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Juvenile Vaginitis – A Pain In The Rear End

We are often presented with young puppies here at East Bundaberg Veterinary Clinic, that are showing signs of white or yellow discharge from the vulva.

Sometimes the owners are aware of the problem and come see us because they are concerned.

Sometimes the owners are not aware of the problem and we will inform them during their routine vaccination.

The animals very greatly in their systems – they may be excessively licking their vulva area, frequently squatting to urinate, doing a small amount of urine or have a yellow or white discharge from this very personal area.

Sometimes, you may even notice that the urine has a foul smell or that the animal has a strange ‘smell’ about it.

Affected pups can vary in age from 2 weeks of age through to 9 months of age. However, most are first noticed around the 9-12 weeks age group.

The problem is usually caused by a bacterial infection that gets into the vaginal wall lining and lives there quite happily. This is because the animals immune is not very strong in those areas. The amount of immune system in the area depends on the blood supply to the area and that is not normally great in the young females vagina and urethra.

The systems are important because it depends on whether the animal is affected by the vaginitis on whether we will instigate treatment or not.

If the animal is not showing signs of distress from the condition and only has the discharge – we will warn the owner of the problem and then instruct them NOT to spay the animal until the animal has reached puberty and actually gone through a ‘heat’ period.

If the animal is mildly distressed by the condition we will treat the animal with a minimum of 10 days of antibiotics and warn the owner that the condition will reoccur until the animal has had its first ‘heat’ period. It is important that during the ‘heat’ period the animal is placed on three weeks of antibiotics.

If the animal is very severely distressed by the condition then we may need to place them on a prolonged course of antibiotics or possibly even need to do surgery to fix the problem.

BUT my greatest recommendation to all owners with an animal with vaginitis is to see their vet as soon  as possible and discuss the problem with them

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