Vaginal Abnormalities in Dogs

Vaginal Abnormalities in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Constipation / Incontinence / Licking / Pain / Vaginal Discharge

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Rated as moderate conditon

6 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Constipation / Incontinence / Licking / Pain / Vaginal Discharge

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Vaginal Abnormalities in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What is Vaginal Abnormalities ?

Most vaginal abnormalities are congenital, resulting from abnormal development of the paramesonephric ducts (also called the Müllerian ducts). In females, these embryonic structures evolve to form most of the female reproductive system, while in males they disappear. Abnormal development can lead to partial or complete aplasia or obstruction anywhere along the uterus, uterine tubes or the vagina. Persistent or imperforate hymen is the most common problem in dogs. This may take the form of stenosis, a horizontal narrowing of the vagina, or a vertical septum that divides the vagina into two chambers. Depending on the location of the abnormality, many dogs can be asymptomatic; in fact, clinical symptoms are only found in about .03% of dogs. The most common sign is difficulty or pain during breeding, but some dogs can also have protruding tissue, frequent vaginal infections, and incontinence due to fluids and urine being retained and pooling in the vagina. Another rare vaginal abnormality can occur when a hole forms between the vagina and the rectum. This is called a rectovaginal fistula. Fluids and feces may pass between these two areas spreading bacteria and preventing your dog from having normal bowel movements. Some feces may be expelled through the vulva, but many dogs still develop severe constipation or megacolon with rectovaginal fistula. This is usually a congenital condition, however, it can occur as a result of errors during colonic surgery. Vaginal strictures called adhesions may also be acquired through inflammation or from the development of cancerous lesions. Additionally, some dogs acquire vaginal hyperplasia, an external protrusion of vaginal tissue, as a result of excessive mucosa development during estrus, but this is temporary and the growth will disappear as hormone levels change.

Vaginal abnormalities in female dogs can cause problems with mating, persistent infection, and incontinence. Most vaginal malformations are congenital and present from birth, but a few conditions can be acquired.

Symptoms of Vaginal Abnormalities in Dogs

Most symptoms will appear in young dogs especially around the first mating season.

  • Difficulty or pain with mating
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Frequent licking of genitals
  • Swollen or donut shape protrusion from the vulva
  • Persistent vaginitis (vaginal infection)
  • Positional incontinence (urine pooling in the vagina flows out when the dog changes positions)
  • Passage of feces through the vulva
  • Constipation

Types

These are the most common types of structural malformations in the vagina.

  • Stricture or stenosis – a narrowing of the vaginal canal
  • Septum – vertical partition dividing sections of the vagina
  • Rectovaginal fistula – hole connecting the vagina and the rectum
  • Vaginal prolapse or hyperplasia – vaginal material protruding from the vulva

Causes of Vaginal Abnormalities in Dogs

Acquired conditions may be caused by

  • Excessive mucosa development during estrus (Brachycephalic breeds, Labrador and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, German Shepherd, Springer Spaniel, Walker Hound, Airedale Terrier, American Pitbull Terrier) 
  • Recent surgery
  • Injury or scarring in the vagina
  • Long term inflammation (usually caused by injury and scarring)
  • Cancer

Diagnosis of Vaginal Abnormalities in Dogs

The veterinarian will need to know your dog’s age, and whether she has been bred before. A detailed description of any symptoms will be helpful. Cellular cultures will be taken to identify infection, and determine what stage of the mating cycle your dog is in. Bloodwork is frequently normal, but urinalysis may show elevated levels of white blood cells from concurrent urinary tract infection. With rectovaginal fistula, the vaginal culture will show fecal contamination.

A physical examination will include palpitation and digital examination with an inserted finger. Many congenital structural abnormalities that are causing significant symptoms, especially vaginal septum, can be identified in this way. If no abnormalities are noted, Vaginoscopy (the insertion an instrument that can take a picture of the vagina), X-rays and ultrasound will help to identify abnormalities that are less obvious.

 

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Treatment of Vaginal Abnormalities in Dogs

If the conditions isn’t causing a problem, most veterinarians don’t recommend treatment. With chronic symptoms of infection and incontinence, surgery is usually the best solution. Some problems directly related to breeding can be corrected with an ovariohysterectomy. Others may require surgical removal of the hymen membrane that is causing the problem. Dogs will typically stay in a veterinary hospital for at least a day and have a reduced period of activity when they come home. 

Rectovaginal fistulas also require surgery to correct the problem, especially if the dog also has an imperforate or obstructed anal canal which happens in many congenital cases. Diet change (usually a liquid diet) may be recommended until surgery can be performed. Dogs that have developed irreversible megacolon may need continued treatment to prevent constipation.

If the condition turns out to be cancerous, surgery will remove the tumor and chemotherapy may be prescribed to prevent metastasis. Further treatment may be needed if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Recovery of Vaginal Abnormalities in Dogs

Most vaginal abnormalities only cause mild symptoms and dogs will make a full recovery with surgery. A rectovaginal fistula is more serious, but this condition is usually treatable with surgery. If megacolon has developed, long term management will be necessary. Your dog may need to take continual laxatives and follow a special diet that makes bowel movements easier. Cancerous conditions may be serious unless the problem is caught early. The veterinarian will discuss the likelihood of successful treatment upon diagnosis.

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Vaginal Abnormalities Average Cost

From 67 quotes ranging from $550 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,200

Vaginal Abnormalities Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Olive

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Pug

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9 Months

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Enlarged Uvula, ,
Enlarged Uvula,
Enlarged Uvula, Licks Frequently

hi my female pug 9 moths old had her first period almost two months ago. Im little worried she had developed bumps or lumps around her uvula. she has some what of discharge and licks the area quit frequent.

July 27, 2018

Olive's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Any lumps or bumps around the vulva are generally not good; they may be due to allergies, infections, inflammation, vaginitis, cysts among other causes. This would be something to check in with your Veterinarian about especially if she has been mated; without examining Olive I cannot give you any indication of a specific cause but try to prevent further licking of the vulva using a cone and bathe the area with a dilute antiseptic. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 27, 2018

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Haylee

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Chiweenie

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11 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen, Protruding, Licking

Protruding urethra, swollen area, purple in color.. Dog is female and going into heat. Is not in pain, and not having any issues going potty. She has been licking th area, so I have her in a diaper and E collar

July 15, 2018

Haylee's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

It would be a good idea to have Haylee seen by a veterinarian, as this can be related to the heat cycle, or a problem, given her age. She may be showing signs of a prolapse, or hyperplasia, and without seeing her, I can't determine which. It would probably be a good idea to have her spayed if she is having these dramatic signs related to her heat cycle to prevent future problems.

July 15, 2018

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Dani

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Australian Cattle Mix

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10 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

What could be the cause of my dog's constant licking of her vaginal area? The fur around there has also turned brown. She doesn't seem to be in pain and she urinates normally.

Sept. 9, 2017

Dani's Owner


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3320 Recommendations

There are a few possible causes for vaginal licking which include bacterial infection, fungal infection, urinary tract issues, tumours, foreign objects (uncommon), skin fold dermatitis among other causes. Due to the varied possible causes it would be best to visit your Veterinarian to have a look and to receive treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Sept. 9, 2017

My puppy us goung to see a specialist next week as she was born with only 3 legs and her vagina is deformed the vet said it looked like a hermaphrodite. But she leeks wee alot to the point she is always wet. I have notice alot of pimple like spots appearing on her lower tummy and viginal area. Is this an infection I would hate it to be and it gets worse before we see the specialist. What can I do to keep area clean?

July 18, 2018

Jessica A.

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Athena

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Jack Russell Terrier

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17 Months

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen Vulva Area

Looks like my 17 month old female dogs vulva is protruding and swollen.

July 26, 2017

Athena's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

It would be best to visit your Veterinarian to determine the cause of the protrusion as vaginal prolapse may be occurring. Causes of swelling may be due to being on heat, infection or inflammation. Again, this would be best to speak with your Veterinarian so that they can see the protrusion and determine the cause and the treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 26, 2017

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Lucky

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Pittbull mix bulldog

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7 Months

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Vaginal Swelling

My pittbull puppy has a swollen rectum and vagina it's about four times the normal size and she's only about 7 months old she shares a pin with a male husky 2years of age

July 26, 2017

Lucky's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

The cause of the swelling may be due to infection or allergies; however, given that you have mentioned that the size is four times the usual size, I would be worried that Lucky has a perineal hernia, whilst it is more common in old males rather than females it does occur leading to a bulge from the perineum giving the anus and the vagina an enlarged stretched appearance. Please visit your Veterinarian immediately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 26, 2017

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lucy

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Border Collie

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12 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Genital Licking

my dog has white fungi looking thing protruding from her vulva have been bathing the area she is over licking there shes not constipasted and going for wees as normal

Vaginal Abnormalities Average Cost

From 67 quotes ranging from $550 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,200

Cannanine