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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 could provide relief. A visit to the veterinarian is the best idea as she will know the 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, vaginitis can sometimes resolve on it’s own. It is best to have a case of vaginal inflammation checked out by your veterinarian because 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 canines 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 vaginal area 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
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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)
  • east infection (rare)
  • Ovarian remnant syndrome (the dog still goes into heat even though spayed)
  • 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 will be analyzed in the cytology lab to look for cellular changes, and a bacterial culture of the discharge will indicate if the amount of bacteria is above and beyond what is normal vaginal bacteria. Standard testing of blood, urine, and feces will 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 putting forth a resolution. Treatment can vary greatly depending on the cause of the problem. If there is an anatomical anomaly, surgery will be done. An example of this is 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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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

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Chihuahua

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Seven Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Noisy Breathing

She’s a teacup chihuahua. She’s very weak. Her vulva seems to be swollen and has black spots on it. Don’t know if that has anything to do with it. She drinking slot of water. Her stomach seems to be very hard too.

Sept. 19, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, there can be so many causes for what you are describing, it is difficult for me to say what might be going on without a good physical examination. If she is not spayed, she may be developing a uterine infection, and that can become life threatening very quickly. From your description, it would be best to have her seen as soon as possible by a veterinarian who can examine her, and you may need to take her to a 24 hour or ER clinic. They will be able to look at her, see more what might be going on, and let you know what possible treatment she might need to feel better. I hope that all goes well for her and she feels better soon!

Sept. 19, 2020

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Beagle

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Four Months

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Unknown severity

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Frequent Urination

My puppy has been frequently peeing like every 30mins or so. She also has dry and red vaginal area that she frequently licks. What could it possibly be and what should I do about it?

Aug. 21, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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3 Recommendations

Thank you for your question, I'm sorry that your puppy is having problems. Poor girl, she sounds like she may have some kind of urinary tract infection or problem. If it has been going on for a month, it is time to have her seen by a veterinarian. They will be able to look at her, analyze her urine if needed, and get medication that will help her feel better. I hope that all goes well for her and she feels better soon.

Aug. 21, 2020

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Pit Bull

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Five Months

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Red Bumps

My puppy has a rash around her private area that she constantly licks and turns red.

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Puppies can get superficial skin infections that can be quite itchy and can get worse if not treated. If this is something that is not getting better and is really bothering her, it would probably be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine her and see what might be going on. Once they know more, they'll be able to tell me what's causing this and get you any medications that she needs. I hope that all goes well for her and she feels better soon.

Aug. 6, 2020

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Cockapoo

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Constant Licking On Genitals

My dog has a small rash on her genitals, keeps feeling the need to scoot her butt on the floor and is constantly licking her genitals. there are no vets open near me as it’s a saturday.

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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Hello, Sorry that your dog is having problems. It does look like she has an infection. She most likely will need to see a vet. You can try to clean this area with medicated shampoo or chlorhexidine shampoo that you can find at the pet store or even drug store. This will help decrease the infection on the surface but your dog may also need oral antibiotics to help.

Aug. 1, 2020

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Pug

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3 month

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Small Mole In The Private Area And She Is Frequently Voiding

what to do

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear about your dog. This mole may be normal. If she is urinating a lot, I worry about a bladder infection. It would be best for your vet to check her for an infection and start her on some antibiotics. I hope your dog starts to feel better soon.

Aug. 1, 2020

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Sugar

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Old English bulldog

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1 Year

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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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

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Millie

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French Bulldog

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4 Months

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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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.

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Penny

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French Bulldog

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14 Months

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Fair severity

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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

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Evie

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Pomeranian

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16 Years

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Serious severity

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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.

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Zhor

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American Staffordshire Terrier

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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

Mild severity

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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

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