Vaginitis is an inflammation of the female dog’s vagina. Mostly young animals develop the disease. Older animals who have already given birth are seldom affected.
The most noticeable symptom of vaginitis is a purulent discharge from the vagina. The amount of discharge varies from animal to animal. Another symptom is itching that leads to female dogs licking their genital regions more frequently than normal. In some cases, affected dogs also show a slightly impaired general condition and may develop a fever. The dog’s vagina itself appears reddened and is covered with mucus (these two symptoms are not visible to the naked eye).
Some bacterial pathogens cause vaginitis. These pathogens are a normal part of the vaginal flora of a female dog. The disease, therefore, only breaks out if the immune system of the animal is weakened. There are other factors that abet an outbreak of the disease, some of which include unbalanced nutrition or insufficient hygienic conditions. Infectious diseases (e.g. canine distemper) can also cause of vaginitis. Furthermore secretions accompanying an inflammation of the ovaries may cause the disease.
If the patient is a young female with light discharge, recovery often depends upon the elimination of disease favoring circumstances. A proper supply of vitamins, a balanced and nutritious diet, and hygienic conditions support a speedy recovery. In case of stronger discharge and itching, the vagina has to be washed with disinfecting rinses as well as treated with antibacterial cream daily until symptoms subside. In cases where the animal’s general condition is impaired the bacteria has to be examined in more detail as the medication may very from the typical treatment.
Vaginitis doesn’t require an immediate consultation with your veterinarian, and an examination at the vet’s at the next available opportunity is sufficient. Generally speaking, all disease supporting factors are to be eliminated. Therefore, a hygienic environment should be created (including a resting and sleeping place) and the dog should be put on a balanced diet and possibly a vitamin cure. If your dog’s vagina develops a crusty coating, it should be removed carefully with a damp cloth and lukewarm water with a pinch of salt added.