Overview of Canine Vaginal Hyperplasia
Vaginal hyperplasia is an exaggerated response by the vaginal tissue to estrogen during certain phases of the estrus (heat) cycle. The vaginal tissue becomes swollen and may protrude through the vulva, or external female genital organ, as a tongue-shaped mass.
Vaginal hyperplasia is most common in young intact female dogs and is thought to be caused by estrogen stimulation. There is a genetic predisposition to developing vaginal hyperplasia.
The breeds most commonly affected include the Labrador retriever, Chesapeake Bay retriever, boxer, English bulldog, mastiff, German shepherd, St. Bernard, Airedale, springer spaniel, walker hound and Weimaraner.
What to Watch For
Signs of Vaginal Hyperplasia in Dogs may include:
Diagnosis of Vaginal Hyperplasia in Dogs
Treatment of Vaginal Hyperplasia in Dogs
Management of vaginal hyperplasia can be difficult. If the patient can urinate, treatment is generally not an emergency and outpatient care is recommended. If there is a blockage due to the mass, immediate hospitalization and intervention is necessary.
Given enough time, most all cases of vaginal hyperplasia are reversible, as certain periods of the estrus cycle allow for it to resolve. Treatment includes:
Follow all instructions given to you by your veterinarian. Continue therapy for the entire recommended time. Keep the environment clean, and do not allow trauma to the area.
Once vaginal hyperplasia occurs, there is a 67 percent chance that it will happen again during her next heat cycle.
Ovariohysterectomy prevents recurrence and may hasten resolution.