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Where is dog's vulva?

Species: Dog
Breed: Blue Tick
Age: 6-12 months
My husband resqued a blue tick in the National Forest that was being chased by
2 coyotes. The dog has been there for awhile
because she was so thin and tired. She kind of looks like the runt of a liter. We took her to the vet and got her checked out. My question is-we think she is in heat. She is bleeding from her rectum and the rectum look to be really swollen is that normal? We have
never had a girl dog and do not know what to
expect. As you can tell my husband is a rock and roll nut-we have had dogs named Jerry Lee,Elvis and Pricilla, Satchmo and now Aretha HA!.
Thank you for your time.
Cheryl and Aretha


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

The first thing we need to figure out is where the blood is coming from. At the back of the dog you'll see two parts of anatomy, the anus and the vulva. (The rectum is further in the dog, behind the anus. The vagina is further in behind the vulva.)

I've drawn a picture for you to help figure out which orifice is bleeding:

dog's anus and vulva

If it is the vulva that is swollen and bleeding then likely she is in heat. This will last for 2-3 weeks and then the swelling should go down. You will likely want to spay her, but you'll need to wait until several weeks after her heat is done.

If the bleeding is coming from the anus, then this is not normal. Depending on where the blood is coming from in this area it could mean an anal sac abscess, severe gastrointestinal issues or a bleeding disorder. So, if there really is blood coming from the anus then you should have your vet check her!

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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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.