Pyometra in Chinchillas
Pyometra is a large collection of pus within the uterus of the female chinchilla. Pyometra may happen after conditions of metritis or placenta remaining behind in the uterus after the delivery of the litter. Pyometra can also occur in female chinchillas that have never been bred. Often, affected females are no longer capable of successful breeding and should be removed from the colony.
There is no effective treatment for severe cases of pyometra; therefore, it is best to identify and treat this condition at an early stage itself to avoid loss of productive capacity and loss of life.
- Rough hair coat
- Vaginal discharge
- Swollen and irritated vagina
Pyometra may result after an episode of metritis or retained placenta in which there is severe secondary bacterial infection and decomposition of the retained material, which ultimately turns to pus. Pyometra is sometimes seen in unbred females as a result of some uterine infections.
Diagnosis is made by the clinical symptoms exhibited. The purulent discharge may be collected and grown in suitable cultures to identify the bacterial species responsible for the infection and pus formation.
Unlike in other small animals, such as dogs, pyometra in chinchillas is not treatable. An ovario-hysterectomy, as in the removal of the ovaries and uterus, is recommended. The veterinarian will treat mild cases of pyometra with antibiotics and cleanse the uterine cavity with antiseptic solution.
Living and Management
The chinchilla undergoing treatment for mild cases of pyometra should be given good care. The female chinchilla requires a proper restful and stress-free environment during recovery. A good, nutritious diet should be fed. The follow-up antibiotic and supportive care, as advised by the veterinarian, should be routinely followed. If the animal is recovering from surgery to remove the ovaries and uterus, it is advisable to suitably restrain the animal so that it does not groom the operation site and disrupt the wound from healing.
Post-delivery, chinchillas should be monitored for the shedding of the placenta. If it is not shed within the recommended time, contact a veterinarian immediately to treat the condition. Timely action can help to prevent cases of pyometra in female chinchillas.