Recessed/Inverted/Hooded Vulvas and Chronic Infections

PLEASE NOTE:  This blog will remain here but due to administration (that I have no control over) I will not receive email notice of your post on this blog.  So please, if you need help contact me via email or phone thru my web site at www.snowcolabradors.com I am sincerely here and willing to help.

Some female pups can be born with what is called a recessed (RV) , inverted or hooded (flap of skin covering all or part of the vulva) vulva, sometimes termed an “innie” or “tipped” (not recessed all the way around the vulva).  Please see the pic above to compare to your pup.   Please note:  this pic is of a RV pup, not a normal vulva.

This allows urine to pool in the valley around the vulva and the resulting bacteria can be the cause of chronic urinary tract infections (UTI) or bladder infections.  This should not be confused with puppy vaginitis which will usually show in a slight mucusy discharge.  Vaginitis is not a bacteria or infection but is something that its best to wait for first heat cycle as maturity/puberty will often put a stop to it.  Just wiping the vulva with warm water and cotton is the best you can do until it clears up.  Antibiotic will not help vaginitis.  See this link:

http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/vaginitis_puppy_acne_demodectic_mange.htm

If you suspect your new puppy has a RV there are holistic ways of preventing infection.  It is also very important that this pup is not spayed until she has her first heat cycle because most times the vulva will correct itself as a result of that heat cycle (sometimes it takes 2 cycles to correct but most often only one cycle).  If you spay prior to the first heat you could be subjecting the pup to a lifetime of infections.  Be sure and ask your vet if they have ever dealt with this as there are vets who have never seen a case and would not know what they are looking at.  If that is the case please seek out another vet so you are not advised to spay your pup prior to first heat.

For those afraid to wait to spay because they have read about cancer and infections, please see this link.  The risk starts to go up after age 2.5 and most dogs will have a first heat by 1 year, although some will go a bit beyond that.

http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/longtermhealtheffectsofspayneuterindogs.pdf

A reputable breeder will inform a buyer of a RV and instruct on holistic treatment to prevent infections.  As a breeder I write a letter to the buyer’s vet informing them of the RV and the need to allow first heat cycle and that this time frame for spay is in my contract with buyer.  This helps prevent a vet from pushing a spay prior to first heat cycle.The first time I had ever seen this condition was with a pup I had purchased from another breeder who chose not to inform me of it.  My vet diagnosed it and unfortunately, since the breeder had ignored the condition, pup had a very severe infection that took over 6 months and in excess of $600.  to get rid of.  The breeder was aware of the condition and admitted it to me after I had it diagnosed.  Thankfully my pups RV corrected on her first heat cycle.

For the health of my pups I would never consider withholding this condition, or any other condition for that matter, from a potential puppy buyer.  I instruct my pup buyers to take a urine sample to the vet at their 72 hour vet check and if pup has an infection I will pay for the first round of antibiotics if they are necessary.  Buyer must then be diligent in following my holistic instructions below.  Because of what I went thru with my pup I now know how to handle this and it is really a non issue because  I start holistic treatment immediately to prevent infections.

I have had 3 pups from my own litters with RV and started them on one cranberry capsule daily at 6 weeks of age.   This should continue “every day” until pup has her first heat and vulva corrects.   The cranberry adheres to the bladder wall preventing bacteria from sticking and causing infections.  I also recommend checking urine PH weekly at home.  Normal PH is 5.5 – 7.   If PH is elevated double up on crancaps (1 in a.m. and 1 in p.m. meal) for a week (or two if necessary) and recheck PH.  Once PH is in normal range drop back to single dose.  If it remains elevated for two weeks take a urine sample to the vet to be checked as antibiotics may be necessary if it is a severe enough infection.

Collect urine first thing in the morning before any food or water and in mid stream for best sample.  I use a tuperware lid.  Take dog out on a leash first thing in a.m. prior to food or water.  When she squats wait a bit so she is in mid stream and just stick a tupperware lid under her butt from behind and pull it out real quick.  You only need a small amount to test.

If she stops going don’t worry just walk her around so she squats again to empty her bladder, she will eventually get use to it.

Put in a small tupperware container or jar and take to the vet.  When testing PH at home just dip a strip in the urine and compare the strip to the chart on the box while the strip is still wet.

Here is a link to purchasing the PH strips.

http://www.amazon.com/ColorpHast-9588-5-10-Test-Strips/dp/B003TV3GTE

Be sure and order the 5-10 PH range strips.

A few people have been telling me that Amazon is out of this product.  All you need is a PH urine strip that will show a 5-10 range.  You can get this at your pharmacy or do a google search for:

buy ColorpHast 9588/3 Test Strips, 5-10 pH (Box of 100)

I’m sorry for this but I have done my research and can’t find another vendor.

If you do have elevated PH you can also give live organism probiotics to put good bacteria in the system that will also aid in warding off infection.  I give a 10 billion organism at 1/8 tspn daily for 8 week old pup.  I prefer a live organism that must be refrigerated as opposed to a pill form.  If you need to give antibiotics it is also advised to give the probiotics 2-3 hours after each dose of med and to continue for at least a few weeks with probiotics after meds are finished.  Amount of weeks to continue would depend on dosage and length of time on antibiotics.   Antibiotics kill off good bacteria along with the bad so it is important to replace this good bacteria with the probiotics.  In some cases, where pups are getting infections, wiping the vulva after each urination with unscented baby wipes can help.  You can purchase crancaps or probiotics at most health food stores or you can go to www.progressivelabs.com item #498 and #963.  If you prefer to order on the phone go to extension 149 for Nancy.  She is the rep I deal with and knows these products well.  Please be sure to tell her that I referred you. (Patty at Snowco Labradors)

Note: (6-19-13) The crancaps have been discontinued and Progressive is diligently researching for a new provider of a quality crancap.  You can try their other UT product called U-Tract or U-Tract Complete.  Go to the website and choose Urinary Tract Health on the left side of the screen to see these products.

www.progressivelabs.com

This is D-Mannose which some posters have used with success.  Progressive has veterinarian customers that use this product for cats and dogs.  You can call and talk to Nancy at extension 149 for further info and dosage.   I would recommend the powder if using the Complete (the capsule form has a lot more ingredients and not sure about them for dogs).

****I have not used this product or any form of D-Mannose so can not comment on its effectiveness.****

GNC product (crancaps) instead:    http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2182679 (2 capsules = 1000mg).

In the case of my pups none have ever had an infection because the above regime was followed by the buyer and pups corrected on their first heat cycle.  I have had adult dogs urine test positive at the vet for a UTI and have gotten rid of it by giving  the crancaps twice daily for 2 weeks and having urine tested again.  If the infection had not cleared up I would have considered antibiotics depending on the severity of the infection.  I choose to take the holistic approach whenever possible as antibiotics can reak havoc on the system.  As always you should consult your vet and I prefer to deal with a vet that will not poo poo the holistic approach even if they choose not to prescribe it to their patients.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation as I did with the pup I purchased from the breeder and you can not get rid of a severe infection with antibiotics it is important to do a culture and sensitivity at the laboratory to pin point the exact type of bacteria so the proper type of antibiotics and dosage can be given.  It is best to get the urine sample for this c/s test thru what is called a cystosentisis which is urine drawn from the bladder via needle for the purest sample possible.  This is not painful to the dog but the dog must have a full bladder so it is important to have the first appointment of the morning at the vet.  Get up get the dog in the car (not allowing them to squat outside) and go.

I am not a veterinarian so I do advise having your pups urine tested at your vet the first time you suspect an infection and then make an informed decision as to the treatment you want to use.  But remember, constantly using antibiotics can be detrimental to the long term health/immunity of your pup.

Vulvoplasty/Nip N Tuck:  this is plastic surgery that a lot of vets will recommend to correct a RV on a dog that has already been spayed.  Some will even recommend it prior to spay or at same time as spay because they do not know that a heat cycle can correct the RV.  What bothers me are the vets that spayed a dog with RV prior to first heat (because they don’t know what a RV looks like), and than later when dog is having UTI issues they suddenly diagnose the RV and recommend the surgery.

I don’t recommend this surgery unless you have a dog that has been spayed and you can not keep UTI free with my method.  You can not keep a dog on antibiotics for life – therefore, the surgery would be best.  My first step would be the holistic approach and if it works than keep the dog on it for life to prevent UTIs.

If you have to go with the surgery please be sure to use a vet that is seasoned in this procedure.  Ask your vet how many they have performed and what the success rate of keeping the dogs UTI free was.  If your vet has never preformed this surgery please find one that has experience.

If anyone has a pup with a recessed vulva and you have further questions please feel free to ask here or contact me thru my web site.

I have been having trouble getting some emails thru to people (Verizon, AOL, EDU) so if you do not get a response please feel free to call me.  My number is on my web site.

www.snowcolabradors.com

284 Responses to Recessed/Inverted/Hooded Vulvas and Chronic Infections

  1. JoAnne says:

    I am so grateful for your website with all the valuable information and advice.

    I have a Charcoal Lab puppy (Stella) who is 8 mos. old and was spayed at 5 mos. I took her to the vet last week because she was asking to go out to urinate every 1/2 to 1 hr. and her vulva appeared red and swollen (puffy ridges around the outside of it). It does not appear “recessed” or “depressed”. The vet referred to it as an inverted vulva and prescribed amoxillin 100 mg bid. He also told me to make sure to use baby wipes, especially after urinating. However, this is a puppy that was traumatized severely at age 8 weeks and has a lot of difficulties at the vets, etc., due to her fear of and resistance to being held down. I am working successfully with a wonderful canine behaviorist on Stella’s many behavioral problems, but this one has been difficult to change.
    Additionally, she is guarding the vulvar area. I am working daily to get her to allow me to touch within 3 – 4 inches of the area, and then I’ll have to very slowly introduce the wet wipes.

    My question is: Since I can’t yet wipe her after she urinates, is it okay to let her lick herself ? I’ve always been told to not let my dogs lick anywhere there’s irritation, post surgery, etc, but if she doesn’t lick too long or too hard, won’t it possibly help ?

    Of course I’ll ask my vet what he thinks on this subject.

    I already have her on good quality probiotics bid 6 hrs after each Amoxicillen tab, and I’ve ordered the ph test strips and cranberry geltabs. Meanwhile, since she loves oranges, could a couple of orange slices per day help keep her urine more acidic ?

    Thank you so much.

  2. patty says:

    Joanne, I am having computer problems and email as well.

    please call me on the phone to discuss your pups issues.

    Its not as bad as you think and I will help you.

    Get my phone number thru my website http://www.snowcolabradors.com

    I am always here to help. Please call me.

    Patty

  3. Lindsay says:

    I have a 2 year old black lab and she has had UTI’s ever since we got her. At 6 weeks old she had crystals in her urine and was put on medication and it cleared up. We did have her spayed as a puppy (not knowing anything about the benefits of waiting till a first heat cycle). She has continued to get UTI’s. We have put her on special food (c/d for urinary tract health), but that did not help. I am now going through the process of why does she keep getting these UTI’s…but my vert did say that this could be one of the issues. I would like to know more about these crancaps and the success rate you have had with them or if there is anything else I can try before considering the option of surgery. Please email me back :)

    Thanks!

  4. Kate says:

    I just wanted to comment how great I think it is that you are so open and honest with your clients with regards to RV. I bought a westie puppy from someone who is a well known westie breeder, she shows her dogs as well, her name is mentioned several times in a westie book I bought (I bought the book just before getting my puppy, she had no input on it so it’s a coincidence that I found her name in the book). 3 days after bringing my puppy home she was squatting constantly, I knew she had a UTI. I called the breeder and she asked if perhaps I didn’t give her sufficient water…as if I would mistreat my puppy. I can’t help but think after over 40 years of breeding that she didn’t know this puppy had a problem, she just didn’t feel she needed to alert me apparently, and once the puppy was home with me and sick it was not her problem. Here we are 7 months later and my puppy has had a continual e-coli UTI, she’s been on antibiotics almost the whole time since I’ve had her, we’ve now paid for 5 urine cultures, she just finished a 3rd different anti-biotic and she’s having vulvoplasty surgery tomorrow morning. She was spade at 5 months, apparently my vet didn’t know a first heat could have resolved the problem…I really love my vet, she’s wonderful and we’ve been with her for years so I can’t be bitter about it now. My vet had hoped as she grew the problem would resolve on its own but unfortunately that’s not been the case, she’s now 9 months old and pretty much full grown. My puppy also has bouts of incontinence. I am just praying this surgery will finally bring her some relief, poor baby licks and scoots all the time. We’ve got a prescription topical ointment to help and I’ve also got her on a hypo-allergenic diet, that seems to have helped the skin in that area too. Thank goodness she’s a very happy and playful puppy, I love her so much and would love it if this surgery results in her feeling good for the first time in her life.

    Thanks again for being so honest with your clients, I wish there were more people like you.

    Kate

  5. patty says:

    Kate, thank you for your post on my blog.

    I want my pups to have the healthiest life possible. I would never consider withholding anything from a buyer where my pups health is concerned.

    I am so sorry for what you and your pup have had to go thru. I pray the surgery is successful too.

    Keep in mind that her incontinence may be a result of early spay (so young) although not sure how young 5 months of age would be considered in a small breed as yours.

    The surgery may not stop the incontinence (it could also be from all the UTIs – hopefully that is the case and the surgery will put a stop to it).

    If not, I know people use drugs like Proin for incont. but it can have side effects.

    I have heard of people curbing or curing incontinence by feeding soy milk (1/2 cup per day for a larger breed – so maybe 1/4 cup for your sweet girl). As long as the dog has no issues/allergies to soy.

    I wish you all the best with her surgery. Please post back and let us know how she does.

    I also suggest you print out my blog and some of the success stories with first heat cycle correcting RV to give to your vet in the hopes of educating her so she does not spay other pups with RV prior to a heat cycle.

    Get a copy to your breeder too as she obviously needs educating as well. If she knew about the RV and did not disclose it “shame on her”. However, she may just have never seen one and needs educating.

    My sincere prayers for a successful surgery and quick recovery.

    Patty

  6. Paula says:

    Hi Patty, My poodle-mix is now 20 months old. We have been following your regime of cran-caps and probiotics since last April. She has been UTI free since then. We also rinse her off each evening when she gets combed and use a wipe right before bedtime. She was spayed at 6 weeks and has had the occasional leakage problem but I’ve had good luck with the homeopathic remedy Leaks No More by HomeoPet. Thank you for help. Paula

  7. Patty says:

    Paula,

    That is great news!

    Thank you so much for posting here to help others.

    Patty

  8. Kim says:

    Patty – should a lesser dosage of the cran caps be provided to smaller breeds? I have a sheltie puppy who has been spayed but has this condition and has had UTI issues.

  9. Patty says:

    Hi Kim,

    I give 6 week old pups (about 12 lbs) a single dose of the progressive product daily with no problems.

    The body will flush out what is not needed like water soluable vitamins.

    You can always check with a holistic vet but I would bet they will tell you the same thing.

  10. Kim says:

    Thanks Patty – she is 6 months old and about 15 pounds so it seems this should be ok for her then.

  11. Patty says:

    Yes I would say it is fine but again….

    I am not a vet…… I am giving info from my experience with RVs and for years all has been good with what I do.

    Please let all of us on this blog know how your dog does…..

    It surely does help others….

    Patty

  12. victoria says:

    I have an approximate age 1 1/2 year old maltese mix. She was a rescue dog already spayed. After reading your website I concluded that she has a recessed vulva and has had 4 bouts of UTIs since I have had her over the last year.
    My first vet knew nothing about recessed vulvas causing UTIs nor did he know about probiotics and only tested her PH level and kept trying random biotics.

    I found a new vet who confirmed the recessed vulva; tested her urine and said it contains struvites and he also tested the bacteria and found it was e-coli so treated her with an antibiotic that combats e-coli. He has me feeding her urinary dog food.

    Based on your website, I give her cranberry drops each day and now that she is off the anti-biotic I give her probiotics and use baby wipes after her urination.

    She still keeps getting UTI and I’m afraid she may need surgery. Do you have any ballpark fees for surgery for the vulvoplasty?

    Thanks so much for all your information.

  13. C. Jamieson says:

    Our Goldendoodle just had this surgery last Tuesday. She is just over a year old and has been on antibiotics most of her life. The surgery cost $700.00. The cost of surgery was actually less than the cost of treating the infections and has not been that difficult to care for although our doodle is very patient. The surgery is actually a plastic surgery and looks ugly but the benefit can be great if done correctly. I would make sure the vet who does the surgery has some experience with it. From what I have read and after talking with our vet, it is important that there is consideration given to how much skin be removed from the vulva area. Of course time will tell how much this will help our girl but she has not had an accident since the surgery (5 days). Prior to the surgery she leaked constantly. Our main concern was the infections. Constant uti’s and bladder infections can cause life threatening conditions affecting the kidneys. Harper was spayed before we got her but we knew nothing about this condition before getting her.

  14. Serena says:

    I have a 55 pound 7 month old doberman, will one cran cap a day be enough. Thanks for the site it saved my baby!!

  15. Melissa says:

    Hi Patty

    I took your advice from another post and ordered the probiotic powder from Progressive Labs but they no longer sell the cranberry pills as they don’t have a suitable source for the cranberry. Can you suggest any alternatives brands to purchase? Thanks again!

  16. Lisa says:

    Patty, I want to thank you for posting this great info. I rescued a Husky that has RV. I spayed her at 20 months, she had already had one litter of pups. When I rescued her she had a very inflamed vulva and seeped blood (not associated with heat cycle). I suspect now that she had a horrible UTI, poor thing. My Vet teaching hospital recommended corrective surgery in conjunction with her spay, I am so happy after reading your blog that we opted to take the conservative approach and waited to see how she did after the spay. She seems to get UTI’s about once a month, but last week, it seemed to get worse, I could see signs of blood staining which is when I found your page. I have put her on a daily maintenance of one Cranberry Fruit pill 475mg in the morning (Spring Valley brand, readily available at Wal-Mart) and half a DanActive yogurt drink at bedtime. Her vulva irritation has improved dramatically in just a few days and an extra bonus is her bowels are much more regular and she is much less constipated.

    All I can say, is thank you for sharing this information. I cannot imagine how painful that surgery would be, and with this it seems it is 100% unnecessary!! YAY!

  17. Jacqueline says:

    My Ginny has been on Atopica in the past for being so itchy all the time. She was fine without it last year so she was not on it.
    In the past she’s always licked her self (too much) and I had never heard of an inverted vulva before, no one pointed anything out. She is bad for UIs and we keep the fur SHORT around that area since the vet said the hair can act as a wick and draw bacteria up into her. She has the brown yeast around it and normally things are ok, she licks and scoots but no redness. NOW, she is raw and it’s horrible, she’s 7. Last night I bought baby wipes unscented with Aloe and that, anti bacterial soap from the vet and she’ll be back on the Atopica for being itchy. her paws this summer are going brown again and she has the yeast in the ears again. Our poor little itchy dogs. She is not badly inverted but I’m going to talk to the vet about having the surgery. I wish I knew before what I know now about this, I thought she was licking because she was bored. Which is what I was told dogs do.

  18. Jacqueline says:

    Thought I would also say you can get it’s called Derma Gel from the vets its acts as a urine barrier on the skin. $6.00 and no prescription. I also got an anti-bacterial soap from the vet $7.00 to wash with first and no prescription needed for that either. Just thought I’d throw that out there

  19. Dina says:

    Hello- I’ve been reading the posts, and many other sites trying to find relief for my pup. She just finished 7 days on Cipro and Metronidazole for a UTI & Girardia. I believe she does have the RV, and has had past UTI’s with and without crystals. I want to start her on cranberry ASAP, but finding it difficult to determine a dosage (quantity and mg) per day. I would like a soft gel size for her since she is a small Mati/ mix 11 pounds, otherwise I could open a cranberry capsul and mix the powder into her food. She is eating Insinct limited ingredient Lamb formula, and I don’t know if that is contributing to the Ph imbalance as well. I just moved to a new town and my new vet isn’t up to speed on anything holistic. If anyone has suggestions or feedback I would love to hear it. Any other links to find the supplements would be appreciated. Thank you!

  20. Anonymous says:

    hi…besides baby wipes what can I use to safely wipe vulva?
    and can dogs take human cran caps?
    Thx,
    Gwen

  21. Katie says:

    I just got a yellow lab puppy 3 weeks ago and today I had her at the vet for a wellness exam and her 2nd set of boosters and during the exam the vet said that she has an inverted vulva but otherwise she has no other problems but she said that there is no way that it will fix itself and that she has to be spayed and have the surgery to have ot fixed but I was hoping to have 1 litter of puppies from her in about 4-5 years but now that I have read this I’m not sure what I should do any help would be great!!!

  22. patty says:

    For those of you that I have not responded to….. I apologize, I was not getting email notification on your comments here.

    Katie, I hope you have not spayed your girl yet (not for your want to breed her – but to let a heat cycle correct her RV) please email me thru my website and I will help you.

    Gwen, baby wipes are great and yes dogs can take human crancaps.

    Dina, you can open a capsule and give the powder in her food.

    Lisa, thanks for your post. Great to hear of your wonderful results!

    Melissa, there is a section of my blog that Progressive is searching for a new crancap to sell. You can get a good product at GNC as well.

  23. Milton says:

    Ou 9yr old female beagle is always scooting!( On occasion cries) Had her to the vet she is in good health with no flea infestation.
    Vet seems to think that she has a flap of skin over her female part and it gets infected, he suggests surgery at the cost of apprx. $1,800.00
    Would really like to hear your opinion on this
    Thank you very much

    If possible please respond to me via email

  24. Mariann says:

    I have a 10 year old small mixed breed pup, Zoey. In the past I had taken her to the vet because she appeared to jump up and rub her backside against the couch. it looked as though she was trying to scratch herself. The vet said she probably had allergies and put her on progesterone. It helped.
    Last week I noticed a reddish discharge and took her to the vet. ( He had told me in past yearly exams that she had a hooded/furry vulva and they could cause problems.) On the office visit he went in with a scope and found what looked like a “cottage cheese consistency”.
    Being I had her scheduled to have her teeth cleaned the next day, he was able to examine her more extensively. He said all the cottage cheese substance was now gone, it must have washed out (I did not quite understand this comment). He said if she continues to become infected, surgery would be advised.
    My dog, Zoey, has been absolutely miserable for the last two days. She was shaved and is red and swollen. She is scooting and crying day and night. I feel so bad for her discomfort. I take her outside and she is scooting on the cement, grass, sidewalk. She doesn’t even want to walk. She is all red, swollen, raw and looks like some sores. It just looks terrible around her bottom. I called and asked for something to help the itching, and was told to give her 25mg of Benadryl. It does not appear to be helping her at all. I also apply Quadritop Ointment, but she immediately starts scooting thus wiping it all off I just don’t know what to do. I hope you can please help to make Zoey a happy dog once again. It hurts to see her crying and so very very uncomfortable.
    Thank you for taking your time to reply.

  25. patty says:

    Milton,

    I am no longer receiving email notice of comments in order to respond so I apologize for my late response.

    I would need to see a pic of your dogs vulva (positioned like the pic at the top of the blog) in order to give my opinion on surgery. It will also depend on if she is spayed.

    Depending on the severity of the flap you may be able to use the crancaps daily and avoid surgery.

    You can email me a pic at knickie123@gmail.com

    Patty

  26. patty says:

    Mariann,

    I am no longer receiving email notice of comments in order to respond so I apologize for my late response.

    Any improvement with your girl? Bag balm works great and will not hurt her if she licks it off.

    I would need to see a pic of her vulva (positioned like the pic at the top of this blog) in order to give my opinion on surgery.

    Have you got her on crancaps to ward off infection?

    Feel free to email me pics or with any questions at knickie123@gmail.com

    Patty

  27. Alyssa says:

    Hi patty,

    Is the picture at the top of this blog an inverted or regular vulva? My puppy’s looks just like that and she has had some minor discharge after peeing. She also licks down there often. She is 12 weeks. Please respond via email.

  28. patty says:

    It is an inverted/recessed vulva in the pic.

  29. Johanna says:

    I have my 4th Labrador and I have never seen a recessed vulva, neither has my breeder. He claims it runs in certain lines and I tend to agree. He hasn’t had even 1 in 35 years of breeding. I guess certain lines carry the genetics for recessed vulvas.

    If I had to go through PH strips, I would NEVER accept that puppy from a breeder. In 30 years I never had to, I won’t begin now. Good luck to all of you.

  30. patty says:

    Most people do not know the pup they just purchased has a RV because either the breeder did not know it or chose not to tell the buyer. Buyer usually finds out while at a vet visit.

    Testing PH is no big deal, it takes 2 seconds. You could be passing up a very nice pup just because of a RV. I would not pass on my pick of litter/show prospect because of it.

    There is no proof that RV is genetic. It has also been said that the stud dog passes it on. No way of knowing.

    You also should know that some RV are a result of excess puppy fat (that would not be genetics causing the RV) and as the pup has growth spurts it corrects (prior to heat). I had a pup with one at 4 weeks and by 9 weeks it was corrected.

    Either way if you know what to do it is easy enough to deal with and wait for a first heat to correct (possibly a second). And finding a vet that will not push early spay prior to heat.

  31. Jen says:

    Hello Patty- My puppy is 11 weeks old (Weimaraner.) We just came back from the vet and she was diagnosed with an infection and a RV. They are familiar with RV and seem them frequently. At this point, she may grow out of it but we will not know for sometime. Since we have had her (at 5 weeks), there have been a few other times when she had similar symptoms-squatting to urinate and only a drop or drops or none comes out. We addressed it with the vet and concluded potential puppy vaginitis. Now, I am concerned it is a result of or RV. I appreciated the information you have shared as well as the holistic approach. I am curious about more information regarding waiting for the first heat. We had 2 labs before but both were spayed around 6 months or so. What does a typical first heat look like-are there more indicators prior to blood? When does a typical first heat occur? Is it ok to spay after a first heat-repercussions spaying late? I will discuss this with our vet at her next visit next week but would love to have done my own research first. Thank you.

  32. patty says:

    Hi Jen,

    Puppy vaginitis usually presents with a thick discharge. What you are describing is a sign of a UTI not vaginitis. It could be a result of her RV and most likely is. Wipe her vulva after each potty break to prevent urine from sitting in the valley (RV)to prevent bacteria.

    Some dogs (vulva) will swell prior to bleeding (heat cycle) others bleed first. Watch for spots of blood on floor about the size of a pencil eraser. Press a tissue to her vulva and see if you get any color (pink to red). Watch for her licking her vulva more than normal. She may also get clingy (bit of personality change) when in heat.

    If you got your pup from a breeder ask at what age the dam (mother) came in heat the first time. Most lines will follow suite but not a guarantee. She can come in as early as 6 months so keep a close eye on her.

    Please do allow her to have a heat cycle to correct her RV. Spaying should be done 3 months after onset of bleeding of previous heat cycle to prevent too much bleeding during surgery. Spay in the middle of cycles.

    She will be fine to spay after a cycle. Sometimes it takes 2 cycles to correct the RV but usually just one.

    In the mean time I would get her on crancaps and test urine PH at home as instructed in my blog. CVS has a crancap by Natures Bounty. Give one a day to prevent UTIs.

    http://www.cvs.com/shop/product-detail/Natures-Bounty-Cranberry-Fruit-Softgels-Plus-Vitamin-C-4200-mg?skuId=328284

    Good luck
    Patty

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