Vaginitis is a medical condition that shows up in female dogs young, old and in between. The ailment, which entails vaginal inflammation, does appear in two types, one that affects mature canines, and another that affects youngsters. When a puppy develops it, it is referred to as juvenile vaginitis. Fixed and unfixed pooches alike are vulnerable to the condition.
Vaginitis in Puppies
A puppy has juvenile vaginitis if she develops the condition and has not yet gotten to the age of sexual maturity -- think zero estrus cycles. Puppies generally become reproductively mature once they're around 6 months in age or a little older. The inflammatory condition emerges in the form of symptoms such as genital licking, vaginal spotting, dragging on the ground, subtle skin irritation in the genital region, urinating more often and a transparent or whitish mucus-like substance coming out of the genital area. The substance is devoid of any smell. The majority of dogs with vaginitis do not experience much in the way of symptoms, if any at all. The inflammation is particularly prevalent within the puppy world, according to the Merck Manual for Pet Health.
Bacterial infection oftentimes is the cause of a case of vaginitis. Such an infection could arise due to bacteria present within a dog's fecal matter. If a canine grooms herself after elimination, she could easily transfer some bacteria from her anal area to her vaginal region, for example.
Other Possible Causes of Vaginitis
Bacterial infection isn't the sole possible culprit for a puppy or adult doggie's pesky case of vaginitis. Cancer and viruses both also can trigger the condition in canines. Herpes is a specific example of a virus that could be a potential cause. The introduction of external items or substances to the vaginal area also can bring upon the inflammation. The condition is also frequently idiopathic, with no clearly defined trigger.
If you see symptoms of vaginitis in your pet, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible just to be on the safe side. In many cases, vaginitis in puppies fades away by itself -- usually when the little one attains sexual maturity. However, exceptions make a discussion with the veterinarian crucial.
By Naomi Millburn
The District of Columbia Academy of Veterinary Medicine: Small Animal Theriogenology
LSU School of Veterinary Medicine: Vaginitis
The Merck Manual for Pet Health: Reproductive Disorders of Female Dogs
The Dog Breeder's Guide to Successful Breeding and Health Management; Margaret V. Root Kustritz
The Merck Veterinary Manual: Vaginitis in Small Animals
Clinical Canine and Feline Reproduction; Margaret V. Root Kustritz
ASPCA: How Will Spaying Change My Dog?
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.