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My 16 wk old female purebred German Shephard has been having diarrhea on and off for 3-4 weeks, but in the last 10 days stools are totally normal. Then she started having a milky odorous discharge about 7 days ago, so I took her to the vet. They diagnosed it as a uterine infection (pyometra). She has been eating fine, playing with her sibling normally, also 16 wks old, not lethargic, and has no obvious fever. She has been acting, for all intents and purposes, normal. Just this discharge. She has had a tendency to inhale her food (kibble) when fed, but we have that under control now. The vet wanted to do an immediate spay, but opted for some antibiotics for 10 days. I have no objections to spaying her, as we wanted to do it anyway. However, this is a bit young, I thought.

My question is this: Is there any other condition that could be causing this discharge, other than Pyometra, as I understand is not seen in female dogs this young? And, after doing much research, the infection can spread to other areas of the body, so does removing the uterus, etc, insure removal of the infection? And, any long term effects???

 

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I'd be astonished if a 16 week old puppy had pyometra. But it's fairly common for young puppies to have vaginitis which can cause a vaginal discharge like you're describing..
 

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I would get a second opinion, hopefully from somebody more experienced in reproductive issues. These days, lots of vets are not very experienced in that area. I've never heard of pyo in a young puppy, and I've been showing dogs for over 25 years so I know a whole lot of people with who have owned a LOT of intact bitches.

It sounds like puppy vaginitis to me also. A better vet could also give you an opinion as to whether your puppy's case could be due to an immature vulva. If that is the case, letter her go through one heat may be beneficial. Going through a heat cycle can change the structure and prevent future problems in some cases. Do a google search on puppy vaginitis, there is a lot of information out there.

Puppy vaginitis is very common, my last girl had a mild case. It's something that they almost always grow out of. Lots of vets prefer to avoid antibiotics if possible, because it just comes back when they come off the pills. One thing to be aware of though, is that puppy vaginitis can lead to a bladder infection. Just having that damp gunky area is a perfect pathway for bacteria to get into the bladder. The best treatment is just to keep the area dry and clean.

My girl had the symptom of have to pee very frequently, and also licking down there more than is normal. Had her checked for a bladder infection and they found no bacteria but a somewhat elevated white cell count. Rather than starting antibiotics, I decided to try the regimen I had heard of from other breeders to help with vaginitis. I also started her on cranberry capsules which will help prevent (not cure) bladder infections as a precaution. The main thing we did was to wipe her dry every single time she came back inside, so many times per day. I also trimmed the hair down there to help things stay clean and dry. Not with scissors, that is risky! I got one of those little battery powered personal trimmers from the drug store. Those are pretty safe. She immediately stopped licking so much and needing to pee as often. I think the irritation just made her feel like she needed to go. Staying clean and dry took care of it. We kept this up for a couple months and she was just fine when we stopped.
 

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I'd consult another vet. I suppose it's possible, in that pretty much anything is possible, but a puppy that young? It seems unlikely.
 

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The main thing we did was to wipe her dry every single time she came back inside, so many times per day. I also trimmed the hair down there to help things stay clean and dry. Not with scissors, that is risky! I got one of those little battery powered personal trimmers from the drug store. Those are pretty safe. She immediately stopped licking so much and needing to pee as often. I think the irritation just made her feel like she needed to go. Staying clean and dry took care of it. We kept this up for a couple months and she was just fine when we stopped.
YUP I second the trimming reccomendation- around here they call it a "bikini trim" you get one at any groomers, since I taught myself to clip my dog, this this what I do durign the winter when she needs her coat to stay warm, and I still need to stave off the dingle berries....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sassafras-Yup that was what I was thinking after much research-Vaginitis. But, given the prematurity of the spaying, I was a bit concerned. But, Thank You for your response.
 

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Samshine-We have in fact, taken to cleaning her thoroughly each and every time she goes pee, making sure it is very dry. I have not hard of the cranberry capsules....are they the same as for humans, and if so, is there any particular strength or dosage? (As for myself, I always opted for the juice, but I KNOW she won't take that!!! :) ) But, thanks for the response!
 

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Amaryllis and BernerMax-I greatly appreciate your input and replies. I have made an appointment with a second vet. And, we had already 'trimmed' all the hair from that area, so to keep the irritation down anyway. But, thanks again to both of you!
 

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I always used the human cranberry capsules. I think you can find them marketed for dogs, but they are hard to find and usually more expensive so why bother. I think I was giving my girl 2-3 capsules per day. I just read the human dose on the bottle and extrapolated the dosage, but then went higher. It's pretty darn hard to overdose on cranberry.

My dogs hated the taste of the cranberry pills, so I made sure I got the capsules. You can open those up and mix the powder with some canned food or something. With the whole pills I would always find them in the bottom of the food bowl, even when mixed in with the canned dog food. Sounds like you are on the right track, good luck!
 
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