Most vets/owners/breeders may not opt for a spay in a young bitch with a dynamite pedigree or one that conceives and whelps easily and will really add to their program.
 

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babettesfeast

Babettesfeast

I am praying for Stella. I also am surprised she wasn't spayed.
 

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I am all too familiar with pyo. I am so glad that Stella pulled through. Was it closed or open? Did the vet tell you that she should be bred on her next cycle and that any other open seasons will be high risk for another? The breeder should consider removing her from her "program", as it has been suggested by some repro specialists that it might be familial, and she could produce daughters who are predisposed to pyo. I hope that the breeder was responsible for the vet bill, as well.
 

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My heart stopped at the beginning of your post. I am so, so glad she is doing ok. However, I am appalled that the breeder would choose to try and save the uterus instead of saving your girl by spaying her.

Pointgold is an expert, please take her advice and have a serious discussion with the breeder about how to take care of her going forward and what needs to be done to give her the best chance of staying healthy.

Just my personal opinion, but I would not risk her getting pyometra again, the odds of losing her are too high. I wish you had control of making the choices for her health.

Again, I am so, so glad she is doing ok!!!
 

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I am so glad that Stella appears to have pulled through this!

I cannot believe the breeder would not allow the spaying to happen. To me that speaks volumes about the priorities of that breeder.
I was trying really, really hard to be diplomatic. I've posted before about not being a fan of these "boarding/breeding/whateveryawannacallem" situations. It's nothing more than a way for a "breeder" to have more active reproductive organs available without having to actually care for the dog, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thank you

Thanks so much for your love and support, everyone. I simply want my baby back healthy and healthy for the rest of her life. I swear I'm as unraveled now as I've been about my child! And I do not unravel easily!
Love to you all... sometimes we forget that what we do on these boards in addition to celebrate and console is very important work...
 

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I am on board with everyone who wants to see the dog spayed... Glad she is doing well. She is 5 1/2 yet reabsorbed in 2008? Was she under two when first bred?
 
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So glad she has recovered!

My friend used to breed English Mastiffs. She lost two to pyometra.

Her heartdog had pyo when she was younger, and they were able to treat it medically, after that all females she owned were put on antibiotic during their seasons. Her heartdog then got pyo again later in life, had an emergency spay, but never fully recovered.

She had also bought a very expensive show puppy, and was keeping it at her mentors place. One day he went out to the kennel, and the dog was very ill, and passed from pyo. I think it might have been her first heat.

I think I would be a nervous wreck if I always had to worry about this. I would really have a chat with your breeder in getting her spayed.
 

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What are your rights as far as having her spayed? I can't believe the breeder's choices! UGH! So grateful she is recovering!
 

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The more I think about this breeder the more I'm glad she isn't standing in the same room with me right now. She wouldn't like what I have to say .. at all. What a greedy woman who has no business having dogs!! Her attitude about spaying says it all.

I'd take Stella away from her - through legal means if necessary - if you truly care about Stella.

That's as diplomatically put as I can muster.
 

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This is horrible, I hope Stella comes home to you very soon and the breeder thinks very clearly about not breeding her again.
 

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I also agree 100% with what everyone is saying about getting her spayed! Please, please have a discussion with your breeder to do this for your dog, it sounds like the best option.

If she is insistent to breed from her in the future she doesn't seem to care about the well being of your dog...and this is by far what is most important. Not sure what your rights are but I would seriously try and get it done. Glad that she's recovering at the moment though, it must have been a terrible experience for you.
 

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Many breeders have successfully treated open pyos and gone to have successful breedings from these girls. BUT, these were all experienced breeders, who understood the girl needed to be bred on her next season and who understood that she could pyo again. In 30 years, I have had 2 girls (1 Golden and 1 Pug) pyo and because I knew what to look for, I was able to catch it early. Both girls were spayed immediately, because neither was that crucial to my breeding program and the Golden's pyo advanced VERY quickly. IMO, it's a very hard thing to ask a pet owner to go through.

And yes, I would furious with your vet! What the heck did he think a fluid filled uterus meant anyway? It's certainly not normal.
 

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Many breeders have successfully treated open pyos and gone to have successful breedings from these girls. BUT, these were all experienced breeders, who understood the girl needed to be bred on her next season and who understood that she could pyo again. In 30 years, I have had 2 girls (1 Golden and 1 Pug) pyo and because I knew what to look for, I was able to catch it early. Both girls were spayed immediately, because neither was that crucial to my breeding program and the Golden's pyo advanced VERY quickly. IMO, it's a very hard thing to ask a pet owner to go through.
And yes, I would furious with your vet! What the heck did he think a fluid filled uterus meant anyway? It's certainly not normal.

And I can pretty safely say that the dogs that breeders have taken such extraordinary measures to treat in order to be able to breed had much to offer the breed, a history of health clearances, and titles. This was the case with my Can Am Ch Halltree Lyric Moment, CD, OD. And even still, I'd have spayed her in a NY minute if it was the only choice. And frankly, I don't know if I'd treat another pyo instead of spaying.
The OP's poor girl is 5 and a half. She apparently means nothing to the breeder other than as a money maker. The OP, on the other hand, loves her dearly, cares for her every need, and wants nothing more than for her to live a healthy, LONG life...

And that vet is scary...
 

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I think a lot of assumptions about this breeder are being made here on very thin evidence. I agree that it seems like a spay was in order, but without knowing more, and as the experienced breeders in the thread have mentioned exceptions, it seems unfair to denigrate this breeder based on incomplete information.

Besides, insulting an unknown breeder is pointless anyway.
 

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I think a lot of assumptions about this breeder are being made here on very thin evidence. I agree that it seems like a spay was in order, but without knowing more, and as the experienced breeders in the thread have mentioned exceptions, it seems unfair to denigrate this breeder based on incomplete information.

Besides, insulting an unknown breeder is pointless anyway.
All I will say is that no assumptions have been made on my part.
 
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