Dog Swollen Vulva: Causes and What it Means

Does your dog have a swollen vulva? This problem is common in dogs, and it can indicate a variety of underlying causes and health problems.

 

If you’ve recently noticed your dog licking her genital area more frequently than normal, or if you’ve noticed signs that she is guarding this part of her body, it’s important to look closely for any issues. Check for swelling of the vulva and, if you notice this symptom, consider going to the vet to find out what’s going on for sure. Otherwise, read through the information below to help you learn more.

dog running in park

 

Dog Vaginitis

Some dogs may contract an infection of the vagina that also affects the vulva. The general term for this type of infection is vaginitis. Vaginitis can be caused by urinary tract infections, injury, foreign objects, and even just the presence of bacteria.

 

Aside from a swollen vulva, vaginitis symptoms include frequent urination, pain when urinating, “scooting” to scratch the vulva, frequent licking, and discharge. These symptoms can all also be associated with several other vaginal health problems in dogs, so it’s important to get the problem checked out by the vet.

 

 

Dog Tumor

Tumors can affect any part of a dog’s reproductive system. If your dog has a tumor anywhere within her reproductive organs, she may suffer from a swollen vulva as her body responds to the presence of the tumor. External tumors near the vulva can also cause this symptom.

 

If you suspect your dog may have a tumor, don’t wait to take her to the vet to be examined. You will need to work closely with your vet to determine whether or not treatment or manage are the right options for dealing with this problem.

 

 

Injury

Sometimes, a dog’s vulva may become injured. This can happen if she is playing roughly with other dogs or even if she’s playing outside. She could accidentally scratch or otherwise damage the vulva, or she could have a foreign object—like a piece of a plant or twig—that becomes stuck within the vulva.

 

All of these potential problems are relatively harmless, but they can cause swelling of the vulva. If you can see the cause of the swelling and are able to safely remove it yourself, you can do so; however, if you aren’t sure what type of injury has caused the swelling, take your dog to the vet.

Consoling injured dog

 

 

Vaginal Hyperplasia

Vaginal hyperplasia is a condition that causes tissue to protrude through the dog’s vulva when she goes into heat. This tissue usually looks like a puffy donut or ring shape and is easy to see without looking very hard for it. It may be painful or uncomfortable, but some dogs have no symptoms from the tissue protrusion.

 

This condition can be mild to severe. In severe cases, the dog may be unable to urinate.

 

 

Post-Spay Surgery

If your dog has recently been spayed, she may have some swelling of the vulva as a result of the surgery. This is perfectly normal and should settle down within the next few days following the surgery.

 

If, for any reason, the vulva swelling does not decrease in a few days or if it worsens, you will need to take her back to the vet to have it examined. This could be a symptom of an infection following her surgery. Although post-spay infection is very uncommon, it is possible in some instances.

 

 

Heat Cycle

A dog’s vulva swells naturally as part of her normal heat cycle. If your dog is old enough to breed and has not been spayed, her vulva swelling may indicate that she is coming into heat or has already started her heat cycle. In this situation, the swelling should go down within a couple of weeks, when the heat cycle ends.

 

It is best to have your female dog spayed if you don’t plan to breed her. There is no medical reason to allow her to go through a heat cycle or to let her have a litter of puppies before having her spayed. The right time to spay your dog may vary, so talk to your vet for more information and guidance toward making this decision.

 

 

Conclusion

Swelling of the vulva can sometimes indicate a very serious health problem in your dog. However, in some cases, this symptom is a mild one that can be resolved very easily. Since there are so many potential causes of this symptom in dogs, it’s important to take your pet to the vet to be checked out if she has a swollen vulva.

 

The vet will perform tests to diagnose the problem and then work with you to determine the best course of action for treatment or management. With the help of a professional, you can get your dog’s health back to normal in no time.

 

 

Recent Posts

dog humping or mounting on owner leg.
Dog Humping: 6 Reasons Why Your Dog Does This
Cute kitten with big eyes walking over a meadow looking curious to the grass
Cat Head Bobbing: 6 Causes of This Behavior
Obedient dachshund dog sits in blue pet carrier in public place and waits the owner. Safe travel with animals by plane or train. Customs quarantine before or after transporting animals across border
6 Helpful Tips When Traveling with a Dog

About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.

Share This Post

Recent Posts

dog humping or mounting on owner leg.

Dog Humping: 6 Reasons Why Your Dog Does This

Cute kitten with big eyes walking over a meadow looking curious to the grass

Cat Head Bobbing: 6 Causes of This Behavior

Obedient dachshund dog sits in blue pet carrier in public place and waits the owner. Safe travel with animals by plane or train. Customs quarantine before or after transporting animals across border

6 Helpful Tips When Traveling with a Dog

About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.