Dog vagin* Health Guide: Everything You Need to Know (2024)

What Is Normal for a Healthy Dog vagin*?

To understand when something is wrong with your dog’s vagin*, you need to know what a normal dog vagin* looks like.

It’s normal to be able to see your dog’s vulva. If a female dog has not beenspayed, the appearance of her vulva can change dramatically over the course of her heat cycle.

Many unspayed dogs will “spot” small amounts of blood before they go into a full cycle, so it’s not unusual to see light bleeding before she enters a true heat cycle.

When a dog isin heat(receptive to mating), her vulva becomes swollen, and a bloody discharge will be evident. Heatusually lasts for a week or two but can vary widely between dogs.

After being in heat, the bleeding should stop, and your dog’s vulva will return to its normal appearance. Dogs may go through this entire cycle once every four months to once every 12 months.

Common Dog vagin* Problems

Let's look at some of the most common vagin*l issues in dogs.

Swollen Vulva in Dogs

If you need to spread the skin apart to see your dog’s vulva, there’s an issue. Extra skin around the vulva can cause urinary tract infections, vagin*l infections, and dermatitis. Your dog may not even show any symptoms until an infection is advanced.

Depending on the extent of extra tissue, surgical removal of the extra skin may be necessary.

If your dog has a condition calledvagin*l hyperplasia, dark pink or red tissue may protrude from the vulva. The tissue swelling that causes this should resolve when the heat cycle ends. Spaying your dog will also take care of the problem and prevent future occurrences.

If your spayed female dog has a swollen vulva with a bloody discharge, it’s possible that some ovarian tissue remained within her abdomen after her spaysurgery.

Infections, injuries, and tumors can also make a dog’s vulva appear to be swollen.

Call your vet if your dog’s vulva is swollen and you know that she isn’t in heat.

Vulvar Fold Dermatitis

Sometimes, when the skin around the vulva holds in moisture such as after urination or traps any debris, the skin around the vulva can become very irritated and uncomfortable and can even with time result in a urinary tract infection.

If your pup has an “inset vulva” which retains urine or other debris, regular cleaning is necessary to keep this area clean. Some severely affected dogs require surgery.

Bloody Discharge

Bloody discharge from the vulva is a normal part of an unspayed female dog’s heat cycle. Dogs typically go into heat and bleed between one to three times a year.

However, if your dog has been spayed or you know it is not time for yourunspayeddog to go into heat, the bleeding could be a sign of a potentially serious health problem.

If you see blood coming from your dog’s vulva, it could be a result of:

  • Trauma

  • Tumors

  • Infections

  • Anatomic abnormalities

  • Blood clotting disorders

  • Conditions affecting the urinary tract

Your dog should be evaluated by a veterinarian unless she is known to be in heat and there aren’t any other issues.

Changes in Color

The outer surfaces of a dog’s labia are covered with skin and a small amount of hair, which should appear like the surrounding skin and hair.

Some dark staining may be present due to the presence of fluids—like saliva—that turn reddish-brown when exposed to air. The inner surfaces of the labia are a pink color but are not normally visible.

If you notice changes to the coloration of your dog’s vulva or surrounding tissues, or a discharge of any color, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Abnormal Discharge

A dog who is in heat will have bloody discharge from her vulva, and a dark green to black discharge is normal in the days after a dog has given birth.

However, othertypes of discharges, which may be watery or bloody, or look likemucusor pus, are generally associated with health problems and warrant a trip to the veterinarian.

Possible diagnoses include:

  • Traumatic injury

  • Pregnancy and birth-related problems

  • Foreign material within the vagin*

  • Infection of the urinary or reproductive tract, including a potential fatal uterine infection calledpyometra

  • Cancer of the urinary or reproductive tract

  • Urinary tract stones

  • Blood clotting disorders

  • Anatomic abnormalities (such as an inset vulva)

  • Hormonal disorders

There should also be little to no odor associated with a dog’s vulva, so if you smell or see anything unusual in this area, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Dog Licking Her vagin* Excessively

A dog will sometimes lick her vulva to help keep it clean.

Intermittent licking is rarely a problem unless you also notice a vagin*l discharge or changes in the vulva’s appearance, her overall health has worsened, or the licking becomes more frequent or intense.

Excessive licking can be a sign of infection, injuries, or other problems with your dog’s urinary or reproductive tract. Call your veterinarian if you notice that your pup is licking themselves excessively.

Rash Around the vagin*

The skin that surrounds a dog’s vulva can develop rashes just like any other area of the body.

Because the vulva touches the ground whenever a dog sits, it frequently encounters irritants, allergens, and insects that may bite. Parasites or skin infections can also cause rashes around a dog’s vulva.

A bath using cool water and a gentle soap might help if your dog’s rash developed due to contact with anallergenor irritant.

Rashes that are severe, produce significant discomfort, or persist for more than a day or two should be evaluated by your veterinarian.

vagin* Has Lump, Bump, or Growth

Lumps, bumps, or growths that are in or around a dog’s vulva are not normal and may be associated with:

  • Injuries

  • Infections

  • Inflammation

  • Cysts

  • Tumors

Dogs who have not been spayed may develop vagin*l hyperplasia.

The tissue swelling that causes this should resolve when your dog goes out of heat or when she is spayed. If the tissue around your dog’s vulva appears swollen and she is not currently in heat, it is time to schedule a checkup.

Dog vagin* Health Guide: Everything You Need to Know (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dean Jakubowski Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 5405

Rating: 5 / 5 (50 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dean Jakubowski Ret

Birthday: 1996-05-10

Address: Apt. 425 4346 Santiago Islands, Shariside, AK 38830-1874

Phone: +96313309894162

Job: Legacy Sales Designer

Hobby: Baseball, Wood carving, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Lacemaking, Parkour, Drawing

Introduction: My name is Dean Jakubowski Ret, I am a enthusiastic, friendly, homely, handsome, zealous, brainy, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.