The objective of this study was to collect oocytes from ovaries of bitches with pyometra and to characterize the quality of the oocytes recovered. In 10 of 12 cases of pyometra, follicles with a diameter of 500 microm to 1mm were observed in the ovaries. A total of 710 oocytes were collected from 10 bitches by puncturing individual follicles after slicing the ovarian tissues. Oocyte recovery was successful from a bitch with severe clinical signs of pyometra. Of the oocytes collected, 53.5% were surrounded by > or =2 layers of cumulus cells, and 55.0% of these cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) had a darkly pigmented ooplasm >110 microm in diameter (large-dark COCs). The number of large-dark COCs per bitch varied from 1 to 72. A germinal vesicle with fine filaments of chromatin (Type A) was observed in 51.8% (range 21.1-100%) of the oocytes of large-dark COCs. Out of 50 oocytes cultured for 72 h, 6.0% developed to Metaphase II. In conclusion, there were many follicles with a diameter of 500 microm to 1mm in ovaries of bitches with pyometra, and many oocytes recovered from these follicles underwent meiotic maturation in vitro. The number of oocytes and COCs, and the morphological quality of the germinal vesicles varied among individual bitches.