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Vaginitis In Dogs – Causes, Signs & Treatment

Vaginitis In Dogs

What Is Vaginitis In Dogs?

Canine vaginitis is inflammation of a female dog's vaginal tissues, which can cause irritation of the affected area that can be seen both in young and older dogs.

There are several causes for this condition such as bacterial/fungal infection, viral infections, foreign bodies in the vagina, hyperplasia, tumors, and steroids may also lead to canine Vaginitis. As vaginitis can be a symptom of underlying problems or external irritating factors, visit the vet as soon as possible to not make the matters worse.

This condition is distinguished by a red, inflamed vaginal area together with the vaginal discharge of mucus or pus. Always it is good to check with the vet for vaginal inflammation as it is often confused with the heat cycle. Sometimes, this condition can result in chronic vaginitis and that complicates the health condition further.

Canine vaginitis is common in the sexually adolescent vagina, such as in young, unspayed dogs that have not yet gone through their first heat cycle. Most often, vaginitis may resolve itself after the first heat of the dog and spaying can be really beneficial for unspayed adult dogs. Pet owners should discuss with their veterinarians any signs of behavioral differences due to irritation on or around the vagina.

Vaginitis makes it difficult for dogs to urinate. Although the prognosis for recovery is positive for most dogs, the possibility of the prolapse recurring all through pregnancy, or at delivery is quite possible. Spaying the animal may be recommended as breeding may place the dog at further risk for the condition.

Symptoms Of Vaginitis In Dogs

  • Red or pink inflamed tissue from the vulva
  • Resistance to mating, even during the heat cycle
  • Excessive licking of the vulvar area
  • Scooting
  • Painful or difficult urination

Treatment Options For Vaginitis In Dogs

  • Usually, a daily wiping of the vaginal area with prescribed wipes or cleansing with a mild prescription douche is itself enough.
  • Surgery may be required for prolapsed vaginal tissues: vets perform surgery or Resection to take away vaginal mucosal tissue that is necrotic or dying.
  • Hormonal therapy: This is to induce ovulation.
  • Additional fluids and an IV catheter also may be required during the surgery.
  • Antibiotics, antifungals, Antivirals, or anthelmintics medications.
  • Pain medication: NSAIDs (Carprofen, Meloxicam , Firocoxib, Galliprant).

Home Remedies For Vaginitis In Dogs

  • Clean your dog's vagina with unscented baby wipes and after wiping, apply talc-free cornstarch to powder the area.
  • Add broad-spectrum non-dairy probiotics (for example, Purina Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement) to your dog's meals.

How To Prevent Vaginitis In Dogs?

  • There is no real way to prevent vaginal inflammation. Some of the breeds inherit the condition and others acquire it through other health issues.
  • Consult with breeders/vets to find out if the breed has a history of vaginal inflammation.
  • Spayed female dogs are safe from vaginitis.

Affected Dog Breeds Of Vaginitis

Female Dogs, Beagle, Chow Chow, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, English Springer Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Labrador Retriever, Miniature Poodle, Rottweiler, Scottish Terrier, Schnauzer, Shetland Sheepdog, Standard Poodle

Causes And Prognosis For Vaginitis In Dogs

1. Causes:

  • Age: Pre-puberty and older dogs
  • Infections- bacterial, fungal, viral, and yeast infections
  • Vaginal neoplasia
  • Vaginal abscess
  • Ectopic ureter
  • Irritation from urine or fecal matter
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Uterine stump pyometra (residual tissue is present after ovariohysterectomy)
  • Ovarian remnant syndrome

2. Mortality:

There is no documented mortality connected with vaginal inflammation. Older dogs are at greater risk of getting incapacitated than younger dogs.

3. Diagnosis:

  • A complete blood count (CBC), chemistry profile
  • Tissue biopsy
  • Abdominal radiographs

4. Prognosis:

When vaginal inflammation is accompanied by prolapse of vaginal tissue, the mild protrusion may resolve on its own after the underlying cause for straining gets over or cured. Significant prolapse of vaginal tissue that blocks the urethra will be cleared only by medical and/or surgical intervention.

When To See A Vet For Vaginitis In Dogs?

Emergency — Immediate Veterinary Assistance Needed

  • Red or pink inflamed tissue from the vulva
  • Resistance to mating, even during the heat cycle
  • Excessive licking of the vulvar area

Food Suggestions For Vaginitis In Dogs

  • Low carb, Organic, high-protein, and cruciferous foods
  • Protein, such as lean beef, chicken, fish, turkey
  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as Cabbage, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale
  • Fresh vegetables/fruit (banana, carrots, green beans, apple, orange)
  • Omega 3 fatty acid foods (avocados, flaxseeds, Sardines, salmon, Mackerel, Herring, etc)
  • Antioxidant berries such as blueberries, Strawberries


Vaginal inflammation in dogs is highly uncomfortable for owners and they should consider the diagnosis with the proper clinical signs. Most of them confuse the signs with other conditions such as colitis and pyometra. Even with proper treatment, a relapse is possible at the time of the next estrus. Spay (Ovariohysterectomy) prevents recurrence and may speed up healing.

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