• Chronic kidney disease;
  • Dog;
  • Endometritis;
  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis

Background: Proteinuria is a feature of pyometra-associated renal dysfunction, but its prevalence and clinical relevance are not well characterized.

Objectives: To define which subset of dogs with pyometra has clinically relevant kidney injury by quantification of proteinuria; light, immunofluorescence, and electron microscopic examination of kidney biopsy specimens; and measurement of urinary biomarkers.

Animals: Forty-seven dogs with pyometra. Ten clinically healthy intact bitches of comparable age.

Methods: Prospective study. Routine clinicopathological variables including urinary protein to creatinine ratio (UPC) were analyzed. Validated assays were used to quantify urinary biomarkers for glomerular (urinary albumin, urinary immunoglobulin G, urinary C-reactive protein, urinary thromboxane B2) and tubular function (urinary retinol-binding protein, urinary N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase). Kidney biopsy specimens from 10 dogs with pyometra and dipstick urine protein concentrations of 2+ or 3+ were collected during ovariohysterectomy. Urinalysis was repeated within 3 weeks after surgery in 9 of the 10 dogs.

Results: UPC (median, range) was significantly higher in dogs with pyometra (0.48, 0.05–8.69) compared with healthy bitches (0.08, 0.02–0.16) (P < .01). Twenty-two of 47 dogs with pyometra had UPC>0.5, 12 had UPC>1.0, and 7 had UPC>2.0. Glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial nephritis were common kidney biopsy findings in proteinuric dogs with pyometra. Dogs with glomerulosclerosis (5/10), either global or focal and segmental, had UPC>1.0 at ovariohysterectomy and afterward. Dogs with structural glomerular and tubular changes mostly had urinary biomarker to creatinine ratios above the 75th percentile.

Conclusion: Dogs with pyometra and UPC>1.0 or high ratios of urinary biomarkers appear likely to have clinically relevant renal histologic lesions and require monitoring after ovariohysterectomy. Future studies should evaluate the role of pyometra-associated pathogenic mechanisms in causing or exacerbating focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis in dogs.