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Bumps around anus.

Species: Dog
Breed: Labrador
Age: 5-8 years
Itchiness and swollen bumps "cauliflower" looking around her vagina and anus. She has always had itchiness, and started getting some bumps (pimple sizes) in the area of her vagina and anus..but now it is the worst ever. She drags herself around the carpet or grass to try and deal with it. I took her off prednazone 2 years ago, I gave her benadryl for a few months,but it makes her sleepy. For the past 15 months I have used topical anti-itch creams. How can I relieve her itch and prevent this swollen area?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, the poor girl. That sounds really uncomfortable!

The most common reason for a dog to be irritated around the vulva and anus is allergies. Often it can be food allergies, but not always.

If the skin is *really* inflamed then the itchy allergic skin may have gotten infected. If this is the case then she will need a prescription of oral antibiotics from your vet.

I find that benadryl does not work that well for dogs with allergies. It may work for mild allergies, but not when a dog is this itchy. The drug that works the best for me is indeed prednisone. I have a number of dogs in my clinic that are on an extremely low dose of prednisone every other day long term for their allergies.

It may be worthwhile to talk to your vet about trying hypoallergenic food. Don't waste money on over the counter "allergy" foods, but rather use a prescription one like Hill's z/d or anything else that your vet prescribes. If you do use hypoallergenic food then you need to feed ONLY that and nothing else. One little treat here and there can cause serious allergies even if a dog is on hypoallergenic food.

There are other things that can cause itchiness in this area, so it is best to have your vet see her again. She could have anal gland problems. This wouldn't cause her vulva to be irritated, but then if she was rubbing her bum on the floor enough it could irritate her vulva as well. There are also immune conditions such as perianal fistulas that can do this, but what you are describing doesn't sound like that.

There really isn't an at home solution that is going to fix her problem. Steroid creams can give a little bit of relief, but it sounds like she needs some prescription meds.


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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.

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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.