Vaginal Hyperplasia in Dogs


Imagine suddenly discovering a large mass of tissue protruding from your dog’s vulva. It may look like a tumor or an impending prolapse and can be very unsightly and unpleasant to see. I have had a number of dog guardians rush their dog in believing that somehow the dog was having a miscarriage. In reality though what they are likely seeing is called vaginal hyperplasia.

In vaginal hyperplasia, a proliferation of the vaginal mucosa, usually originating from the floor of the vagina near the front of the urethral opening, occurs during or just prior to the dog being “in heat;” it's a result of estrogenic stimulation. The most common sign of this condition is a mass protruding from the vulva. Initially, the surface is smooth and glistening, but with prolonged exposure it becomes dry and fissures develop. A slight vaginal discharge may be present. Vaginal hyperplasia interferes with copulation and reluctance to breed may be the only symptom. Occasionally, the prolapse continues throughout pregnancy or recurs at the delivery of puppies1.

Some affected dogs will exhibit straining or painful urination but it is rare that the dog will be void of any symptoms.

How common is vaginal hyperplasia?
Some breeds are more prone to vaginal hyperplasia including Boxers, Mastiffs, German Shepherds, Weimeraners, Labrador Retrievers and English Bulldogs among others2.

Symptoms of vaginal hyperplasia
The most common sign is the protrusion of pink, inflamed tissue from the vulva of the affected dog. The inflammation may result in pain and subsequent excessive licking of the area.

Treatment of vaginal hyperplasia
Unless the condition is extreme, it will generally resolve on its own as the dog's cycle progresses. Treatment generally requires only gentle cleaning and application of an ointment to sooth and protect the tissue. It is important to prevent further trauma and licking so an Elizabethan collar or diaper may be needed in severe cases.

Surgery can be applied but should be avoided if at all possible.

Prognosis for vaginal hyperplasia
In most cases the prognosis is good, although the condition may reoccur with future cycles.

Prevention of vaginal hyperplasia
Since the condition is associated with the estrus or heat cycle the only means of prevention is elimination of the cycle by spaying.

Questions to ask your veterinarian

  • My dog is in heat and has a large mass of tissue protruding from her vulva. What could it be?
  • Can she still urinate?
  • Can it be prevented?

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Resources:

  1. "Vaginal Hyperplasia in Small Animals." Merck Veterinary Manual. Web.
  2. "Vaginal Prolapse in Dogs." VetInfo.com. Web.

Pyometra and Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia in Dogs

Pyometra and Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia in Dogs is a uterine disorder that usually develops in female dogs that are intact.

"Pyometra happens when a bacteria infects the abnormally thickened lining of the uterus and the pus either stays inside the uterus (close pyometra) or drains out of the dog's vulva (open pyometra)."

Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia is the abnormal thickening in the lining of a dog's uterus and is identified by the presence of sacs or cysts that are fluid-filled.

Pyometra in dogs, on the other hand, is secondary to Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia. Pyometra happens when a bacteria infects the abnormally thickened lining of the uterus and the pus either stays inside the uterus (close pyometra) or drains out of the dog's vulva (open pyometra).

Recognizing pyometra symptoms in dogs can be confusing since the clinical signs are mostly nonspecific and can definitely differ depending on the severeness of the disease. But here, we've gathered possible signs for early recognition, treatment and things necessary to do for a successful recovery.

SIGNS AND CHANGES OBSERVED

Clinical signs are mostly nonspecific and can definitely vary (as mentioned above) but the following can indicate that there is something wrong with your dog and you need to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Constant discharge from the vulva which usually comes with blood, mucus and pus
  • Depression
  • Lack or loss of appetite
  • Increased urination
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal distension
  • Uterus is enlarged if there is closed pyometra (because pus is not drained)

POSSIBLE CAUSES OF PYOMETRA AND CYSTIC ENDOMETRIAL HYPERPLASIA IN DOGS

Pyometra and Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia in Dogs can be caused by a few different factors. It can be by the constant exposure of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) to estrogen and then preceded by progesterone during heat. It can also be caused by hormonal imbalance in female dogs.

HOW IS THIS DIAGNOSED AND TREATED?

Pyometra and Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia in Dogs is diagnosed when there is a high level of the white blood cell count of the dog and often has a high level of globulins (a type of protein produced by the immune system) in the blood. Your veterinarian may also suggest to have your dog undergo an ultrasound or an X-ray to check the condition of the uterus and the severeness of the illness.

The treatment most preferred is to completely remove the uterus and the ovaries of the female dog, also called as spaying. Some also prefer the draining or constant flushing of the pus 'stuck' in the uterus (if the pyometra is closed and cannot drain) antibiotics are then administered.

FOLLOW-UP CARE AND MANAGEMENT

Diapers. Pyometra and Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia in Dogs is very dangerous and must be treated immediately. But since treatment will depend on the health condition and symptoms of your dog, it is best to use dog diapers for the mean time if pus is coming out. These can also be used for incision site management and wound cover up and will be a handy post-surgery must-have since your dog will have no full control of his or her bladder and/or bowel for a couple of hours to days and may pee or poop anytime and anywhere. These dog diapers will help keep dogs from bathing in their own 'mess.'

Pet Parents® diapers come in a variety of colors as well as sizes, so you’re sure to get the proper fit for your furry buddy. If treatment is not performed, the toxic effects from the bacteria of the infection will be life-threatening. Sense of urgency is needed here.

Provide proper nutrition.Providing your dog a good, healthy diet is a perfect way to boost up his wellness. But make sure that this diet is advised by your veterinarian so it will provide her with the proper nutrition she needs.

Take a walk.Walks and exercises are very vital in keeping up your dog's balance, joints flexibility, and good blood circulation.

Pyometra and Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia in Dogs won’t heal alone. If pus is coming out of your dog, it will eventually stop but then will reoccur in the following weeks or months ahead. The toxic effects from the bacteria will spread throughout different organs and will be dangerous for your dog - that’s why immediate treatment is really needed.

"Pyometra and Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia in Dogs is diagnosed when there is a high level of the white blood cell count of the dog and often has a high level of globulins (a type of protein produced by the immune system) in the blood."


Recovery of Vaginal Hyperplasia in Dogs

After treatment, a vaginal prolapse will not return until your dog possibly delivers puppies again in the future. In the meantime, you should help your dog during the recovery process by continuing the use of topical creams. Your veterinarian could recommend that you consider the idea of spaying your dog. Pay attention to your pet to ensure that there is no biting or licking of the incision area. This is important to facilitate complete healing. You may have to buy a cone collar to help with this.

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Vaginal Prolapse in Dogs

  • Vaginal prolapse is the protrusion of swollen vaginal tissue through the vulva, the external female genital organ, during the heat cycle.
  • In vaginal prolapse, the swollen protruding vaginal tissue may resemble that of a donut shaped mass. Sometimes the mass is mistaken as a tumor.
  • Vaginal prolapse is seen mostly in young female dogs of the larger breeds that have not been spayed. Some of the causes of vaginal prolapse are estrogen stimulation, vaginal hyperplasia, or a general genetic predisposition.
  • Prolonged straining, such as difficult labor and delivery or anorectal obstructions, is another common cause of prolapse.

Symptoms of Vaginal Prolapse

Some of the symptoms of vaginal prolapse may be painful urination, excessive licking of the vaginal area, the inability to breed, or a protruding mass through the vulva.

  • Excessive licking of the vulva
  • Painful urination
  • Protruding mass from the vulva
  • trouble with breeding


Vaginal Prolapse in a Dog – Veterinary Surgery Video

When a vaginal prolapse in a dog occurs it is seen as a swollen, doughnut-shaped vaginal tissue that is protruding from the vagina from the inside out.
Some of the causes for vaginal prolapse may include genetic predisposition, a proliferation of the vaginal mucosa (or vaginal hyperplasia), hormonal disbalance or estrogen stimulation. Sometimes a vaginal prolapse may occur during labor from the continuous straining to push a puppy out. There are recorded cases of a vaginal prolapse due to disturbances while mating.

This can be very scary for the owner to see because it is not clear from the start what it may be. Sometimes, dogs get infected with a TVT (transmissible venereal tumor) that can resemble a vaginal prolapse when is big enough to protrude through the vagina.

This condition may affect any dog, but the breeds that are most commonly affected are Labradors, English Bulldogs, St Bernards, Mastiffs, Springer Spaniels, and Weimaraners.

What are the general symptoms of vaginal prolapse?

The most obvious symptom of vaginal prolapse is the protrusion of a pink or red inflamed mass from the vagina. The dog will be licking the area constantly and sometimes causing bleeding. Because of the inflamed area urination will be difficult or in some cases not possible for the dog. This will also affect possible mating even in days of heat.

Treatment of vaginal prolapse

After careful consultation with a veterinarian and assessment of the severity of the vaginal prolapse, there are several approaches to treating this condition. One option is giving hormonal therapy to the dog to initiate estrus in order to reverse the prolapse. Also, some topical creams to keep the dog comfortable. In some cases with this therapy, the vaginal prolapse is treatable and very often reversed.
If the prolapse is so severe to block the urethra then hospitalization and surgical correction are necessary.

In the video below you can see a surgical correction of vaginal prolapse in a dog.

If you liked this video, watch “Thoracic wall repair in a dog – Surgery Video” on our blog.

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Watch the video: What Are The Signs Of Pyometra in a Dog? EP 5


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