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Vaginal Discharge in Dogs

By: Dr. Bari Spielman

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What to Watch For

  • Vaginal discharge of any type other than the normal stream of urine
  • Attracting male dogs
  • Excessive licking of the vagina
  • Scooting the bottom along the floor
  • Increased urination and/or straining to urinate
  • Difficulty defecating
  • Lethargy, fever, increased thirst

    Diagnosis

    It is important to obtain a complete medical history and to perform a thorough physical examination. Additional tests may include:

  • A complete blood count (CBC), biochemical profile, and urinalysis
  • A urine culture to rule out a bacterial urinary tract infection
  • Vaginal cytology
  • Culture of the vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal radiographs (X-ray) to assess the uterus and pelvis
  • Abdominal ultrasonography
  • Vaginoscopy, which is examination of the vagina through a rigid or flexible viewing scope
  • Cytology and biopsy of any abnormal tissue in the vagina
  • Serologic tests for brucellosis and herpesvirus
  • Intravenous dye study of the kidneys and ureters to identify any abnormalities in the location of the ureters
  • A coagulation profile if bloody discharge may be related to a clotting problem

    Treatment

    Vaginal discharges that are considered normal for the dog do not require treatment. In addition, mild vaginitis that is sometimes present in young puppies often resolves spontaneously once the dog is spayed or has passed through its first heat.

    Other causes of vaginal discharge are more serious and require specific therapy, depending upon the cause. Examples of such therapy include:

  • Surgical removal of an infected uterus, a vaginal foreign body, or a uterine or vaginal tumor
  • Surgical correction of any congenital defects of the ureters, the walls of the vagina or rectum
  • Antibiotics for urinary tract infections, bacterial vaginitis, and following trauma
  • Corrective therapy for any bleeding disorders
  • Chemotherapy for selected tumors of the vagina or external genitalia, e.g. transmissible venereal tumor, lymphosarcoma, transitional cell carcinoma
  • Avoidance of breeding the bitch while she has vaginal discharge

    Home Care

    Administer all prescribed medications as directed by your veterinarian. Observe your pet closely. If the clinical signs are not improving or are getting worse, contact your veterinarian at once.


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