Vaginal Prolapse? Please Help! Pic included

    • Bronze

    Vaginal Prolapse? Please Help! Pic included

    My dog, Phoenix is a little over a year old now, and she started her second heat about a week ago.Her vagina swelled a bit like last time, and there was a little bit of flesh sticking out from the inside, just like last time. But this time, more and more kept coming out, and today it's just WRONG looking. She licks at it a lot but it doesn't seem to bother her at all, she's her usual self, still jumping around, she just licks it a lot. I'm extremely worried and I am taking her to the vet tomorrow ASAP! Am I right to think it's a vaginal prolapse? It was the only thing I could find on the internet that sounded like what this looks like, I also couldn't find any pictures to compare either. I'm so worried about her I hope one of you can help me. 

    • Gold Top Dog
    first define vaginal hyperplasia as a protrusion of vaginal epithelium during the estrogenic phase of the estrus cycle. To distinguish that from, for instance, vaginal prolapse which occurs following trauma to the pelvic organs or following a difficult birth. The breeds that are most pre-disposed to vaginal hyperplasia are the St. Bernard, English Bulldog, Boxer and other brachycephalic breeds according to the text book. But, in my experience, I have seen it most frequently in the Great Dane, the Labrador Retriever and the Old English Sheepdog.
    The condition really results from an exaggeration of the estrogenic response which re- sults in excessive mucosal folding of the vaginal floor just ahead of the urethral papilla in such a manner that tissue protrudes through the vulval labia. Difficulty results from the trauma that occurs to the tissue once it is outside the body. It very quickly becomes dry and can be infected and ulcerated within a period of twelve hours. Usually the condition occurs on the first estrus cycle and continues to be a problem each time the bitch cycles. On occasion, we may see it again on the 63rd day, whether she is bred or not. It is conceivable that this bitch you described could have been having a second prolapse as a result of changes in vaginal tissue moisture content at the 63rd day after the season.
    To treat the condition, we need to replace the tissue as quickly as possible and perform a closure suture to the lips of the vulva. This prevents the material from being secondarily infected.
    prolapse is the protrusion of edematous (swollen) vaginal tissue into and through the opening of the vulva, which is the external female genital organ, occurring during certain stages of the estrus (heat) cycle. The entire circumference of the vaginal wall protrudes, giving the exposed tissue a donut-shaped appearance.

    Vaginal prolapse is most common in young, intact female dogs. Breeds most commonly affected include the Labrador and Chesapeake Bay retriever, boxer, English bulldog, mastiff, German shepherd dog, St. Bernard, Airedale terrier, Springer spaniel, Walker hounds, and Weimaraner.

    The primary cause of vaginal prolapse is estrogen stimulation. Vaginal prolapse almost always is diagnosed when the bitch is in or has recently progressed through proestrus (just before heat) or estrus (heat). Other causes include:

  •   Genetic predisposition
  •   Vaginal hyperplasia, which is the swelling of vaginal tissue with or without protrusion through the vulva
  •   Dystocia (abnormal or difficult labor), tenesmus (straining) associated with constipation or difficult urination, or forced extraction of the male during the genital tie (intercourse) are all thought to cause or contribute to vaginal prolapse.

    What to Watch For
  •   Protrusion of a round tissue mass from the vulva
  •   Licking of the vulvar area
  •   Painful urination
  •   Failure to allow breeding

  •   Baseline tests, to include complete blood count (CBC), biochemical profile, and urinalysis, are usually within normal limits.
  •   Careful inspection and examination of the vulvar area generally reveals a fairly classic appearance of an obvious mass protruding from the vulva. The tissue associated with vaginal prolapse is usually large and soft, and can often be replaced manually (pushed back in by hand).
  •   A biopsy may be recommended in an old bitch in order to rule out the possibility of cancer.


    Management of vaginal prolapse can be difficult. If the patient can urinate, treatment is generally not an emergency, and outpatient care is recommended. If there is blockage due to the mass, immediate hospitalization and intervention is necessary. Given enough time, most cases of vaginal prolapse are reversible, as certain periods of the estrus cycle allow for it to resolve. Treatment may include:
  •   A urinary catheter in patients who cannot urinate
  •   Hormonal treatment to induce ovulation
  •   Antihemorrhoidal creams applied to prolapsed tissue
  •   Surgical removal of the hyperplastic tissue, especially in cases of severely damaged or devitalized (dead) tissue, or urinary blockages

    Home Care and Prevention

    Many vaginal prolapses are initially treated at home following veterinary examination and testing. Home care may include:
  •   Daily cleansing of the affected area with saline washes and lubrication with appropriate jellies.
  •   Pad the environment (no direct exposure to concrete or abrasive surfaces) to prevent trauma.
  •   Elizabethan collar to eliminate the possibility of excessive licking and chewing. Diapers may help minimize exposure of the tissue to the environment and the patient herself.

    Despite treatment, two out of three affected dogs have a recurrence at the time of the next estrus. Ovariohysterectomy (spay) prevents recurrence and may hasten resolution.
    This is a boxer with this.......hope this helps some.
    • Bronze
    Thank you VERY much for the info momtomany, it does help and the pic was extremely helpful because it looks quite similar (but a lot worse) than my Phoenix. I dont know why I couldn't find the info online, maybe I was just using the wrong search engine. Thank you VERY much, I appreciate your effort in helping me :)
    • Gold Top Dog
    OMG that was more information that I ever need.  I see this as yet another good reason to get a dog spayed before her first heat!!!!

    I hope that this is easily resolved by your vet and does not cause future difficulties. 

    • Gold Top Dog
    Welcome to the forum!!

    I had an Am Staff girl that prolapsed years ago. It is hormonal and can decrease after breeding but I suggest you spay your girl unless you are planning to show her. My vet at the time gave me ointment as the soft tissue needs to be kept clean and moist.

    In my research, many vets have done the suturing only to have it tear. I was succesfull in keeping my girl and followed with breeding her and the prolapse did not return after she was bred.
    • Gold Top Dog
    Can you say O U C H! That looks painful to me. Poor baby!
    • Gold Top Dog
     Our girl wasn't phased by it one little bit! I too figured it was painful but there was never any sign of discomfort for her.
    • Gold Top Dog
    Never seen anything like that and had it happened to one of my girls, I probably would have had a heart attack!  It is good to know it isn't near as serious as it seems.  Good luck with you baby.
    • Bronze
    Well we took her off to the vet, it was very emotional for me that we had to leave her there all alone around a bunch of strangers. The secretary there told me that they would examine her, and then call us with what was wrong, and what they were going to do. About an hour later she called us and told us that it was infact a prolapse of her vagina, basically her vaginal walls are on the OUTSIDE of her body right now. Because this has happened, its probably genetic and spaying her will cause it not to happen again.  However, because she's in heat right now, everything's too swelled to spay her at this time. What they're going to do right now is euthanize her, and then push everything back in and suture it up so it doesn't fall out again. Then after her heat is over, we need to take her back to be spayed. I'm so worried about her and my eyes tear up every time I think about her laying there, probably frightened and not knowing what's going to happen. Luckily they let me leave her blankie with her so she'll atleast have something that smells like home. Hopefully all goes well and she'll be home later tonight.
    • Gold Top Dog
    ganiggle- I'm thinkin' you didn't mean euthanize but anesthetize.  Scared me when I read euthanize!  I'm sure your baby will be fine.  I'll be thinking of you...