Canine Health and Vulva Infections

By Sarah Lambert

Swelling of your dog's vulva, or female genitals, could be an indication of mild health problems or an infection. Look for other symptoms that indicate that the vulva is infected, rather than swelling for other reasons. Once the infection is diagnosed, treatment can be undertaken.

Vulva Swelling

The vulva is the external genital organs of a female dog. If the vulva is swelling, this usually means that the female is in heat. But it also could be an indication of medical problems.


Causes for vulva swelling include an allergic reaction, going into heat, labor complications, or a vaginal infection.


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in female dogs can cause vaginal swelling. UTIs occur when bacteria enters the urethra or urinary tract. Female dogs are more susceptible to UTIs.

Other Symptoms

If your dog has a UTI, there will be other indications that this is the cause of vulva swelling. She will scratch and lick her vaginal area frequently, have difficulty urinating, and exhibit behavioral changes.


UTIs can be treated with Ciprofloxacin to kill the bacteria if the dog is 28 weeks or older. The best treatment, however, is prevention through frequent walks, plenty of water and prevention, according to