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#6549 - 05/08/03 03:47 PM pyometra
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi everyone, got sad news today. My female glider Zootie was diagnosed with pyometra, infection of the uterus. I thought she had a urinary infection, and she was on clavamox for a week, but she didn't get any better. When she started to act sort of lethargic, I took her in today and that's when they figured out the pyometra. It's real common in female cats & dogs, but I haven't found a single reference to it in gliders on this site, or anywhere else on the net. So I thought it might be beneficial to post something about it.

Pyometra often occurs in females that don't reproduce; she came to me at the age of 4, and had never had a mate before. After a few weeks of isolation, I put her with my male, but she didn't become pregnant (it's been about 6 months). She had symptoms similar to a UTI - she licked her rear end a lot, and came out of her hat during the day to go to the bathroom quite often. She was always in the habit of snacking during the day, so it didn't really seem wierd at first. Stools were soft, but not runny, and they were that tell-tale mustard color that says something is wrong. She vomited once in the last week. She has been eating and drinking at least some, but she still lost about 30 g of body mass (originally about 100 g). It's possible she's had a low grade infection, or intermittent problem for a while, and that's why she didn't get pregnant (she was definitely horny, and my male previously produced 3 litters of joeys with another female).

Right now she's extremely dehydrated & anemic, and lethargic. She's on daily subq fluids & naxcel (antibiotic), & she also got a one-time shot of lutalyse (prostaglandin) and depo-medrol (corticosteroid, anti inflammatory) at the vet. The prostaglandin causes the uterus to contract and hopefully express some of the pus & bacteria.

vet did not have much confidence that she would recover, but I will continue the fluids & antibiotics as long as she is still hanging in there. The bad thing is that even if she gets thru this, unless she starts having babies, it's often a reoccurring problem. Most cats & dogs that get it are only resolved by spaying. So I might consider having her spayed at that point (not a good thing in gliders, but if my vet is game, I would try it.)

I need to get some iron into her, so i am off to research proper doses for gliders. If anyone has this info, please let me know.

Kim

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#6550 - 05/08/03 04:19 PM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Kim - I'm so sorry <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" /> I know it will be a hard road to travel but hopefully she will get well and stay that way. Who knows, if you can get rid of the pyometra once, maybe all will be well! I'll be thinking good thoughts for Zootie and praying for a quick recovery! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />

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#6551 - 05/08/03 04:24 PM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Awwwwww, i'm so sorry you're having to go through that. I had a cat a long time ago that developed that same problem, and it happened in her first heat.
She too licked herself constantly, and upon examination, her uterus was about to rupture. getting a cat spayed is a bit more simple to do, than a female glider.

I have an idea, i would try the iron, but i would also try some other herbal remedies such as antioxidants, to help her get over this.
Btw, blueberries contain a nice amount of iron as far as i know.

She will be in my heart and prayers. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" />

Tanja

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#6552 - 05/08/03 04:25 PM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Kim, sounds like you have your hands full! I hope she recovers and can have a baby or two! I'm sure you know that if you need anything, help or advice, or anything else, just let us know! You are both in my prayers!
Chey

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#6553 - 05/08/03 04:36 PM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
Ellen Offline
Owner:Emeritus-Mother Hen

Registered: 08/05/99
Posts: 7603
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA.
KimO where or what part of VA are living? I live in Va. Beach and maybe could offer some help through my vet. Let me know.

Prayers to you and yours.
_________________________
Love and kindness is a gift. Use it freely....
My Gallery

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#6554 - 05/08/03 05:01 PM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
KattyM Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 12/24/02
Posts: 9910
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Oh, how horrifying! My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Do those of us who have a single female glider (with no thought of mating her) need to worry about this problem? Should I think about getting Keiko a male companion so she doesn't get this horrible illness? Am I now being paranoid? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Owned by my :grey: "Eight is Enough" colony:

2003: Hiroshi (M)
2009: Herbie (M)

:rbridge:
2002-2004: Keiko (F) and baby Tomoki (M)
2009: Sammy (F), Charlie (F), Murray (M)
2010: BJ (M)
My gallery

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#6555 - 05/08/03 05:16 PM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi Katty, how ya doing?? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif" alt="" />

Boy that is an awful thing to have happen. I have never heard of it so I don't know how common it is. I've only been in the glider world a little over a year. Maybe someone will come along with a better answer for you. But I do believe there are people that have single females that are healtly. Maybe it's a rare thing (I hope). I will tell you tho, having babies is mighty fun!!!! Jazzes twins are just about ready to come oop, and I can't wait!!!

Steph

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#6556 - 05/08/03 05:34 PM Re: pyometra [Re: Izzyandrileysmom]
KattyM Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 12/24/02
Posts: 9910
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Howdy back, Steph! I'm doing great! Hope the same is true for you.

I sure hope pyometra is rare; although, I could FORCE myself to get Keiko a male companion to mate with. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yelclap.gif" alt="" />

We'll have to get together--I'd love to meet you in person and see your glider family. Your pictures of them are adorable! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Owned by my :grey: "Eight is Enough" colony:

2003: Hiroshi (M)
2009: Herbie (M)

:rbridge:
2002-2004: Keiko (F) and baby Tomoki (M)
2009: Sammy (F), Charlie (F), Murray (M)
2010: BJ (M)
My gallery

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#6557 - 05/10/03 07:53 AM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Oh wow, I've never heard of it in gliders either, but then again I am a beginner as well.

Many prayers for a good recovery <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#6558 - 05/10/03 09:23 AM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
Lucy Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 7354
Loc: Lexington, KY
Kim, please keep us updated. We're praying for her recovery, and I know how worried you must be. Please keep us posted how it's going.
_________________________


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#6559 - 05/10/03 10:03 AM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
remo Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 1191
Loc: San Antonio, Texas
Kim, my thoughts and prayers will be with you and Zootie. You defintely are doing all the right things. Please keep us posted on her progress.

Wishing Zootie a speedy recovery,
Dorothy <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />, Bandit <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/littleglider.gif" alt="" />, and Gypsy <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/littleglider.gif" alt="" />


Edited by remo (05/10/03 10:19 AM)
_________________________
Dorothy, Falk, and Prissy

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#6560 - 05/10/03 05:46 PM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
Judie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 10/25/01
Posts: 9173
Loc: Edwardsville, Kansas 66113
How was your vet able to give this diagnoses? Any tests done....such as a C&S by chance?

Sending Get Well Wishes for a speedy recovery. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Web site: www.MyLittleGremlin.com

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#6561 - 05/10/03 06:46 PM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks everyone. Zootie is still not doing very well. I think it's just a matter of waiting - if she fights really hard and hangs in there long enough, maybe the drugs will help her overcome it. Her breathing is so rapid at times, I have to wonder if she is close to giving up.

Judie - don't know what a 'C&S' is, the vet's diagnosis was based on pus & discharge expressed from the urogenital opening. She did a urinalysis, and it was clean.

Zootie is so anemic, the vet didn't want to do surgery on her. That would probably would have been the best way to deal with this - clean out the uterus surgically.

Will keep you updated if anything else happens. Thanks again for all your support.

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#6562 - 05/10/03 07:36 PM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


C&S is a culture and sensitivity test to see what antibiotics will be best to treat the infection. I'm sure that was done... I hope she recovers quickly. Poor girl. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/worried2.gif" alt="" />

I know liver and spinach are both very high in iron. Perhpas she'll eat one of those? Please keep us updated on her condition.

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#6563 - 05/12/03 02:49 PM Re: pyometra [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


KimO <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif" alt="" />,
I really sorry about your suggie but my prayers are with both of you.
The most common treatment for other animals is surgery, removing the uterus and ovaries. But I have not seen or heard about this condition in sugar gliders. The bacteria mainly involved is E.coli. Also another treatment used is prostaglandin(hormone) therapy but the chance of recurrence is 50/50.

Pyometra
More about Pyometra

Hope this helps and please keep us updated.

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#6564 - 05/12/03 07:58 PM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi guys,
So sad to report that Zootie died Saturday night.

Those of you who are ultra-sensitive may not want to read the rest. I am a biologist, and I am always very concerned to find out what happened when one of my animals passes away. Usually that means a post-mortem exam that I do myself. I don't recommend that others should necessarily do this, but I teach college biology & anatomy and I do a lot of animal dissections. If I find something unusual, I bring the animal in to the vet for another opinion.

Such was the case with Zootie. The first weird thing I noticed was that she did not actually have a pouch; the skin was folded up just like a pouch when she was alive. But after she died her tummy was perfectly smooth and flat without pouch or nipples. I even clipped the hair away for a closer look. Neither did she have external testicles, or a penis. Internally, she did not have any discernable sex organs at all - no uterus (uteri), no undescended testes, nada. There was a small blob of shapeless tissue approximately where the uteri should have been. It does happen very rarely that an animal is a hermaphrodite(has at least some of both male and female reproductive structures and/or secondary sex traits) or an intersex (reproductive structures never fully develop). You don't hear about it often, but sometimes sex traits are influenced by environmental chemicals that mimic hormones, or sometimes genetic screwups cause anomolies too (even in humans). Without histological exam of gonadal tissues, it is impossible to say which sex Zootie was closest to. Zootie behaved much like a female, that is she flirted with males and fought with other females. 'She' never developed bald scent gland patches like a male, although she did rub her chest around a lot to mark things. Now I understand why she never had joeys.

The second wierd thing I found was that her liver was badly cirrhotic. It was completely composed of many, many large round yellowish nodules. I have some digital pics of this for future reference.

My exotic vet examined her this afternoon, and confirmed that Zootie was indeed an intersex, and that she most likely died of liver failure (or complications thereof). She was jaundiced, but she was so dehydrated (in spite of constant drinking) and anemic they couldn't get blood, so they didn't look at liver enzymes. The pyometra diagnosis was based on the fact that pus came from her urogenital area (not on a culture), but that may have been a complication, who knows. It's also possible that the liver was loaded with cancer, but confirming that would also require a histological exam.

The vet & I agree her destroyed liver was probably due to a bad diet. She was about 4.5 yrs old, and was not on BML with her previous owner (she got mealworms, fruit, and had a bottle of honey in her cage 24/7). I got her about 5-6 months ago, and I use a BML-based diet & waxworms, but evidently it didn't help.

We will miss her. Thanks everyone for your support.

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#6565 - 05/12/03 09:01 PM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


KimO,
i'm so sorry to hear of her passing. It's indeed a rare occurance, and i have to wonder what sort of chemicals her mother/parents, and her herself have had to be around for this to happen that she was hermaphrodite.
There has to be something quite bad genetically or in the environment for dna to be altered in such way.
Sadly BML probably couldn't help much in this case because the damage aparently was done before she was even born. diet starts with the parent while in Utero, so it's possible her liver was damaged from the begining, or maybe set up to fail eventually ?
But feeding her BML may have prolonged her life by a few weeks, maybe even a few month. But with this kind of damage, who knows what would have helped.

I would be interested to know where you got your glider from, and you may e-mail me privately, on that matter, so as not to flame anyone. That is if you feel like disclosing such infromation.

It's sad when we are powerless over such horrible conditions, and i feel for you.

I think she knew how much you cared, and that alone should give you some comfort knowing she was probbaly happiest while with you.

Again sorry for your loss, and i hope your heart may take comfort in knowing what was wrong with her, and that you did the best you could.

Tanja

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#6566 - 05/12/03 09:02 PM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Lucy Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 7354
Loc: Lexington, KY
KimO, thank you so much for posting about Zootie. This has been a really educational thread, and I really appreciate your willingness to share this -- I know it's hard and painful, but it is so important to know what's happening to our gliders that die. I'm especially interested in the cirrhotic liver. That's such a specific type of deterioriation -- do you happen to know if the previous owner fed crickets or peanuts or other foods prone to alfatoxins?

I'm so sorry for your loss, and again appreciate your posting about Zootie's situation. There's a lot to learn from here --
_________________________


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#6567 - 05/12/03 09:20 PM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I am so sorry to hear of Zootie's passing. Thank you for having the strength to tell us about this rare condition so that we may all continue to learn.
Her life, and death, has not been in vain. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/gliderangel.gif" alt="" />

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#6568 - 05/12/03 09:23 PM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


KimO...what a story!!! I know it had to be hard on you to have to do the exam. My heart goes out to you! Thanks for sharing the results with us.
<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

Steph

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#6569 - 05/12/03 09:32 PM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
For starts I am so very sorry for your loss.

could you tell if maybe she had been spayed? although not recommended at all, it is very risky, there are a few vets that actually think they can do it properly, maybe they can but who knows. Could the liver disease be secondary complications to the infection that was found?

Feeding straight honey can by all means cause problems, and most of the time, the liver is the the organ to pay for it, and it doesn't always show up right away.

Did you have the nodules tested out to see what would come back?

I have sat in on many necropsies, and each one is a new learning experience for me, each time, I am in total awe as to the delicate tiny size of their little organs.
_________________________
Baybe,My Roots

SGGA

CustomCruiser

BML

Sugar Glider Genetic Project

321-331-1608

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#6570 - 05/13/03 03:19 AM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


KimO, I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you in my prayers for peace and healing.

As has already been said, this has been OOOO soooooooooo interesting!

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#6571 - 05/13/03 09:18 AM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Karin Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/06/01
Posts: 11583
Loc: Sycamore Illinois
KimO, I am so sorry for what you and Zootie have gone though. Thank you for sharing your story of Zootie...I am sure it was difficult to do. Your story may help another glider someday as it was a learning experience for all of us. May she rest in blissful peace over the Rainbow.

Karin
_________________________
Miss Lily and Bud
Prada and Armani
Tessa, Deuce and Cami

Tira and Misu angel Deja and Vu

Glider Daydreams



"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass...It is about learning to
dance in the rain!"

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#6572 - 05/13/03 09:28 AM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm so sorry about Zootie <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" /> You are building a great monument to her with all the info you are sharing - she is very proud, I'm sure. Thanks goodness her last days were with a compassionate soul who had her best interest at heart!

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#6573 - 05/13/03 03:02 PM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks everybody. I have no idea which breeder she came from, I got her from a man in Maryland whose daughter moved out. She wasn't very handleable - you could pet her when she was out, but not pick her up. You couldn't even reach your hand into her hat without her crabbing and biting. Very unlike my gliders, which were all raised by me from joeys and are sweeties.

To my knowledge, her previous diet included mealworms but not crickets. I don't know if they gave her peanuts, but I usually let my gliders have a 1/2 a peanut about twice a week. I didn't realize aflatoxins in peanuts could be a potential problem, so I will switch to pine nuts for treats.

It is possible that since she had some sort of developmental problem that made her an intersex, that her liver was congenitally prone to disease as well.

I decided not to biopsy the liver tissue because it won't really tell me a whole lot, and I've spent a fortune at the vet lately (I have a slew of animals, and my vet is excellent but very expensive). However, the vet is doing some research about her case, and may decide to do more tests later. I am trying to get her interested in publishing on it, although I may just do it myself if she's not.

I snipped the fur from her abdomen, and found no evidence from the skin or internal anatomy that she might have been spayed. I am positive that her previous owners did not spay her, they were told by the breeder she was male (but with no pompom scrotum, I don't know how they could have thought that). I was amazed at how tiny and delicate glider anatomy is - I can definitely see why it is so dangerous to spay or do any abdominal surgery on them.

This forum has been built up into a really great source of information and guidance for glider owners. I always come here when I have questions, or just to read the stories. So I understand the need for everyone to share their experiences, good and bad. It's also emotionally supportive when you are going thru something like this. To those of you who started this forum, and all of you who keep it going with their contributions, THANK YOU for this tremendous gift.

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#6574 - 05/13/03 03:30 PM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


KimO,
i too am glad you shared this sad story, however painfull it may be.
We all learn something from it.

I do hope your vbet feels motivated to further test and maybe she'll even do it for her own learning experience.
There is a community of gliders out there, and they all could only benefit from it if she chose to publish it.

I hope your heart will heal over time, and wish you the best for your remaining gliders.

Tanja

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#6575 - 05/13/03 04:49 PM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Kimo,
I'm so sorry for your loss <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />. You're in our thoughts & prayers.

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#6576 - 05/13/03 07:40 PM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
KattyM Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 12/24/02
Posts: 9910
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
KimO, I am deeply saddened by your loss. What a great gift you are to all your pets, and to us. Thank you for your strength and for sharing.
_________________________
Owned by my :grey: "Eight is Enough" colony:

2003: Hiroshi (M)
2009: Herbie (M)

:rbridge:
2002-2004: Keiko (F) and baby Tomoki (M)
2009: Sammy (F), Charlie (F), Murray (M)
2010: BJ (M)
My gallery

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#6577 - 05/14/03 08:03 AM Re: pyometra - liver failure [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I am so sorry about your loss. You and your glider family are in my prayers.

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