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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20614
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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How does a prolapsed dog manifest itself

Resolved Question:

How does a prolapsed dog vagina manifest itself
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Your question was "how" does this manifest which does leave your question a wee bit open to interpretation (as in "how does it appear?" or "how does this occur?"). Anyway, I will try to cover both aspect here since you are not offline.

First, a vaginal prolapse is an eversion of vaginal tissue outside the body (example). It often looks like a pink fleshy balloon at the exit of the vagina. IWhen this occurs it is an urgent situation since the delicate mucosal tissue is obviously not meant to be exposed to the dry, bacteria ridden outside world an being out too long leads to tissue drying, infection, and even death of the tissues (which is often fatal to the animal). As well, if the prolapse is severe or involving the uterus as well, we can see this eversion block urination leading to serious life threatening complications for the affected animal.

Now in regards ***** ***** it happens, the fundamental underlying causes are thought to be genetic and hormonal. Specifically estrogen is thought to play a significant role in the potential occurrence of the vaginal prolapse. This elevated estrogen in affected animals can cause hyperplasia (swelling/enlargement) of the tissues so that they are more likely to be at risk of prolapse. Also, there is thought to be a genetic predisposition, so if mum is prone then her daughters will be as well.

With these risk factors, the vagina can be a ticking time bomb for these dogs. That said, just because they have these predispositions and risk factors, doesn't mean we will see this for any individual dog. Instead, those risk factors tend to be triggered by an event that causes straining. In older animals, this is most commonly pregnancy. For younger animals, it can be secondary to health conditions that cause the animal to bear down and strain (ie bladder infections, bladder stones, constipation, straining secondary to colonic issues like colitis). When the dog strains and pushes with irritation from these conditions, they can do so to the point that this tissue is forced from the vagina resulting in our prolapse.

Finally, if a dog has a prolapse, the key is to putting it back in immediately. If the dog keeps straining, we may even need to put temporary sutures to home it place. From there it is a case of determining the trigger. If the dog has a health issue that induced straining, this needs to be addressed. If the tissues are swollen from associated health issues, then this needs to be treated. And if the female has a history in the family of this, recurrence, or is suspect to be showing these signs because of estrogen, then spaying may help reduce the risk of recurrence.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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