What is dog vaginitis?

By: Ernest E. Ward, Jr., DVM

What is dog vaginitis?

MyPetED image: Any female dog can develop vaginitis, at any age, whether she's spayed or intact.

  • Vaginitis is the medical term for inflammation (tissue swelling and pain) of a dog vagina or vestibule.
  • Any female dog can develop vaginitis, at any age, whether she’s spayed or intact.

What are the symptoms of vaginitis in dogs?

  • Discharge from the vulva or vagina, including blood, mucus or pus
  • Increased urination frequency
  • Licking, scooting or rubbing the vaginal area
  • Red and swollen appearance

What causes vaginitis in dogs?

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Trauma to the vaginal area
  • Foreign bodies
  • Urine or fecal contamination of the vulva
  • Ectopic ureter
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vaginal tumors
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Vaginal hematomas or abscesses
  • Congenital anatomical abnormalities including prepubertal

How does my vet diagnose the cause of dog vaginitis?

Your veterinarian begins by considering the patient’s medical history and symptoms. Next, he or she may run the following diagnostic tests:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests and urine culture
  • Antibiotic sensitivity tests
  • Vaginal cultures, vaginoscopy and vaginal cytology studies

How does my vet treat vaginitis?

  • Your veterinarian will prescribe treatment based on the specific cause of your pet’s condition, but treatment for most dogs includes:
    • Antibiotics
    • Vaginal douches (0.05% chlorhexidine or 0.5% povidone-iodine solutions), given 2x daily
  • Most patients respond well and return to normal within 2-3 weeks of beginning treatment.
  • Dogs with prepubertal vaginitis often resolve after the first “heat” cycle.
  • Adult patients that are still intact often benefit from spaying.
  • Surgery may be necessary for severe or complicated cases.

The good news is – your veterinarian can help your dog quickly recover from vaginitis.

Every case is unique, so you’ll want to have your dog seen by your local vet for guidance.

Vet Written

Written by:
Ernest E. Ward, Jr., DVM
© 2014 MyPetED (Lifelearn Inc.). Used and/or modified with permission under license

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