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What is Vaginal Prolapse?

Discovering a large mass of tissue protruding from a dog’s vulva is alarming. To those unaware of vaginal prolapse, the mass may appear to be a fast-developing tumor, or an in-process miscarriage. As unsightly as it may be, the condition of vaginal prolapse commonly occurs in female dogs that have not been spayed. Due to the action of the female hormone estrogen, the tissue of the internal vaginal walls swells and protrudes through the vulva, the external female genital organ. The mass is usually accompanied by vaginal discharge.

 In vaginal prolapse, the swollen, protruding vaginal tissue resembles what’s often described as a “donut-shaped” mass. While the primary cause of vaginal prolapse is estrogen stimulation, other causes include vaginal hyperplasia (a proliferation of the vaginal mucosa) and genetic predisposition. Other causes of prolapse are prolonged straining resulting from a difficult labor and delivery, or an interruption during coitus before mating can occur. Reluctance to breed may be a symptom of vaginal prolapse.

While the condition affects a range of dogs, breeds most commonly affected include Labrador and Chesapeake Bay retriever, English Bulldog, German Shepherd, St. Bernard, Mastiff, Springer Spaniel and Weimaraner. Predominance in certain breeds suggests that genetics plays a key role in the development of canine vaginal prolapse. 

When serious, vaginal prolapse may prevent urination. The condition is almost always diagnosed just before or during estrus (heat). While the outcome is positive for most animals, the chance of the condition recurring throughout pregnancy, or at the delivery is quite possible. Because breeding may place the dog at further risk for the condition, spaying the animal may be recommended.

Vaginal prolapse, a condition caused by the action of the female hormone, estrogen, occurs in young, unspayed female dogs.

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Vaginal Prolapse Average Cost

From 572 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$850

Symptoms of Vaginal Prolapse in Dogs

  • Protrusion of pink or red inflamed tissue from the vulva
  • Excessive licking of the affected area
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Resistance to mating, even during heat cycle

Types

  • Type 1 occurs when there is a slight protrusion, even though it does not exit the vulva itself
  • Type 2 is when the vaginal tissue protrudes through the vulvar opening
  • Type 3 hyperplasia refers to the donut-shaped mass, which can be seen externally
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Causes of Vaginal Prolapse in Dogs

  • Genetics
  • Breed affiliation
  • Estrogen stimulation
  • Vaginal hypoplasia
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Diagnosis of Vaginal Prolapse in Dogs

A veterinary consultation will be required for diagnosis of vaginal prolapse. The timing of the problem (during pre-estrus or estrus), and the typical appearance of the mass upon physical examination, will usually be sufficient for diagnosis. In an older female dog, a tissue sample is often taken to differentiate the condition from a cancerous growth.

Aside from the physical examination, your veterinarian may choose to perform blood tests and urinalysis to rule out the presence of other underlying conditions or infection that may be present.

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Treatment of Vaginal Prolapse in Dogs

If your dog is experiencing prolapse but can urinate normally, the veterinarian may prescribe hormonal therapy. The prolapse may correct itself as this type of therapy can initiate estrus (heat). Topical creams will be prescribed if your pet is uncomfortable. With these therapies, vaginal prolapse is highly treatable and in many cases, can be reversed.

Unless the vaginal prolapse is blocking the urethra completely so that your pet cannot urinate, the condition is not a medical emergency. If your companion is unable to pass urine, she will likely require hospitalization, surgery to remove the blockage and enable an assessment of the prolapsed tissue, and if required, a urinary catheter will be utilized. Spaying is often suggested.

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Recovery of Vaginal Prolapse in Dogs

During recovery, you must keep the prolapsed area clean and dry.  If tolerated, an Elizabethan collar may stop your dog from licking, chewing or biting the affected area; many dogs benefit from wearing a canine diaper to protect the area and make it less accessible for constant grooming.

The veterinarian will prescribe moisturizing ointments that will help prevent tissue damage. As a  pet owner, you must be vigilant so that the prolapsed tissue is not aggravated or damaged by surfaces or other animals.

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Vaginal Prolapse Average Cost

From 572 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$850

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Vaginal Prolapse Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Golden Retriever

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Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

My dog has watery blood coming from her vaginal area and it looks something is protruding from her vaginal area

Feb. 13, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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2 Recommendations

I'm sorry to hear this. The are looks inflamed and infected and there may be a slight prolapse. A vet visit is essential and they will likely also analyse her urine. Consider a buster collar to stop all licking.

Feb. 13, 2021

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Pit Bull

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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7 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vaginal Prolapse

what are some home remedies I can utilize until getting her to the veterinarian

Dec. 11, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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7 Recommendations

The sooner she is seen the better, so any needed treatment can be started. Be sure to keep it clean and dry and she may need a buster collar so she can't lick at it. You must also monitor her urination as some dogs aren't able to pee and this is a true emergency.

Dec. 11, 2020

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Boxer

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Painful Urination

It looks like my boxer has a prolapsed vagina can she wait till tomorrow to be seen

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this platform is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that all is well with your dog and that you were able to get help for her.

Oct. 10, 2020

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pomeranian-chihuahua

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11years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Pinkish, Reducible Soft Tissue At Vulva

my dog underwent hysterectomy. is it still possible for her to have vaginal prolapse?.what is the treatment?.thank you

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Depending on when she was spayed, it is possible, yes. If she is still having this problem, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 16, 2020

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Bully pit

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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6 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Prolapsed Uterus Stage 3

My one year old bully uterus is completely protruded and now she is unable to urinate. The Vet can’t see her until tomorrow, should I take her to a animal hospital

July 30, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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6 Recommendations

Hello, This does need to see a vet very soon. It is best to keep this moist with water or lubrication too. If it dries out it can become necrotic. I would take your dog to the emergency clinic tonight if there is one that you can get her too. If you have to wait until tomorrow, make sure this area stays clean.

July 30, 2020

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Pearl

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Yorkshire Terrier

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15 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

None

My yorkie is about 14 years old and has a long pink mass coming out from behind. It’s been there for several months. I’ve bathed her several times and she doesn’t seem to mind when I’m cleaning her back there while bathing her. She acts like nothing is wrong. Is this normal?

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Virya

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Beagle

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9 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vaginal Swelling

My dog is spayed but started having a protrusion from her vagina when she was placed on thyroid tabs for hypothyroidism. All blood tests are normal but the protrusion still persists. It gets less inflamed on occasion but tends to come back intermittently. She isnt bothered by it but it still is concerning as I haven't really gotten a good answer from several vets on what the cause might be. This has been happening on and off for 2 years since the hypothyroid diagnosis. The vets I have spoken with say that the thyroid medication isnt the cause because the thyroid tests show that the medication is putting her thyroid hormones in range. Ant advice or suggestions on the cause of this would be greatly appreciated

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TinkTink(stray)

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Walker

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2 Years

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Critical severity

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2 found helpful

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

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Weakness
Crying
No Urination
Large Mass
Bleeding Vaginal Area
No Urinating

I have a walker. It's not ours its a stray it started hanging around and we fed it she was very skiddish. I noticed a little red mass protruding from her vaginial region. My mom insisted that this was just her in heat and normal. I kept telling her it wasn't until the mass continued growing bigger in about beggining of stage 2 my mom knew it was prolapse. We needed to catch her. We called the shelter owner. A women came over and set a live trap cage. She never went inside. This continued for about 2 weeks. She was now in stage 3 prolapse. A large mass was swinging from her vaginial area. About 2 days ago it is starting to get cold. Her mass was starting to turn a whiteish color. We gave benedryl childrens kind which the live trap women said was okay. She became tired and my mom walked out and grabbed her. She didn't even move she was shaking so hard and right now she is in the large doggie cage she is quiet and eating so much. The stupid freaing vet won't call us the pound wont come till monday and they told us to put sugar and warm water on it. to keep it moistened. Help!!

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Princess

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Yorkie

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12 Months

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Excessive Licking

This is her 2 heat cycle. One side of her virginal area is swollen more than usual and look like a strawberry! I don’t want to do surgery or get her spayed. What should I do ? Is it life threatening?

Vaginal Prolapse Average Cost

From 572 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$850

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