Pashu Sandesh, 12th December 2017
An enlarged and inflamed vaginal lining that is influenced by estrogen is known as vaginal hyperplasia. Vaginal hyperplasia affects dogs of all ages, although it is found more commonly in younger animals.
Symptoms of Vaginal Hyperplasia in Dogs
The noticeable sign and symptom is a tongue-like bulge, protruding through the dog’s vulva. Other symptoms include:
• Pain during urination
• Extreme licking of the vulva
• Spilling out of the vulva
• Noticeable tissue at the opening of the vagina
• Swelling of the tissue
• Difficulty with having puppies during delivery
If your dog is pregnant and ready to give birth, pushing to deliver the puppies may result in the bulging and swelling of the tissues. In fact, this can create a blockage when your dog is ready to deliver her puppies. This should be considered a medical emergency where a C-section should be administered. If not, then the mother and the pups may be at risk. Therefore, a veterinarian should be consulted for medical assistance.
Causes of Vaginal Hyperplasia in Dogs
Estrogen is truly influential in causing a swollen vaginal lining, especially during the dog’s heat or period cycle. When your dog has this protruding mass, it prevents the dog from mating. A difficult labor is also a prerequisite of vaginal hyperplasia in dogs. This condition is caused by extended straining during the delivery process or in other instances, a forceful separation of dogs while mating. There are certain breeds affected by vaginal hyperplasia such as:
• German Shepherd
• Labrador Retriever
• Airedale Terrier
• Springer Spaniel
• English Bulldog
• Walker Hound
Although genetic influence is obviously one factor that influences vaginal prolapse in dogs, it is not the only one. An inflamed vaginal wall could also be the reason. Your dog will have difficulty with constipation and urination.
Diagnosis of Vaginal Hyperplasia in Dogs
It is important for you as a pet owner to realize the severity of the problem and get your dog to the veterinarian as early as possible. Your veterinarian will provide a proper diagnosis upon assessing the symptoms.
Most veterinarians believe that vaginal prolapse and heightened estrogen levels are connected. The reason for this observation and conclusion is that the condition usually happens prior to the dog’s heat cycle where estrogen levels are higher.
If the condition is severe, it could result in prolapse where the tissues are visible. Of course, the obvious signs of swollen and bulging vaginal tissue in a female dog is an indication that vaginal hyperplasia is the proper diagnosis.
Treatment of Vaginal Hyperplasia in Dogs
If your goal is not dog breeding, then the veterinarian may recommend spaying to prevent further problems. If you are going to breed your dog, then artificial insemination would be the ideal choice. If the condition is severe, the veterinarian might consider suturing to get the mass returned to the vagina, after which it would subside once the heat cycle has been completed.
The veterinarian will also make a decision whether to surgically take out the dead tissue. Doing so will avoid a reoccurrence of hyperplasia.
M.V.Sc (Surgery & Radiology)
Veterinary Clinic & Surgical Centre- Aligarh