Has your dog been scooting across the floor lately? It could be a sign of a serious infection and time to take your pup to the vet right away. One of the causes could be a vaginal infection. Vaginitis in dogs can affect both unaltered female puppies and spayed female adults. This inflammation condition can be caused by a variety of factors and can be temporary or chronic.
Dogs, like people, can sometimes be faced with unwanted irritation in their reproductive areas, which should be addressed and treated as soon as possible. Talk to your vet before trying any homeopathic cures or home remedies. Symptoms of vaginitis can mask other ailments, so get a medical opinion before treating a suspected case on your own.
What is vaginitis in dogs?
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, canine vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina, which can lead to irritation of the affected area. This condition is usually caused by a bacterial infection, although viral infections, hyperplasia, steroids, foreign bodies in the vagina, and tumors may also lead to canine vaginitis. Most dogs show signs of vaginitis through discharge, increased urination, scooting and frequent licking of the area, says VCA Hospitals.
Canine vaginitis is a condition that can result in swelling, irritation, and vaginal discharge, and often requires antibiotic medication, depending on the cause. Sometimes, home remedies can be used to get your dog back in her best health, and often require basic ingredients you may already have inside of your kitchen. Vaginitis in dogs is usually very easily treatable once a diagnosis has been made, and some dogs may find relief with home remedies.
Home remedies for treatment
Vaginitis is most effectively treated when you address the cause of the irritation first — often, yeast infections can lead to vaginitis, and is easily treatable and preventable. Dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies generally involve keeping the area clean and dry, which will prevent the formation of fungus around the vagina. Using unscented baby wipes to clean your dog's vagina may improve the condition, as will using talc-free cornstarch to powder the area after wiping. Additionally, adding a broad spectrum non-dairy probiotic for dogs to your dog's meals daily may improve vaginitis as well.
A sexually immature vagina can result in canine vaginitis, and is common in young, unspayed dogs who have not yet gone through their first heat cycle. Sometimes, vaginitis may resolve itself after a dog's first heat, and unspayed adult dogs can greatly benefit from spaying. Vaginitis can affect female dogs at any age, however, and pet guardians should consult their veterinarians at any sign of irritation on or around the vagina. Symptoms of other conditions, like colitis, are often mistaken for canine vaginitis.
When to consult a pro
Before administering DIY treatments for vaginitis to your dog, it is recommended that you consult your veterinarian, who may be able to offer tips for your specific pet. In order to properly diagnose canine vaginitis, blood or urinary tests, and urine or vaginal cultures are often performed. Additionally, the medical history and current symptoms of your canine can help a medical professional reach a diagnosis, which will make treatment that much more effective and fast-acting.
Sometimes, an expression of the anal glands is needed, which may prevent the recurrence of irritation and infection. Most commonly, however, your veterinarian will test your dog to see if the condition is caused by an overgrowth of fungus or bacteria, and will prescribe a course of antifungal or antibiotic medication to treat the problem, says Animal Wellness Magazine. In rare cases, surgery which removes excess fat around a dog's vulva may be elected in order to prevent the trapping of moisture in the area.