Vaginal discharge in cats

Vaginal Discharge in Cats

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Vaginal discharge is defined as an abnormal discharge coming from the vagina. Unlike humans, cats don’t menstruate, any discharge from the vagina needs to be seen to by a veterinarian.

Causes

  • Pyometra – Infection of the uterus which occurs in unspayed females.
  • Acute Metritis – Inflammation of the postpartum uterus.
  • Vaginitis – This is an inflammation of the vagina. It can descend into the uterus if left untreated, causing pyometra. So fast veterinary attention is vital.
  • Lochia – Normal postpartum discharge. This is greenish in colour, should not have an unpleasant odour and should stop within 7 – 10 days.
  • Cancer – Uterine, ovarian.
  • Spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) – This is the spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the unborn kittens are too immature to survive.
  • Foreign body.

Symptoms

Yes, other than a vaginal discharge, other symptoms to look out for may include;

  • Excessive licking of the genital area
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Disinterest in kittens (if the cat is a new mother)
  • Polydipsia (excessive thirst)
  • Polyuria (excessive urination)

What should I do if I notice my cat has a vaginal discharge?

It is important you seek veterinary care immediately. Failure to find and treat the cause can be life-threatening.

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination of your cat and obtain a medical history from you. Some tests he may wish to perform include:

Treatment

Obviously, treatment depends on the cause. If the cause is a bacterial infection then your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics.

Pyometra:

  • IV fluids to treat dehydration
  • Ovariohysterectomy
  • Antibiotics

Acute Metritis:

  • IV fluids to treat dehydration
  • If necessary, evacuate the uterus
  • Antibiotics
  • It may be necessary to perform an ovariohysterectomy

Vaginitis:

  • Find and treat the underlying cause
  • If it is bacterial, prescribe antibiotics

Spontaneous abortion:

There is no treatment available. But do take your cat and the aborted contents to the veterinarian.

Cancer:

Foreign body:

Surgical removal of foreign body

Lochia:

Lochia is a normal part of the postnatal period but the owner should keep a close eye on the discharge to ensure the amount tapers off over 7-10 days, there is no odour and that the cat is not displaying any symptoms of acute metritis such as fever, loss of appetite etc.



Julia Wilson is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care.Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. She enjoys photography, gardening and running in her spare time.Full author bio Contact Julia