When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why Is My Female Dog’s Private Area Swollen?

Like every other part of the body, the private area of a dog can get affected by diseases or injuries.

The symptoms involving a dog’s vaginal health can be very unsettling and, most times, are indications of a potentially severe disease or condition.

If you are a pet parent, it’s normal for you to have concerns regarding the pet’s health, especially when it comes to vaginal infections.

If you notice swelling on your dog’s vagina, there’s no cause to panic, but rather get your dog to the vet for a check-up.

Why Is My Dog’s Vagina Swollen?

A dog’s vagina swells for various reasons, and it can be an infection, an allergic reaction, labor complications, or an indication of entry into the estrus phase.

Swelling of the vagina in dogs is a condition known as vaginitis, which can be caused by bacterial infections, cancer, and other anatomical anomalies.

Other minor causes of swelling in the private areas of dogs are vaginal neoplasia, migration of foreign bodies, ectopic ureters, canine herpes virus, and ovarian remnant syndrome.

However, it’s imperative to consult a veterinarian to help determine the real cause of swelling for your female dog’s privates.

Can My Puppy Get Vaginitis?

Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina which occurs in both adult dogs and puppies of all types and breeds.

The condition is usually characterized by vaginal discharge and a swollen vagina.

This condition in puppies is called juvenile vaginitis. It causes vulvar inflammation, discomfort, and irritation on the vagina, hence why some dogs lick their privates to relieve the discomfort.

Puppies who haven’t been through a heat cycle are prone to vaginitis, which can be fixed by letting the puppy go through this cycle.

The other type of vaginitis is adult-onset vaginitis which affects adult dogs.

What Are The Signs Of Vaginitis In Dogs?

It’s common for pet parents to be concerned that their pet might have vaginitis and vaginal infections.

Swelling of the vagina, medically known as vaginitis, could indicate an infection or other mild health issues.

As such, before jumping to assume that there is something wrong with your pet, check for other symptoms of an infected vulva rather than a swollen one.

After determining whether or not there is an infection and after diagnosis is made, the treatment process can begin.

Among the most common symptoms of this condition are inclusive of:

  • Swollen, inflamed, and red vagina
  • Frequent urinating
  • Rubbing the hind end with their paws or on the ground
  • Pain and discomfort when passing out urine
  • Licking the private area
  • Yellowish, bloody, and mucus discharge from the vulva
  • Male dogs’ attraction even if the female isn’t in heat

Reasons For Dogs Swelling On The Vagina

Some of the reasons why a do’s vagina swells are minor, but others are dangerous and could lead to more serious health complications.

Some of these reasons can be very severe, affecting the general health f your dog and requiring timely diagnosis and treatment.

Among the reasons why your female dog’s private area is swollen are inclusive of but not limited to the following:

The Estrus Cycle

For all female dogs, the estrus cycle is a very natural and normal behavior.

Dog experts say that female unsprayed dogs develop this cycle once or twice annually and for three to four weeks.

When a dog is in its estrus cycle, there is the production of estrogen by the body, which places a significant amount of pressure on the tissues of the vulva.

The heat period of the dog comes about with this swelling of the vulva or vaginal prolapse.

During this period, the vaginal tissues protrude from the vulva, and there is welling of the vaginal tissues when increased amounts form on the vagina’s floor.

Vaginal edema is an exaggerated reaction by the vagina’s lining to the hormone produced during this stage when estrogen levels are at their peak.

It mostly affects unspayed bitches and young, large breed dogs.

Allergic Reactions

According to pet experts, allergic reactions are among the most prevalent causes of skin problems or most canines.

Dogs, just as humans, experience allergic reactions to some products used on them, such as shampoos.

A swollen vagina in dogs is an indication of irritation on the dog’s privates.

If your dog has swelling on the vagina and isn’t responding to steroids or antibiotics, you may need to shift to specially formulated shampoos for sensitive dogs.

Your dog can get an allergic reaction from certain foods and pet grooming products like shampoos.

Going into Heat

It’s common for dogs to have vulva swelling when going into heat, so don’t always get alarmed.

During this period, the estrogen produced leads to expansion of the vaginal tissues, which makes them protrude outwards to the vulva.

To ascertain that the swelling is due to this reason, you can check for other symptoms like vaginal discharge and blood, though the dog licks this away sometimes.

Labour Complications

Dogs can also get vaginal swelling due to labor complications, at which stage they lick their genitals a lot for stimulation.

As the dog nears giving birth, the vagina becomes more pronounced, mistaken for vaginal swelling.

Forced Separation When Mating

Pet owners forcefully separate their dogs during mating time, which isn’t very healthy for the dogs.

This forced separation can lead to injuries on the private areas of both the male and female dogs, resulting in swelling and inflammation.

To prevent this, it’s imperative to let the male dog ejaculate to break the bond, which allows them to separate instead of doing it forcefully.


It is very common for dog’s private areas to swell due to vaginal infections like urinary tract infections.

Female dogs are the most susceptible to urinary tract infections which happen when there are bacteria inside the urinary tract or the urethra, causing swelling of the vagina.

Infections brought about by viruses, bacteria, or yeast all affect the private parts of a dog, resulting in inflammation.

This inflammation and swelling of the vaginal canal of a dog’s vestibule, also called vaginitis, affects female dogs.

A dog with a UTI will have other symptoms to ascertain that is the root of the vaginal swelling, such as urinating difficulties, frequent scratching and itching of the vaginal area, and general behavioral changes.

If there is a prevailing UTI, it’s advisable to do routine cleaning to prevent more infections and to treat the existing ones.

You can also administer antibiotics to hinder further swelling and to treat the infections.

Vaginal infections are mostly caused by pathogens and bacteria, but in some cases, they develop due to other health complications.

If there is any vaginal trauma, tumors, foreign bodies, hormonal disorders, anatomic abnormalities, or urinary tract problems, your dog might be exposed to vaginitis.

Insect bites

Insect bites have the same effect on dogs as they do on humans.

Certain insect bites cause swelling of the vulva, accompanied by itching, inflammation, and even redness on the skin.

If you notice your dog constantly trying to rub their private area with the ground or their paws, it may be due to an insect bite.

To avert this, you can use an itchy control powder for instant relief for your pet.

Indication Of Pregnancy

When a dog is pregnant, there are many body changes and health conditions involved.

It is possible for a dog’s vulva to get swollen when it is pregnancy period, notifying you of the new incoming addition to the family.

Urinary Incontinence

Urethral or urinary incontinence is the loss of deliberate control of urination, mostly to middle-aged dogs, spayed dogs, and diabetic dogs.

This leads to leakage of the urine irregularly, which also brings about inflammation of the vulva.

Irritation From Fecal Or Urine Matter

It is advisable to maintain hygiene and properly groom your dog to prevent diseases and infections.

When dogs relieve themselves, the fecal matter and urine get stuck around the dog’s private areas, which causes irritation.

Gradually, the irritation advances to an infection, and ultimately the vagina becomes swollen.

What Is a Healthy Dog’s Vagina Appearance?

It’s imperative to know what normal looks like to be in a better position to identify when something is amiss.

Depending on whether or not a dog has been spayed, you should be able to see the vulva.

Still, for unsprayed dogs, the vulva’s appearance changes dramatically during the heat period.

When a dog is on heat, there is evident swelling of the vulva and a bloody discharge, so it doesn’t necessarily indicate something bad.

When the cycle is over, the bleeding ceases, and the normal appearance of the vulva is restored so that it’s not swollen anymore.

If you can’t see the vulva without having to spread apart the dog’s skin, then there is cause to be alarmed.

The extra skin surrounding the vulva subjects the dog to vaginal and urinary tract infections, which might not be noticeable till the infection has long progressed.

How Can I Treat My Dog’s Swollen Vagina?

It’s possible to treat inflammation and swelling of the dog’s vagina, so long as you know what caused it in the first place.

A veterinarian will recommend the ideal treatment of the swelling centered on the precise reason for the inflammation and swelling.

Some cases of vaginal swelling in dogs might demand surgery as a treatment option, while for some, medication is enough to guarantee recovery.

If there is any irritation on the skin, you can resolve it by cleaning the part and by practicing proper pet grooming.

If need be, your vet will recommend medicines such as anti-inflammatories and replacement hormone therapy to aid in recovery.

Sharing is caring!

1 thought on “Why Is My Female Dog’s Private Area Swollen?”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

National Canine Research Association of America