What is vaginal prolapse?
When a vaginal prolapse occurs it is seen as a swollen, donut-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.