Vaginal Discharge in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

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

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

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

What is Vaginal Discharge?

Vaginal discharge is any liquid material that comes from the vulva. In dogs, the appearance of this fluid or changes to its appearance can indicate a problem. Common types of discharge include clear and watery, bloody, mucoid, or purulent (containing pus). Each of these types of discharge can signal different conditions, such as infection, physical abnormality, trauma or reproductive issues. Schedule a visit with the veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice your dog dragging their hindquarters, licking the area or experiencing urinary incontinence.

Clinically significant or abnormal vaginal discharge in dogs is a disruption of the natural fluids produced by the body to clean the vagina. This may indicate an infection, injury or foreign body in the vagina. Additionally, it may also signal a secondary infection of the urinary tract.

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Vaginal Discharge Average Cost

From 92 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$950

Symptoms of Vaginal Discharge in Dogs

  • Bloody, mucoid, purulent or watery discharge from the vagina.
  • Bloody or very cloudy urine
  • Difficulty holding urine
  • Excessive urination
  • Fever
  • Behavior changes
  • Reduction in appetite
Types
  • Mucoid (thick or grayish)
  • Purulent (containing pus)
  • Bloody (black, red or brown)
  • Watery (clear and thin)
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Causes of Vaginal Discharge in Dogs

  • Trauma to vagina or uterus
  • Infection of urinary tract and/or vagina
  • Cancer of the pelvic region
  • Physical defect (e.g. fistula) involving the uterus or vagina
  • Later end of the estrus cycle
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Diagnosis of Vaginal Discharge in Dogs

There are many reasons for vaginal discharge to appear, some of them benign and others more serious, so don’t be alarmed by the sudden presence of discharge, but do schedule a visit with the veterinarian. It's important to take quick action and not a "wait and see" attitude. Be prepared to give a medical history to the veterinarian, including any medications, surgeries or breeding activities, including whether your pet has been spayed. Note any sexual involvement with other dogs, regardless of whether breeding was intentional or possible.

The veterinarian will make a physical examination of your dog, checking for fever and signs of illness as well as examining the vulva and vagina for trauma, signs of infection, or an abnormality. Heightened vaginal discharge after estrus (“heat”) in an intact dog can be normal and may appear bloody. This is also normal for a number of days after an animal has given birth. However, if the bleeding and/or discharge persists, this could be a sign of a problem. 

Sometimes, the urinary tract and vagina can cross-contaminate infections, leading to bloody or very cloudy urine and purulent discharge from the vulva. A sample of this discharge can be taken for culturing to identify the pathogen. In cases of infection, a blood test may be performed to gauge the severity of the infection via white blood cell count, and to make sure the infection has not spread to the blood to cause septicemia (life-threatening blood poisoning).

Cancers of the vagina, uterus, and ovary can cause a variety of discharges and secondary infections, and your veterinarian may choose to ultrasound your pet’s pelvic region to look for masses. Ultrasound is an easily-portable technology that can provide medical images in even a small veterinarian’s office, and is non-invasive and inexpensive. However, more detailed images may need to be taken via X-ray or MRI, which are larger machines and require referral to a specialist.  

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Treatment of Vaginal Discharge in Dogs

The treatment will vary depending on the underlying condition. Estrus-linked discharge usually clears up after the cycle ends. Infections will need medical attention, including antibiotics and possible surgery to drain and clean the infection site. This may require a hysterectomy on intact dogs or additional resection to animals that have been spayed.

Cancers will be treated according to the type, progression and location of the tumor. This may include chemotherapy, surgical intervention, or radiation therapy. Other abnormalities, such as a fistula (linkage between rectum and vagina) will need to be repaired surgically as well.

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Worried about the cost of Vaginal Discharge treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

Recovery of Vaginal Discharge in Dogs

The recovery of your dog will depend on the condition causing the discharge. Most infections are easily treated with antibiotics and cleaning of the area while more stubborn infections may need surgical cleaning and/or draining. Cancers vary widely in their recovery rates, so ask the veterinarian about treatment options and life expectancy. Surgery to repair a defect or trauma is usually successful provided post-surgical care instructions are followed, and the pet is kept from chewing the area.

Vaginal discharge can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your dog has vaginal discharge or is at risk, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Trupanion. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

Paying for your pet’s routine shots, bloodwork and tests can also be difficult to budget for. Fortunately, Wag! Wellness plans cover costs for routine care for your pet, getting your money straight back into your bank account within 24 hours. In the market for wellness plans? Compare wellness plan packages to find the right plan for your pet!

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Vaginal Discharge Average Cost

From 92 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$950

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Vaginal Discharge Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Mixed

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Eight Years

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10 found helpful

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10 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Vaginal Mucous

White/clear with yellow hue

Dec. 10, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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10 Recommendations

Hello, if your dog is not spayed she may have a pyometra and would need vet attention right away. If she is spayed, this may be a vaginitis. She would also then need to see your vet for antibiotics to clear this infection.

Dec. 10, 2020

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Puggle

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Five Years

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10 found helpful

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10 found helpful

Has Symptoms

My Puggle Stella is spayed, but she’s been having a dark brown discharge from her vagina and it’s like dark sticky dirt around her vagina. She’s eating, drinking, urinating and pooping normally, and is still playful. She does constantly lick her vagina when she goes to bed, and she sometimes scoots her bottom randomly.

Dec. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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10 Recommendations

Thank you for this. Potential causes would include anal gland disease, a vaginitis, a foreign body in the vulva , skin fold pyoderma (bacterial infection) etc. She needs to see a vet who will examine the area and may prescribe antibiotics. Stop licking with a buster collar and clean the area with salt water.

Dec. 2, 2020

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Vaginal Discharge Average Cost

From 92 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$950

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