my 8yr old female jack russell sits down and puts her head in the air and spins slowly around. When i try to press gentle on each side of her vaginal area she tries to bite and it seems to be very painful to her.
Dr. Marie replied:
Sorry to hear that Lucy is feeling uncomfortable.
There are a few things that can cause the symptoms that you are describing.
My first thought is that this may be a problem with her anal glands. These little sacs sit on either side of the anus and can fill up with fluid and debris. When they are full they are quite uncomfortable and will often cause the dog to scoot, drag her bum on the ground or do other unusual things in order to try to get relief.
If the glands are full I always recommend having a vet empty them. However, there are some dogs that will allow their owners to do it. It's not easy though! Here is a tutorial on how to express anal glands.
It is also possible that Lucy has a problem with the skin around her vulva. Some dogs can get a skin infection in this area. This is known as a perivulvar dermatitis. If this is the case, then most dogs will need medicine prescribed by a vet in order to get relief. A dog may get some temporary relief by applying a hydrocortisone cream to this area. However, this is usually not a long term solution as it won't get rid of any infection that is there.
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Dr. 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.
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