Vaginal discharge in dogs | Daily News


Vaginal discharge in dogs

If the female dog shows “signs” to get mate the birth canal is open for crossing. After few days the birth canal gets closed. The cervix is the gateway to the uterus. It remains tightly closed except during estrus, when it relaxes to allow sperm to enter the uterus. If the cervix is open or relaxed, bacteria that are normally found in the vagina can easily enter the uterus. At mating time if a germ has been entered the uterus it can be infected and there will be blood tinged yellowish discharge from the vagina. This discharge can be smelly and attracts flies.

What else can cause yellow discharge?

Some people use human birth control drugs to control pregnancy of the female dog. The use of progesterone-based drugs can cause changes in the uterus similar to the estrus cycle. In such incidents these drugs closes the birth canal while the germs inside which can cause infection in uterus of female dog.

The infection in birth canal of the female dog and urinary tract of the female dog can have yellowish discharge.


There are numerous causes of yellowing discharge from vigina, including: prepubertal (sexually immature) vagina, urinary tract infections, vaginal trauma, foreign bodies, urine or fecal, contamination of the vulva, ectopic (abnormally situated) ureter, urinary incontinence, vaginal tumors, infection - bacterial or viral, vaginal hematomas, abscesses and anatomical abnormalities


The clinical signs depend on whether or not the cervix remains open. If it is open, pus will drain from the uterus through the vagina to the outside. Pus or an abnormal discharge is often seen on the skin or hair under the tail or on bedding and furniture where the dog has recently laid. Fever, lethargy, licking of the vaginal area, scooting or rubbing of the vaginal area, red and swollen vigina anorexia, and depression may or may not be present.

If the cervix is closed, pus that forms is not able to drain to the outside. It collects in the uterus ultimately causing the abdomen to distend. The bacteria release toxins that are absorbed into the bloodstream. Dogs with closed womb infection become severely ill very rapidly. They are anorectic, very listless and very depressed. Vomiting or diarrhea may also be present.

Toxins released by the bacteria affect the kidney’s ability to retain fluid. Increased urine production occurs, and many dogs drink an excess of water to compensate. Increased water consumption may occur in both open- and closed-cervix pyometra.


Dogs that are examined early in the course of the disease may have a slight vaginal discharge and show no other signs of illness. However, most dogs are seen later in the illness. A very ill female dog with a history of recent heat that is drinking an increased amount of water should be suspected. This is especially true if there is a vaginal discharge or a painful, enlarged abdomen.

Your vet may collect blood to check blood picture which also gives support to diagnose. If the cervix is closed, radiographs (X-rays), scanning of the abdomen will often identify the enlarged uterus.


The preferred treatment is to surgically remove the infected uterus and ovaries by performing an ovariohysterectomy (spay). Dogs diagnosed in the early stage of the disease are very good surgical candidates. The surgery is somewhat more complicated than a routine spay at this stage. However, most dogs are diagnosed with pyometra when they are quite ill resulting in a more complicated surgical procedure and a longer period of hospitalization. Intravenous fluids are required to stabilize the dog before and after surgery. Antibiotics are usually given for two weeks after surgery.

(The writer is a Veterinary Surgeon and holds B.V.Sc; M.Sc Poultry Science; Master of Public Administration and Management)

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