Vaginal Inflammation in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Vaginal Inflammation - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Vaginal Inflammation - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Vaginal Inflammation?

Vaginitis is a condition that can be found in both puppies and older dogs. There are numerous causes such as bacterial infection, anatomical anomalies, and cancer. Your pet may let you know that there is a problem that needs to be checked by displaying signs like frequent urination and constant licking of the vaginal area. Treatment protocols vary depending on the age of the dog and the severity of the inflammation. For example, in the case of juvenile vaginitis, the condition may resolve after the first estrus (heat cycle). In older, spayed dogs estrogen therapy or antibiotics could provide relief. A visit to the veterinarian is the best idea as they will know which treatment protocol is suited to your pet’s needs.

Inflammation of the vagina in dogs is also defined as vaginitis. Characterized by a swollen vaginal area accompanied by discharge, it is best to have a case of vaginal inflammation checked out by your veterinarian, as sometimes this condition can lead to chronic vaginitis and further complications, which may give your dog constant discomfort.

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Vaginal Inflammation Average Cost

From 52 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$950

Symptoms of Vaginal Inflammation in Dogs

Some dogs are asymptomatic for vaginal inflammation, but many will show obvious signs, pointing to the fact that irritation and pain are present.

Types

Vaginal inflammation is classified in two ways, depending on the age of your dog.

  • Juvenile vaginitis occurs in prepubescent dogs
  • Adult onset vaginitis is more common in spayed females than in intact dogs
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Causes of Vaginal Inflammation in Dogs

The exact reason why your pet has inflammation in the vaginal area can be hard to pinpoint. Some of the causes can be as follows.

  • Infection
  • Age (pre-puberty and old age can predispose)
  • Irritation from urine or fecal matter
  • Vaginal neoplasia
  • Foreign body migration such as foxtail
  • Anatomical anomaly that can cause the normal secretions of the vagina to not drain as they should
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Canine herpesvirus
  • Canine brucellosis (bacterial infection)
  • Yeast infection
  • Ovarian remnant syndrome 
  • Uterine stump pyometra (residual tissue is present after ovariohysterectomy)
  • Vaginal abscess
  • Ectopic ureter
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Diagnosis of Vaginal Inflammation in Dogs

Your veterinarian will need some basic information before she can begin the diagnostic process. Recent health issues, your pet’s dietary habits and her energy level of late are all key points that will be discussed. Letting your veterinarian know how long the suspected vaginitis has been an issue, and how much the condition seems to affect your pet’s day to day demeanor will give her an indication of the severity.

A physical examination of your pet will include a digital exam of the vaginal area. This will enable the veterinarian to gently explore the area for anatomical abnormalities. A vaginoscopy is another possibility which gives a visual view of the vaginal mucosa where observation can be made on the color in comparison to normal canine mucosa. A vaginoscopy will also allow the veterinarian to look for masses or lesions in the vagina. In addition, your veterinarian may want to make use of other imaging techniques like a radiograph or an ultrasound.

A vaginal tissue scraping might be analyzed in the cytology lab to look for cellular changes, and a bacterial culture of the discharge can indicate if the amount of bacteria is above and beyond what is normal vaginal bacteria. Standard testing of blood, urine, and feces might be included in the diagnostic process as well.

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Treatment of Vaginal Inflammation in Dogs

Any case of vaginal inflammation will involve finding out the reason for the discharge and swelling and treating the problem. Treatment can vary greatly depending on the cause of the problem. If there is an anatomical anomaly, surgery may be a treatment option. An example of this would be resectioning of a uterine stump. A urinary tract infection, or a proliferation of bacteria above normal readings would require antibiotics. In the instance of a foreign body in the vagina such as the migratory foxtail, removal should provide relief. 

Other medical protocols could include anti-inflammatories, glucocorticoids, and replacement hormone therapy. In mild cases, the simple treatment of daily cleansing with a mild prescription douche or wiping of the vaginal area with prescribed wipes could be all that is needed. In the case of juvenile vaginitis, resolution of the problem could happen on it’s own once the first estrus cycle has occurred.

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Worried about the cost of Vaginal Inflammation 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 Inflammation in Dogs

If a surgical treatment was required, the at-home guidance will vary and will be given to you by the veterinarian, specific to your canine companion’s situation. If your pet has been sent home with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or estrogen therapy be certain to adhere closely to the veterinarian’s instructions. Never stop a medication mid-course, even though you may feel that your dog is feeling better. Keep all follow-up appointments and always call the clinic if you have questions or concerns.

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Vaginal Inflammation Average Cost

From 52 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$950

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Vaginal Inflammation Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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morki

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Ten Years

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29 found helpful

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29 found helpful

Has Symptoms

My dogs vagina is red and irritated from her sanitary groom. I’m going to the vet in the am for the shot of antibiotics but in the meantime how can I make her more comfortable

Feb. 12, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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29 Recommendations

Oh, bless her, I'm sorry to hear this. It's great she is being seen by her vet so soon and this is the main thing. At home, ensure she cannot lick at the area and use a buster collar if needed. Do not cover the area as it should stay well ventilated. If it is possible the groomer used a shampoo or product that she is sensitive to , consider a quick wash with some hypoallergenic shampoo. I hope she feels better soon!

Feb. 12, 2021

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pom

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One Year

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22 found helpful

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22 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Slightly swollen vagina

Feb. 4, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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22 Recommendations

A dog's vulva will swell when in season, which tends to occur at this age. Ensure she is passing normal pee and there is no foul smelling discharge, which could indicate an infection.

Feb. 4, 2021

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Vaginal Inflammation Average Cost

From 52 quotes ranging from $300 - $5,000

Average Cost

$950

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