Jump to section

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 canines 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.

Compare Pet Insurance & Wellness Plans

Save up to $273 per year

Compare plans
advertisement image

Vaginal Inflammation Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$950

Protect yourself and your pet. Compare top pet insurance plans.

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.

  • Discharge may be whitish yellow and contain blood
  • Your pet may lick the vulvar area consistently
  • Urination may be frequent
  • It could be obvious that your dog is experiencing pain or difficulty when urinating
  • The vulva might be red and swollen
  • Your dog could scoot her bottom along the floor
  • Male dogs might show an interest in your dog

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
arrow-up-icon

Top

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
arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Vaginal Inflammation Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$950

Protect yourself and your pet. Compare top pet insurance plans.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Written by Darlene Stott

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Published: 05/06/2016, edited: 02/24/2021

Vaginal Inflammation Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

morki

dog-age-icon

Ten Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

4 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

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

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

4 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

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

pom

dog-age-icon

One Year

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

5 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Slightly swollen vagina

Feb. 4, 2021

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

5 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

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

German Shepherd

dog-age-icon

Five Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

12 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

My spayed female dog had what appears to be raw sores on her vulva. What can I do to help them heal and make her comfortable?

Jan. 2, 2021

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

12 Recommendations

I'm sorry to hear this. This is not expected and would warrant a vet visit. Potential causes could include a bacterial vaginitis or urinary tract infection. If she is licking, use a buster collar. Clean the area with cotton wool and salt water 2 times a day. She may well need some antibiotics from the vet.

Jan. 2, 2021

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Bichon Frise

dog-age-icon

Five Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

7 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

My females vagina is really swollen and she keeps licking it and crying

Dec. 27, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

7 Recommendations

There are a few potential diagnoses here including a vaginitis , urinary infection, allergy etc. We also need to ensure there is no risk of a uterus infection (pyometra). Signs of this include increased thirst, lethargy and vaginal discharge. Stop any licking with a buster collar and clean the area with saline. A vet visit is best so we can determine what is happening prescribe the appropriate treatment which may be e.g antibiotics.

Dec. 27, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

One Year

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

4 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Painful Urination

My baby girl is urinating frequently and licking her vaginal area constantly and it appears swollen and irratated

Dec. 9, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

4 Recommendations

I'm sorry to hear this. Possible causes include a urinary infection, vaginitis, urinary stones etc. She needs to be checked over and the vet may also analyse her urine. Treatment depends on what is found but may include antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. I do hope this helps.

Dec. 9, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Sugar

dog-breed-icon

Old English bulldog

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vaginal Swelling

My old English bulldog just turned 1 year old last month and has a swollen vulva as if she is in heat she has not been spayed but her vulva has been swollen for as long as I can remember. I thought it was just how hers looked and it wasn’t until recently someone told me no dogs vulva should constantly be in the state of appearing to be in heat. What could be wrong? I know it can’t be diagnosed over the internet just looking for all possible options

dog-name-icon

Millie

dog-breed-icon

French Bulldog

dog-age-icon

4 Months

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

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Scooting, Swollen Excessive Licking

I’ve taken my 4 month old puppy to multiple vets and I don’t seem to be getting anywhere and I truly feel as if she’s uncomfortable and miserable. She’s had her anal glands checked, urine checked, and she’s had pain and antibiotic meds that haven’t worked. It started with her vagina area had a red ring rash around it that went away, but her vagina itself is raw red and too sensitive to put cream on or clean it as she jumps in pain. She’s constantly scooting and whining and jumping around in shocking discomfort sometimes so much she won’t even stand up. She currently has a cone on to keep from licking. We also found out she has giardia and the vet is saying now to only focus on that. The vets keep saying her vaginal issue is fine and just to see if it goes away and it’s been 3 weeks and it honestly feels worse.

dog-name-icon

Penny

dog-breed-icon

French Bulldog

dog-age-icon

14 Months

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

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Bleeding
Vaginal Swelling
Vaginal Swelling Bleeding Licking
Vaginal Inflamation

My French bulldog has swelling in her vaginal area on the outside she appears to be on heat and doesn’t seem to be super uncomfortable other than trying to sit on the area it is red roar and seems to be very tender and the vagina appears to be bigger than what it normally is when she is on heat although fit is only her second cycle, she is still acting her self and doesn’t seem to struggle going bathroom and is eating and drinking as normal. should I take her to a vet or wait to see if swelling does go down

dog-name-icon

Evie

dog-breed-icon

Pomeranian

dog-age-icon

16 Years

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

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Painful Urination
Black Skin

My 16 year old female Pomeranian is in a lot of pain. She has bouts of crying and knocking her head against her dog bed three and four times a day. I've made several visits to emergency care and several to her regular physician. At first they were blaming on knee issues but I just knew the pain was coming from her vulva area. So now the doc is saying urine scald and we are getting ready to treat for incontinence. She has patches of black skin near her vulva and now in multiple places on her inner legs. When she starts crying, I have been rinsing the area off with warm water and then partially blow drying on cool. I don't know what else to do. She is breaking my heart. Urinating definitely sets her off.

dog-name-icon

Zhor

dog-breed-icon

American Staffordshire Terrier

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Incontinence

You Hello I came home after a long days work and come to show some love to my 9 year old “Blue Nose American Staff Terrier”, and I looked in her rear and it looks like a big sac that’s red and vieny coming out her vulva/vagina someone please help me because I have never seen this and my dog doesn’t seep to be inpain or anything but I put some gloves on an put some NEOSPORIN on my gloved hands and put generous amount on that protrusion of some kind of red vieny sac coming out her female part (vulva/vagina). I want to take her to a vet but I am low on cash and loco g pay check to paycheck right now and it’s either pay my rent //// vs//// take my dog to the vet.... I’m so lost and in pain someone please HELP MY POOR DOG.

Vaginal Inflammation Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$950

Protect yourself and your pet. Compare top pet insurance plans.

Compare Pet Insurance & Wellness Plans

Save up to $273 per year

Compare plans
advertisement image
Need pet insurance?