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Inverted vulva and puppy vaginitis.

Species: Dog
Breed: Golden Retriever
Age: 6-12 months
I have purchased a Golden Retriever to be
used as a new dog for breeding. She is now
8 months old and I have discovered she has an
inverted vulva. Her vulva was more noticeable
when she was younger than it is now. Now
you can hardly see or find it unless you pull
back the extra flap of skin that is hiding it.
She has not gotten any urinary tract infection
as of yet, and has not gotten her first heat yet. She does have juvenile or puppy vaginitis that I read will disappear with the first heat. I am hoping that the inverted vulva will correct itself after the first heat and that she will be able to be bred since that was the purpose I purchased her. Do most
inverted vulva problems seem to go away with first heat? Does it depends on how inverted it is? Amber's seem to be very inverted. Like
I said earlier, now that she is older, you can hardly see it at a glance. I have also started
her on cranberry pills to prevent any infections from coming on.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You've asked a very good question! Will an inverted vulva go away after a heat cycle?

As far as I know, no one has done a formal study to determine whether a dog with an inverted vulva should go through a heat cycle.

I did a search on Veterinary Information Network and read some discussions between veterinary reproductive specialists. Most of the specialists do believe that letting a dog go through a heat cycle will help with this problem. However, no one knows for sure.

What we do know is that going through a heat cycle will help with the vaginitis. In fact, if a pup has puppy vaginitis and we spay her before her heat cycle we can often see lifelong problems with this. So, it does sound like a good idea to let her go through a heat cycle and see what happens.

Now, another thing to think about is whether or not she should be bred. While an inverted vulva is not known to be a "genetic trait", any type of physical abnormality can be passed on to her puppies. Also, sometimes when a dog has an inverted vulva there can be other problems with the structure of the vagina.

I think it's a good idea to see how the vulva looks after her heat and then have your vet do an exam to see if there are any other obvious defects before you consider using her for breeding.

I'd also like to comment on the use of cranberry juice. I wouldn't recommend it. People will use cranberry juice to avoid getting E-Coli infections in their urinary tract. The idea is that the cranberry juice will lower the pH, and infections don't like to live in a low pH. However, if we consistently cause a dog to have low urinary pH we can sometimes cause them to get urinary crystals or bladder stones called calcium oxalate stones.

A better idea to help reduce the risk of infection is to daily take a cloth or a baby wipe and wipe out the folds of skin around her vulva.

I hope this information has been helpful!

Dr. Marie.




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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

The cranberry is in form of a pill. May be I can gilve one pill
every other day until she has a heat and I can see then
what things look like.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

There really is no benefit in giving the cranberry at all.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.