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We enjoy the bond and time spent with our canines as dog owners. But just like any day in the life of a pet owner, it's inevitable that you will be facing health issues along the way.

There are various illnesses that your dog could experience. Gender is an essential factor since female dogs develop different health challenges like dog vulvar dermatitis.

As popularly called, dog vaginitis is a common condition among female canines that shows inflammation or infection in their vagina.

It could also co-exist with other underlying health issues such as dog yeast infection vulva.

Fortunately, there is no need to be highly alarmed about vaginitis in dogs. There are dog vulvar dermatitis treatments you can do at home. 

This article will learn dog vaginitis, its causes, symptoms, and dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies.

If you come across this condition, it's best that you are fully aware of it and how to treat it.

However, keep in mind that the symptoms of dog vulvar dermatitis are pretty vague and could be plainly expressed when the dog's vag is swollen.

If you are hesitant and quite concerned about your puppy, it's best to consult with a vet.

dog vulva infection with vag swollen

What is Dog Vulvar Dermatitis?

According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, dog vulvar dermatitis refers to the infection of the skin folds around the vulva due to excess urine and secretions.

Yeast and bacteria build until a moist, dark environment is created in the rear end. 

Inflammation of the vagina in dogs is also known as dog vaginitis, similar to dog vulvar dermatitis. This condition can occur in both puppies and older female dogs. 

Vaginal infections have many signs to look out for, and a common symptom is seeing that your dog's vag is swollen.

When this happens, you may observe the condition for a day or two, and you can always check with a vet when it becomes worse.

Causes and Symptoms of Dog Vaginitis

Dog vulvar dermatitis may be inevitable when you have a pet dog. At times, the reasons for dog vaginitis are prevalent that it's hard to pinpoint what exactly caused the condition.

A few of the common causes of dog vaginitis are as follow:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Irritation from excess urine or feces
  • Foreign bodies
  • Trauma
  • Vaginal abscess
  • Yeast infection
  • Ectopic ureter

Vaginitis in dogs can be shown in many ways. The most common symptom is that the dog's vag is swollen. 

If it's a yeast infection in the dog's vulva, the type of infection is quite distinct. However, if the cause is not identified, you might need an expert to examine the condition thoroughly. 

But if you suspect dog vulva dermatitis in your dog, you should be on the lookout for these symptoms:

  • Discharge with unusual color or blood
  • Persistent licking in the rear end
  • Frequent or difficulty urinating
  • Dog's vag is swollen
  • Pooch scooting its bum
  • The dog is uncomfortable or in pain
  • Vulva or nearby skin is red
  • Male dogs show interest to your dog

Knowing the cause and symptoms of dog vaginitis will help you determine the most suitable dog vulvar dermatitis treatment.

ALSO READ: 5 Embarrassing Dog Health Concerns

Types of Vulvar Dermatitis in Dogs 

Dog vulvar dermatitis is classified into two types. Age is an essential factor for this variation.

Hence, you need to be well aware of your dog's age to be familiar with the type of dog vaginitis they are most likely to have.

Juvenile Canine Vaginitis

This type of dog vulvar dermatitis is commonly known as “puppy vaginitis.” This occurs in canines from 6 to 18 months of age.

The common causes of dog vaginitis in puppies could be an inverted vulva, urinary tract infection, or fecal contamination. This condition is often shown in vulva swelling or unusual discharge.

On the good side, you shouldn't worry too much about vaginitis in puppies since there are dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies you can perform for this type.

Adult Dog Vaginitis

This condition is more common among spayed female dogs than intact ones. It is also called “Adult-Onset Canine Vaginitis.”

Compared to dog vaginitis in puppies, it is more complicated and could signify a more serious, underlying health issue.

If your adult female dog has vaginitis, you will see symptoms similar to the infection in puppies. However, you need to know that dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies are less likely to work, and vaginitis in adult dogs would need veterinary care instead.

Dog Vulvar Dermatitis Home Remedies and What You Can Do at Home

When you can't see a vet just yet, dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies are ideal for treating vaginitis in dogs. If you are seeing the first signs of inflammation or infection, you can give these options a try:

dog taking a bath to prevent vaginitis

Give Them a Good Bath

One of the causes of vaginitis in dogs is bacteria buildup. The best and most straightforward way to avoid that is to give your pooch a good bath. 

If it's a yeast infection in the dog's vulva, it's easier to remove any waxy buildup or any thick crust of yeast sticking in your dog's rear. The most recommended ingredient for your shampoo is benzoyl peroxide.

Apply Apple Cider Vinegar to their Skin

To make sure you have killed any bacteria left, you can finish it off with apple cider vinegar. You may mix it with a good amount of water and spray it to the affected areas. 

White vinegar works just the same, but what makes apple cider vinegar great dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies is its healing properties. It's something that regular vinegar doesn't have. 

Keep the Living Area Clean and Dry

Yeast and bacteria thrive in moist, dark environments. One of the most basic dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies you can do is to keep your living area clean at most times. 

When you keep your surroundings at home tidy and dry, there are fewer chances that your pooch could develop dog vulvar dermatitis. You can even avoid any yeast infection on the dog's vulva.

Perform a thorough cleaning in the parts of your house that your dog spends most of its time on, such as the dog bed, couch, or crate. You may also want to change sheets more frequently.

Wipe to Clean with Unscented Wipes

If your puppy has dog vaginitis, you will see a discharge with an unusual color. You can easily wipe it off with unscented baby wipes.

However, keep in mind that the situation is entirely different when performing dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies to adult dogs. It would help if you weren't wiping their vulva with any wipes.

Unlike puppies, wiping or washing that area of an adult female dog only disrupts its pH level. Best to go straight to your vet for dog vulvar dermatitis treatment in adult canines.

Treat the Affected Areas with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil not only soothes the pain in your dog's skin but also helps brush off any wax buildup in their rear. Plus, coconut oil is something you can easily find in stores.

When you use coconut oil in one of the dog's vulvar dermatitis home remedies, you can roll your dog over and apply it to the affected areas.

golden retriever looking over new diet

Change your Dog's Diet

Inflammation in the dog's vulva could be affected by their diet, allergies, and food sensitivities. Hence, make sure your dog eats quality dog food rich in protein.

Avoid dog food with any fillers or additives. You can also opt for supplements with omega 3 fatty acids to reduce skin inflammation or allergies.

When you're in doubt about the kind of diet to serve your puppy, you can consult your vet about it. Simply making sure it has the appropriate amount of protein and fiber is enough to prevent vaginitis in dogs.

Add Probiotics to Dog's Meals

You can give your dog probiotics to balance their gut bacteria and maintain the pH at a healthy level. When this happens, you can help prevent dog vaginitis from occurring. 

Another thing you should keep in mind is whether your dog is sensitive to dairy or not. If she is, it's best to give them non-dairy probiotics for dogs.

If you are uncomfortable giving any form of probiotic to your pooch, you can opt for the natural alternative: olive leaf. It has oleuropein that helps boost the immune system and fight pathogens.

Other Dog Vulvar Dermatitis Treatments You Should Know About

If dog vaginitis becomes worse or persistent, you may want to switch to more evasive dog vulvar dermatitis treatment. For starters, you can consult your vet for the appropriate solution to the problem.

Dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies are ideal if the condition is mild or occurring to prepubescent female dogs on their first heat. However, if it happens more often, it could be a symptom of a more severe illness that could lead to unnecessary procedures like surgery.

Hence, here is a list of other dog vulvar dermatitis treatments that you can give to your puppy:

Topical Medication

You may want to put some ointment on affected areas to relieve pain, discomfort, or itch. Make sure to use topical medications that are suitable for dogs.

Don't use any human ointment or over-the-counter options that your vet does not recommend. Otherwise, you might just be adding up to the problem.

Elizabethan collar to prevent licking dog vaginitis

Elizabethan Collar

Nobody likes putting an Elizabethan cone on their pup. Unfortunately, it might be a dreadful situation that you and your dog must bear.

It doesn't exactly help with the dog vaginitis. However, it prevents your dog from licking the affected areas.

This works best when you're putting cream on the rear end. The cone blocks her from licking off the medication, allowing the dog vulvar dermatitis to heal quickly.

Antibiotics

If the cause of dog vaginitis is a bacterial infection, the vet will give you antibiotics suitable for dogs. This may apply too much older pooches with worse, persistent cases.

Just make sure your dog's medication is consistent and will finish the entire course, even though the symptoms look better. Other medical prescriptions would include anti-inflammatories, hormone therapy, or glucocorticoids. 

Spaying

If vaginitis in dogs is chronic, topical medications and dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies may no longer be effective. 

Spaying can be a beneficial procedure for older female dogs if they get dog vaginitis. Their uterus and ovaries will be removed entirely in this process.

ALSO READ: 14 Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Dogs

Surgery

This is one of the last options for dog vulvar dermatitis treatments when the condition is at its worst. It would also depend on the cause of dog vaginitis in the first place.

If there is an anatomical anomaly or a foreign body in the vagina, surgery could be the best solution to remove the organ. This may be a risky, invasive procedure for your pooch, but it saves them from the chronic pain of dog vaginitis.

vet holding dog with vulvar dermatitis

When to See a Vet

When you see the first signs of vaginitis, you won't hesitate to perform several dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies on your pooch. However, this shouldn't always be the case.

Dog vulvar dermatitis is a tricky condition to identify. You would need the help of an expert and a series of tests to diagnose canine vaginitis properly.

Hence, to ensure your pooch's safety and avoid things from getting worse, the first step is to consult your vet. He will conduct blood and urinary tests for diagnosis.

According to Animal Wellness Magazine, your vet will also ask about your dog's medical history, symptoms, and recurrence of infection. You may need a culture to see if the dog's vulvar dermatitis is fungal or bacterial.

In other cases, the vet would need to express the anal glands. They would also conduct a physical exam to see any tumors, excess skin, or abnormalities.

dogs vag swollen with dog vaginitis

Common Questions About Dog Vulvar Dermatitis

Still, confused about dog vulvar dermatitis? Check out this list of frequently asked questions (and their answers) from dog owners alike:

Can I Apply Hydrogen Peroxide to My Dog's Vagina?

If you see that the dog's vag is swollen or bleeding, you can clean it up with warm water and a cotton ball. Refrain from using Hydrogen Peroxide.

You might be tempted to use over-the-counter medication, especially if the dog's vagina appears dirty or bleeding. However, some human ointments don't work or are dangerous to dogs.

What are the Other Terms of Dog Vulvar Dermatitis?

You might have probably noticed it by now as the term ‘dog vulvar dermatitis' is often referred to as ‘dog vaginitis.' The bottom line is that the two terms mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably.

In other cases, this condition is confused with dog vulva yeast infection. It can be related, but the two are different things.

Yeast infection could result in dog vaginitis in the long run. That's why it's important to have dog vulvar dermatitis diagnosed by an expert instead of making assumptions since the symptoms are very similar.

Can I Put Vaseline as an Ointment?

As mentioned, it's not advisable to use over-the-counter or human creams for your dog. However, Vaseline is an exemption.

Make sure that it is fragrance and paraben-free. Other exemptions include A&D and zinc oxide ointment. 

Apply a small amount of these canine creams into your dog's vulva to protect the skin and ease the discomfort. You can use olive or vegetable oil if you want a natural alternative.

Does Vulvar Dermatitis Go Away on its Own?

Dog vaginitis is common among prepubescent female dogs about to have their first heat cycle. So, you shouldn't worry too much if your teenage pooch has dog vulvar dermatitis.

Once the heat cycle is over, vulvar dermatitis tends to go away on its own. But in cases that it doesn't, it's best to check with your vet on what caused vaginitis in the first place.

Dog Vulvar Dermatitis Home Remedies: Conclusion

Dog vaginitis is a common health problem among female dogs. Fortunately, this condition is not as severe as most people think since you can treat it with dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies.

A clear sign that your pooch has dog vulvar dermatitis is when your dog's vag is swollen. There are also many causes of vaginitis, like yeast infection in the dog's vulva.

If the condition is chronic or getting worse, dog vulvar dermatitis treatment will involve more invasive surgery. Henceit's's essential to consult your vet immediately if the symptoms start to appear and persist.

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