Objective: To determine the frequency of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) in canine pyometra and to evaluate the relationship between C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and SIRS.
Design: Prospective clinical study.
Setting: Veterinary teaching hospital.
Animals: Fifty-three clinical cases of canine pyometra and 19 healthy control bitches.
Interventions: Upon admission to the veterinary hospital, history and physical examination findings, including previously defined clinical SIRS parameters, were documented. Blood samples were obtained for hematology and biochemical tests and for CRP, TNFα, and IL-6 analysis. The diagnosis of pyometra was confirmed by histopathology of the uterus after ovariohysterectomy. After surgery, clinical SIRS parameters, length of hospitalization, and mortality were recorded.
Measurements and main results: Pyometra dogs were grouped as SIRS positive (30/53; 57%) or SIRS negative (23/53; 43%). Logistic regression showed that CRP was the only parameter that significantly related to SIRS apart from the clinical criteria that define this syndrome. The mortality rate was low (2/53; 3.8%), and conclusions regarding association with SIRS could not be drawn. A positive SIRS status, high plasma CRP concentration, and high body temperature were variables that related to increased morbidity reflected by the length of hospitalization.
Conclusions: SIRS was seen in 57% of canine pyometra cases and a positive SIRS status showed a positive association with prolonged hospitalization. The mortality rate was low (3.3%) among SIRS positive dogs, indicating that progression to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) rarely occurs in surgically treated cases of pyometra. CRP was associated with SIRS and with prolonged hospitalization. Further studies of plasma CRP may be warranted in canine intensive care cases susceptible to development of SIRS and MODS.