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Metritis In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Metritis In Dogs

Metritis is defined as inflammation of the endometrium lining of the uterus that develops in the immediate postpartum period and occasionally after abortion, miscarriage, or breeding.

This is different from a pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus unrelated to pregnancy. Metritis is most often associated with dystocia, retained placentas, or fetuses.

The bacteria that are most often responsible for uterus infection are ubiquitous, commensal, gram-negative bacteria. Escherichia coli (sometimes staphylococci and Proteus sp). Rupture of the amniotic sac allows the travel of microbes from the vagina.

These microbes colonize the devitalized uterus and can lead to infection and inflammation. And if left untreated, the infection may lead to infertility, followed by septic shock- a lethal condition.

Symptoms Of Metritis

  • Bad smelling vaginal discharge (with or without pus)
  • Fever
  • Dark red gums
  • Dehydration
  • Swollen abdomen (like dough)
  • Lack of milk production
  • Neglecting pups
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate (systemic bacterial infection)

Treatment Options For Metritis

  • Antibiotics - cephalexin, cefpodoxime, ceftiofur, etc
  • Intravenous fluid and electrolyte therapy to restore and maintain fluid and electrolyte levels
  • Clearing off uterine contents
  • Treatment options include oxytocin (Pitocin, Syntocinon)or F and E series prostaglandins – to stimulate contraction of the uterus.
  • Ovariohysterectomy(spaying) is most often the treatment of choice. This is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus. This routine surgery takes about a maximum of 45 minutes and has little or no risk. There will be no pain and dogs feel only a little discomfort.

Home Remedies For Metritis

  • There is no specific home care for metritis; this disease requires suitable veterinary care.
  • When proper diagnosis is done, make sure your pet is provided with all prescribed medication.
  • Recovery of infected dog includes hand-raising any puppies. This is to confirm that there is no risk of infection of a mother dog passed on to their pups.
  • Your veterinarian may prescribe the proper food regimen required to keep your pet as healthy as possible.

Prevention Of Metritis

Early detection is the only way of prevention. Awareness about the triggering of metritis in female dogs will help the pet owners to prevent this type of inflammation.

As metritis is a uterine disease, spaying your dog spayed actually the suggested method of treatment in most cases because it takes away the risk of future or recurring infection.

Visit the veterinarian to examine the dog just about 24 hours after the initial delivery. From there, the vet can help drain the uterus if needed and decrease the chances of triggering a uterine infection.

Taking the dog's temperature daily after delivery is another good idea to manage any infection. A rectal thermometer is a good option. A rise in temperature rise indicates the presence of infection.

For infected dogs, Vets may suggest handing the dog’s puppies because the infection or medication may be passed to the puppies.Don’t forget the follow-up visits with your vet.

Affected Breeds Of Metritis

Female Dogs

Additional Facts For Metritis


The bacterial infection (metritis) is commonly caused by Escherichia coli (E.coli), but sometimes staphylococci, streptococci, and Proteus are also responsible.

Metritis may be prompted by:

  • Problematical birth
  • Prolonged delivery (possibly with large litter)
  • Natural or medical abortion or miscarriage
  • Obstetric manipulation (like amnioscopy, amniotomy, vaginal examination)
  • Natural or artificial insemination (rare)
  • Unbirthed fetus or placenta


Acute metritis: this occurs during the early postpartum period and produces evident signs

Chronic metritis: persistent inflammation and produce no noticeable signs or mild symptoms


  • Complete physical exam
  • Complete blood count (CBC), blood chemistry profile
  • Electrolyte panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Bacterial and fungal culture
  • Vaginal cytology and culture


Metritis is not potentially life-threatening and there is no documented mortality rate.


The prognosis is really good mild metritis. As the existing condition is not life-threatening, no rigorous treatment is usually necessary. However, relapse is possible following medical treatment in affected dogs. Proper hygiene and home care are the best defenses against future recurrences.

When To See A Vet

Contact your vet right away, if you notice any of the following:

  • Bad smelling vaginal discharge (with or without pus)
  • Dough like swollen abdomen

Food Suggestions For Metritis

  • Commercial foods should have high-quality, natural ingredients, with no artificial additives
  • Add fiber to your pup’s diet
  • Brown rice, lukewarm (never hot) chicken soup with Low sodium or chicken breast and cooked vegetables is perfect for ailing pup
  • Add a couple of spoonfuls of salmon, tuna, mackeral, anchovies or another fish product to your dog’s food
  • Meat-flavored baby food or bland food
  • Semi-moist pet food with boiled chicken
  • Increase water intake or install a pet water fountain


Generally, early detection during the acute phase and proper treatment results in a good prognosis.

Chronic phase of the disease carry a more guarded prognosis but it can be good if there is no systemic inflammation.

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