Cita – Owners Surrender Dog to Shelter with Preventable Illness: Pyometra

Cita’s owners noticed that Cita was sick. She stopped eating, was vomiting, and had discharge all over her tail and hind legs. Cita’s owners took her to a veterinarian, who suspected Cita had an infected uterus, known as a pyometra. The vet explained that Cita needed emergency surgery to save her life, but her owners were unable to afford the surgery and instead took her home with antibiotics.

Within a few days, Cita’s owners were unable to give her the medication, so they brought her to the animal shelter in San Jose and made the difficult decision to sign Cita over to the shelter. Cita’s owners gave the shelter permission to euthanize Cita if the shelter staff determined that she could not be saved.

When Cita was examined by the shelter’s veterinary staff, she was very sick, one of the sickest pyometra dogs we’ve seen. She was drooling excessively from nausea. Cita was also lethargic and could barely hold herself up.

After examining Cita to determine whether she had any additional medical issues (she did), our medical team anesthetized her for emergency surgery.

Cita - Owners Surrender Dog to Shelter with Preventable Illness: Pyometra

Cita’s belly and hind end, covered in blood and pus from her infected uterus.

During the emergency surgery, we removed Cita’s large, infected uterus along with a ~1 cm mass located in her mouth. The mass was submitted to our laboratory and later determined to be benign.

Cita - Owners Surrender Dog to Shelter with Preventable Illness: Pyometra

Cita’s large, distended uterus, filled with pus.

After surgery, Cita took a while to wake up from surgery, but she did so without any complications.

The shelter’s veterinary team continued to provide medications to Cita to help her feel better and fight the infection that may have spread past her uterus and into her body (sepsis), causing her to be as sick as she was.

After emergency surgery, this sick girl was feeling better enough that, within 24 hours, the shelter’s veterinary team could no longer safely medicate her as she was trying to bite us. We gave her long-acting injectable medications and reunited her with her owner, who was very happy to have her back.

While our shelter does not always reunite surrendered animals with their owners, we always want to provide an animal with the best possible outcome. Since Cita’s owners were willing to put Cita’s life first, giving her up to give her a chance to live, and eager to take her back, we were willing to reunite Cita with them when Cita started to show behavioral concerns.

We also hope that Cita’s owners learned a valuable lesson about the importance of spaying pets before their first heat cycle as the pyometra that nearly claimed Cita’s life was completely preventable.

5 thoughts on “Cita – Owners Surrender Dog to Shelter with Preventable Illness: Pyometra

  1. That was so great of you to reunite her with her family..I don’t know if i could have done that. To me at that tie, the dog would have come first.

    1. I dont think I could of given her back either. Id be too afraid she would end up dead from some shelter murdering her.

  2. That was SO great to save Cita’s life, but it seems to me that the owners didn’t deserve to have her back again. The only reason was that she acted aggressively towards other people. In my country
    ( Sweden ) they normally don’t spay female dogs like they do in the U.S. and that’s also because of the costs that is extremely high to do so in Sweden. Obviously there are certain breeds that are more disposable to get pyometra than others, and it’s common that female Labs tends to get it more than other breeds.

  3. Excellent! In this case, Cita going back to her people promotes health awareness and compassion in her extended family and friends. I hate that she suffered and was effectively abandoned, leaving both the vet staff and the family in anguish, and yet her recovery should do so much good. Brava!

  4. I hope they were made to sign a waiver that if they decide to get rid of her then she has to come back here

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