Recessed/Inverted/Hooded Vulvas and Chronic Infections


The original pic here was hijacked by Photobucket so if you need to see a pic of a RV pup please email me and I will send one.  In the mean time I am working to get my pic back up here.

(All my pics on photobucket have been hijacked O/A  7/1/17 – I own these pics and can no longer use them unless I want to pay photobucket $300.  This is outrageous!  If anyone knows a way around this please email me with help.  I can not find a phone number to contact a person on their site.  Thanks

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 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:

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.

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.

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 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.

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: (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.

Author: patty

Franklin Lakes, NJ

285 thoughts on “Recessed/Inverted/Hooded Vulvas and Chronic Infections”

  1. Sam,

    Prayers for you and your family in your loss. RIP Sweet Asia. Run pain free at the Bridge


  2. I have a Mastiff that is only a year and a half old. She has suffered from UTIs since her first doctor’s visit when she was a puppy. She was also spayed at the age of 7 months, which was before her first heat. We have done ultrasounds and x-rays, numberous urine tests (sterile and regular), and she has been on many different antibiotic (Baytril, Simplicef, Amoxicillan) with little success. Every time we seem to correct the problem it returns a week or two later. Just recently, large amounts of e-coli were detected in her bladder and an area of calcification was seen in her kidney. We have tried giving her orange juice, vinegar, and dried cranberries with no success. She is on special low-residue food already. I have even resorted to “wiping” her each time she comes in from going to the bathroom. The problem just seems to get worse and we are becoming more and more frustrated.

    Just the other day a vet, not from my normal office, told me that all of my dog’s problems were caused by her recessed vulva. I had never heard of anything like that before. He said that the only way to correct the problem was surgery. Is he correct, since it seems we have tried almost everything else? What does the surgery involve?

    When I discussed this with my regular vet, he told me that surgery would probably not solve the problem and wants to send me to a specialist. He feels that my dog’s problems are caused by a small pouch in the bladder that is harboring bacteria. Could this also be the case?

    Sorry if I am rambling, but it is late and I just happened to find your site. You really seem to know a great deal about this subject and have had much success in this area. I could use any help and advice you were able to give me. Thanks.

  3. I am sorry you are dealing with so much with your girl. Cranberry lines the bladder wall preventing bacteria from sticking.

    The concentrated crancaps would be much better than dried cranberries.

    I would try dbl dosing your girl for 2 weeks and checking her urine PH on a regular basis as I mention in my blog. I would try this before surgery.

    I have never heard of a pouch in the bladder but it would be worth confirming it one way or another. And finding out what, if anything, can be done to correct it.

    The surgery the other vet mentioned is called a vulvoplasty (google it for info). Its basically a nip and tuck to remove the valley around the vulva so urine can no longer pool in it and this should stop the infections.

    I would think the vets would want to get rid of the Ecoli first before doing any surgery. I would also be sure you find a seasoned vet in this procedure. Don’t let just any vet do it. Make sure and ask how many they have performed and I would ask for references from those patients as to the success of the surgery.

    Because of all the antibiotic your dog has been on I would be sure and get her on a good live organism probiotic as I mention in my blog.

    Please come back and let me know how you make out.


  4. Kristin,

    I forgot to ask if the vet has done a culture and sensitivity from a sterile urine sample?

    This is important to pinpoint the exact bacteria in order to give the correct antibiotic.

    You mention E-coli. Was this found in a C/S?

  5. Hi Patty,

    I’m very happy to give an update from my 5/20/09 post. Maggie continued to be symptom free from UTIs. We give her cran tabs 2x day and have gotten lazy with checking urine pH. We used to be so paranoid and check it 2x week, now it’s about 2x month.

    She has, however, had 2 bouts with hot spots under her ears this summer. Floppy ears, daily swims in the ocean and a low immune system (my theory based on all the antibiotics she’s been on) have made for nasty infections and more antibiotics.

    We’ve finally seen our new holistic vet. She was very impressed that we’re using cran tabs to ward off the UTIs. She suggested keeping Maggie on daily probiotics and a home cooked diet, both of which we’re doing as well as some herbal supplements for her “damp heat” condition. TCM is very interesting.

    I’ll keep you posted. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge. Jill

  6. Hi Jill.

    That is great news that she has been UTI free.

    Talk to your holistic vet about vit. C for immunity. I give 1000mg daily to adult dogs.

    I start pups at 8 weeks on 125mg per 25 lbs. of weight.

    I agree with using a probiotic. Be sure and give it 2-3 hours away from antibiotics when she is on meds. Otherwise the antibiotics will just counter act the probiotic.

    Thanks for you update and hoping she continues to be UTI free and her hot spots clear up.


  7. Hi Patty,

    We haven’t added Vit C yet. It’s not on vet’s list but your dose is recommended in Dr. Pitcairn’s book, which the vet uses as a model. I will pick some up today.

    This little gal is eating better than we are! Hot spots are finally all healed so we went for a long awaited swim yesterday. She loved being back in the water. Luckily she still doesn’t have much hair under her ears (looks like a Clingon) so we can keep a close eye for hot spots developing.

    Thanks again, Jill

  8. Hi Patty! We adopted 2 black labs at 8 weeks; Male is fine, Female as an inverted vulva. She developed a rash & the breeder took her to the vet. He found out about the inverted vulva and she was put on an antibiotic. The vet also suggested that she get fixed at 5 months to fix the problem which is the opposite of your advice. We have an appt. with our vet next week…here’s our question…Our little gal drips contstantly, her little legs & tail are always soaked as well as any place she sits or lays her head. Is this the infection? or is it the inverted vulva? We try our best to keep her dry but to no avail. The breeder told us all that would be needed to be done is to wipe her after she goes. What a joke. She needs constant attention. We would appreciate any of your wisdom from your experiece. Thank You in advance for your help!

  9. Hi Kate.

    Please don’t spay your pup if she has a RV. The dripping could be an infection and if she has them now, spaying her prior to her first heat and not allowing the RV to correct could subject her to a life time of infections. You may than have to resort to surgery (vulvoplasty)if crancaps, etc. can’t control it. This is most likely what your vet plans to do when spaying her. Unless your vet thinks spaying alone will fix the problem which is absolutely incorrect. Either way I would not put a pup/dog thru a vulvoplasty without giving the RV a chance to correct on its own.

    Find another vet who has experience with RV or show your vet my blog.

    If she is on antibiotic and still dripping, either it is the wrong med for the bacteria (do a culture and sensitivity as I suggest in my blog) or the dripping may not be related at all.

    Find out from the breeder if this pup dripped from birth. If so it could be an issue along the lines of ectopic ureter and an ultrasound would need to be done. There are die tests to pinpoint this as well.

    I would get this pups on the crancaps and be testing PH at home on a weekly basis. Since she is leaking so bad, which could indicate a sever infection, I would first do the cult/sens. to pinpoint the exact bacteria and get her on the right antibiotic to nip this in the bud. Than retest the urine (via urinalysis) 3-5 days after meds are finished to be sure infection is cleared up and be sure and continue with the crancaps “every day” till her first heat cycle is over and you can recheck her RV to be sure it has corrected.

    If the C/S show no bacteria and an infection is ruled out than you need to consider that she may have an ectopic ureter.

    Please don’t be afraid to stand up to your vet and refuse the spay. Most vets are taught in school to spay at 5-6 months and some will push the issue.

    Please keep me posted. Praying this is just an infection from her RV.

  10. PS: if there is no infection and you find an ectopic ureter you need to be working with a urologist in regard to corrective surgery.

  11. Jill,

    wonderful to hear her hot spots are cleared up.

    Hoping they stay that way.

    Thanks for the update


  12. Kate, If I knew then what I know now, I would have waited for Maggie to go through 1 or 2 heat cycles before spaying her. As responsible owners, it’s no big deal to wait if there’s even a small chance it will prevent UTIs. Good luck to you. Jill

  13. Thank You so much, Patty! We took Sookie to our vet & she told us that the breeder’s vet was old school. In the last 15 years she only had 1 dog need a surgical outcome…she agreed with you that the first heat will probably be the remedy (although we have a specialist’s name from the U of PA, she wants Sookie to get bigger before we take her for tests) A stronger antibiotic was prescribed & after 2 days we’ve seen a definite change.

    Also, she felt her bladder & it was full (good news) and wants us to limit her water intake to a pint a day. She said that labs are notorious for drinking until they are ready to burst & claims that will help eliminate the dripping, however, everything we’ve read suggest that water be readily available. (We have our family room covered with reusable pads. I do about 6 loads of wash a day but feel it’s worth it to keep her & the room dry-I don’t want to limit her access to the room when her brother is running around playing) We don’t leave water out for them but do give it to them when we see that they are thirsty. She does seem like she is thirsty more than her brother. We are wondering if the urine is a lighter color doesn’t that mean that will help keep the infection away…does that make any sense to you?

    Unfortunately, because the breeder thought she had a rash from laying in wet grass & not an infection from an inverted vulva…she will permantely have black bumps in the area. We purchased sensitive skin baby wipes to clean & dry the area. Will it help to use a baby salve (not in the folds) like desitin?

    Finally, we are going to take your advice & get the crancaps & do ph testing weekly (wiil go shopping for them today)

    Many, many thanks, Patty, for your advice & for this wonderful website. It really gave us important info that allowed us to relax & not panic. We fell in love with Sister Sookie the first moment we saw her. Thankfully that is why the breeder took her to the vet in the first place-he had her seperated from her brothers & sisters in case she was contagious. It seems like we were meant to adopt her. She is a wonderful pup and a great addition to our family. I will definitely keep you posted.

    Best Regards,

  14. Thanks, Waggily Tail, for your well wishes & to all who post on this site. Your stories gave us hope & informed us with the right info.

    Take care & have a great holiday weekend!

  15. Hi Kate,

    I’m so glad your vet agreed on waiting for first heat.

    As for black spots being permanent, I don’t know about that. My one girl had a severe infections with lots of dark rust color around her vulva and it went away.

    Glad you have a specialist lined up but hopefully you won’t need one. (I’m assuming this in case of having to test for an ectopic ureter)

    Her urine could be lighter because she is taking in so much water and I don’t see that keeping infection away but it could deter a bit (I’m just not sure). I would not limit her water too much if you can deal with the dripping until you get a grip on this.

    Did they do the culture/sensitivity? If not, and this new stronger antib. does not get rid of the infection – than you must do the C/S to pinpoint the exact bacteria. Be sure and retest a urine sample 3-5 days after finishing the current antib.

    Good luck, hoping the crancaps and PH testing will keep her UTI free until she has her first heat and corrects. Be sure and get PH strips that go as hi as 10 PH. There are those that only go to 8 and that is not enough as some dogs PH can go higher than that with a severe infection.

    Thanks for the update and I look forward to positive updates in the future.


  16. Hi Patty, I found this blog from your recent posting on JL Forum. Great info, thank you for sharing all your knowledge!! I have a 4 month old lab with inverted vulva (although in the last month or so it seems to be getting bigger, popping out, as she’s growing). Since we got her (from reputable breeder) at 8 wks, she has had creamy white/yellow vaginal discharge. Vet diagnosed puppy vaginitis. Tried 2 rounds of Clavamox which didn’t seem to make a difference. Pup does not show any signs of UTI (straining, dribbling, frequency, etc.) Would you agree that this discharge is vaginitis, and not UTI? Is discharge/vaginitis related to the inverted vulva? Finally, our vet and research I’ve done on my own both says it’s inconclusive on whether to spay before or after first heat in these cases. What does the first heat do t resolve the problem? Would it make a difference in the case of vaginitis/discharge? Thank you for all the info!

  17. Hi Patty,

    What brand of “herbal antibacterial cream” do you use and/or recommend? I searched through all the comments and people mention a cream, but I can’t find any mention of a specific brand.

    I have a 10-yr old golden who has a ‘tucked vulva.’ Unfortunately I didn’t know she had this defect, and I had her spayed right at 6 months of age. In the last 18 months she’s been getting multiple UTIs and she has another one now, just 30 days after competing 3 weeks of Baytril treatment for the last one. Her first post-treatment cysto, 5 days out, was negative and we retested again 30 days after the last cysto and I just got the call that she is UTI positive. Her urine is cultured to determine best antibiotic. She had an xray done to rule out stones (test was negative). She was also given a urine Cushings marker test (negative).

    BTW, I have not had her on cranberry, but I’m going to start immediately! Have also read that organic raw apple cider vinegar (1 tbsp) is a good thing to add to their food once a day, in addition to the daily crancaps.

    I’m very anxious to do whatever I can to get my girl back to optimum health. She needs to lose about 5 to 7 lbs so I’ll be working on that, in addition.

    I understand from reading your comments that I will also need to do routine ph testing on her urine.

    Please let me (and your readers) know about the cream. Thank you!

  18. Hi Katherine,

    While I have not had puppy vaginitis with a RV I have read that it can be a result of the RV just like UTIs. It can also be present in a pup with no RV. I would say the discharge is not from UTI but is from vaginitis.

    What I have also read is that antibiotic will not work on vaginitis.

    See this site and scroll down to puppy vaginitis. See where Dr. Hutch (Repro Specialist) is quoted in red. I have consulted with this vet on other issues and trust his judgements.

    Also see this taken from:

    “Puppy vaginitis is commonly seen in pre-pubertal bitches and usually resolves at the first heat.”

    If you have not had a urine test done yet I would do this just to be sure PH, specific gravity, etc. are in normal range (see proper collection method in my blog).

    My pup from last litter has an RV and her urine is fine accept for a slight WBC elevation. Her vet is not concerned and agrees with no antibiotic and keeping pup on crancaps and retesting urine.

    I would also be testing your pup’s urine PH at home weekly or bi weekly as I mention in my blog.

    I would give the crancaps I mention above and get her on a good live organism probiotic and I would also not spay her until after her first heat, unless vulva corrects on its own prior to that.

    Not allowing it to correct could subject her to a life time of issues of V and/or UTIs.

    If your vet has not had RV patients than he won’t have seen the results of waiting for first heat. I have in 3 of my dogs and all corrected. Waiting on the 4th.

    There is no guarantee but IMO its worth giving it a chance to correct. More RVs correct than not.

    I hope I answered all your questions. If I missed anything please let me know.


  19. Hi Natalie,

    I have never used a cream so honestly can’t recommend one.

    I would definately get your girl on the crancaps and dbl dose initially. Strange that the culture tells you the bacteria found for proper med and the med is not working. Are they giving a high enough dose?

    The ACV will regulate the alkaline in her urine. From what I have read most infections (UTIs) occur in alkaline urine (PH would be elevated), the ACV should help maintain an acidic urine (Keeping PH low – in normal range). I have never used ACV so not sure if it will help. I have never had a need for it since the crancaps have always done the job for my dogs.

    Yes, you should be testing PH at home in order to catch a UTI in the early stages, dbl up on cracaps and retest in a week, and hopefully be able to avoid antibiotic.

    With all the antibiotic your girl has been on I would also get her on a live organism probiotic to put good bacteria back into her system that the meds have killed off.

    If anyone else can recommend a cream that they use (that vet recommended) with success please chime in.


  20. Natalie

    See this: See where I mention cutting down to 1/day for maintenance and checking PH to be sure it is enough.

    Note: The Crancaps have been changed/improved. They are now a “fruit” concentrate rather than a “juice” concentrate. And they are concentrated at 12:1. The softgels are now 420mg ea. Therefore, I would give 2/day (split up in a.m. and p.m. meal) for maintenance and give 4/day (split up in a.m. and p.m.) when PH is elevated or you have a UTI and are using the Crancaps in lieu of antibiotics. If you are seeing PH in normal range consistantly you can try cutting down to one capsule daily for maintenance. Keep checking PH to be sure this amount will be sufficient.Note: Progressive’s crancaps contain soy. If your dog has an allergy to soy or you suspect it; see this GNC product instead: (2 capsules = 1000mg).

  21. I just purchased “nature’s bounty” triple strength cranberry softgels. Serving size = 2 softgels and ea serving contains 1,040 mg of 12:1 concentrate. So 3 a day should be enough, yes? I know she can eventually be given less depending on her PH level.

    I am not using cranberry in lieu of antibiotics–my dog will go on antibiotics starting this evening. Cranberry will be used as an adjunct and for maintenance ongoing. I don’t have the PH strips yet so I have no idea what her PH level is right now–all I know is that the vet called and said her most recent cysto tests positive for UTI. I also have a bottle of acidopholus capsules (400 mg) which has to be refrigerated. I will start her on 1 per day, 3 to 4 hrs after her antibiotic.

  22. You would probably be okay with just 2 a day but since you have been battling this problem go with the 3 to be safe and than you can cut down.

    How many million or billion live organism probiotic is in each of your 400mg acidopholus capsules? Since this is the 3rd (or so) time she will be on antibiotics you want to be sure and give enough probiotics.

    I give 1/2 tspn of a 10 billion live organism to an adult when using antibiotics. My product is 1/3 tsp =(1gram) or (1000mg)

    Be sure and continue the probiotics a good week or 2 after antibiotics are finished.

  23. Actually, I’m going to get a brand new bottle of acidopholos/probiotics at Whole Foods (the refrigerated kind) since I’m not sure the current bottle of Solgar Acidophilus Plus I have is viable–I think it’s too old now. I will look for the 10 billion live organism potency. I already gave her the first dose of cranberry capsules when I was home for lunch. Antibiotics (Clavimox) will start tonight.

  24. Hi Patty-

    We spoke on the phone last week about my dog Izzy and her ear issues and RV issues. Anyhow, I know you speak to alot of people but I wanted to let you know that her ears have improved drastically since starting the purple solution. Thank you so much for all your help with that. Now we are starting to see her vaginitis flair up again (discharge after urinating) and tonight she has started to have to urinate much more frequently. Up till now she hasn’t had UTI’s (that we know of) but we have issues with the vaginitis off and on. Last time she had it this bad they gave her antibiotics. It did clear up but I want to avoid antibiotics if I can. Do you think I should try your crancaps therapy first? Will this help cure a UTI or just help prevent one? I’m not positive if it is a UTI but just in case how many crans should I give her? I got the GNC ones (500mg) she is 5months old.

    Thanks as always really! We are trying to avoid the vet because we have spent 1,000 in vet bills in the last 3 months. Financially we just cant keep going like this. Plus I am all for limiting antibiotics. Trying to get this puppy well so we can all enjoy eachother.

    All your help is so appreciated.

  25. I wanted to pass along some info I got about another supplement that can be used instead of (or with) cranberry for UTIs. It’s called “D-mannose” and it’s a sugar-like substance that you can sprinkle in food or in some water and it works like cranberry does but supposedly even does a better job. I ordered some online (the NOW brand, which is 100% pure). There is anecdotal evidence that it works well for humans and animals. Supposed to have a sweet taste and does not affect blood sugar since most of it is passed to the lower GI/bladder. It is supposed to helps flush out the e.coli bacteria and keep the struvites from adhering to the bladder walls. I will be adding this to my dog’s food (1 or 2 tsp./day) when I get it and continue with the cranberry as well. I hope this info is helpful; I’ll let you all know how it works for my dog.

  26. Hi Pam,

    I would give her one crancap a.m. and p.m. I would also get yourself the PH strips I mention in my blog and monitor her PH to catch a UTI in early stages and follow my instruction on dbl up if PH is high, etc.

    I have cured UTIs with crancaps (retesting urine at the vet). It may be best to take a sample to the vet to check for UTI (no need to take the dog and pay an office visit).

    From what I know antibiotic will not help vaginitis. The crancaps may help but i would also get her on a good probiotic.

    Let me know how you make out.


  27. Natalie I had heard of the D Manose but don’t like giving sugar to my dogs (won’t use crancaps that contain sugar). If needing to use this long term for preventative on a RV pup for a good year – sugar is not good for coat.

    Dbl check it with your vet as I have no experience with the product or the type of sugar it is.

    I would do a search now but upstate NY and having computer problems. I’ll check it out when i get home.


  28. Hi Patty,

    According to one article, “D-Mannose is absorbed eight times slower than glucose, and when ingested, is not converted to glycogen or stored in the liver, but rather goes directly to the blood stream from the upper GI tract.”

    The wiki on D-Mannose says, “D-Mannose is not well metabolized. Therefore, it does not significantly enter the carbohydrate metabolism when taken orally. 90% of mannose ingested is excreted unconverted into the urine within 30 – 60 minutes, with 99% of the remainder being excreted within the following 8 hours. There is no significant increase in blood-glucose levels during this time.”

    My vet was unfamiliar with this supplement so she was not able to give me any feedback. However, I’m going to try it, as others who have tried this with their dogs have reported very positive results. I will keep you all apprised on how my dog does on this.

  29. Hey Patty,

    I have a three month old black and silver miniature schnauzer that was recently diagnosed with a rv. The vet was doing an exam when I went in for her 12 wk shots and just pointed it out to me. Our pup has not had a uti but I am concerned about spaying her before her first heat. The vet said that when pups have this condition they oftentimes just do a procedure that pulls the skin back. She did not mention waiting until after first heat. My concern is that I have heard that if you don’t spay pups before their first heat they have a higher chance of getting cancer. What should I do and what would you recommend? Also, should i put my pup on those cranberry tablets even if she hasn’t shown to have a problem? Thank you SO much!!!

  30. Hi Katherine,

    Most vets don’t know about waiting for the first heat to correct the RV and jump right to the surgery.

    I personally would go thru a first heat. Surgery is a very last resort. Even if a dog with RV is spayed prior to firt heat I would try holistic approaches (like mine) for chronic UTIs before I would resort to the surgery.

    I am not sure about your breed but in Labs (large dogs) it is best to allow first heat for full maturity – even without a RV.

    Cancer chances are minimal with only having one heat cycle. Your pup will most likely come in heat between 6-12 months. Could be a bit longer. Spaying prior to 2 1/2 years reduces risks. See this link:

    I would put her on one crancap a day to help prevent any future problems prior to first heat. And test PH regularly.

    If you don’t want to do crancaps at least get the PH strips to test urine on a regular basis as I mention in my blog, and if you have elevated PH than get on the crancaps and keep checking till back in normal range.

    You could than go off the crancaps and just monitor PH. If she is tending to elevate periodically I would stay on 1 crancap daily till first heat.

    Please keep me posted on what you decide.

  31. Hi,
    I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer and adopted a 2-month-old female puppy in January 2007. She was spayed in late March 2007 at about 4 months old (before her first heat) by a group of American vets who came to do volunteer work near my community. Recently I’ve noticed that she licks herself often and her vulva is red and irritated. I tried putting a little bit of antibiotic cream on the irritated parts but I’m not sure that it’s making a difference. I decided to look it up on the internet, and after seeing pictures and reading descriptions, I am pretty sure she has a recessed vulva. I wish I had known to let her go through her first heat to see if it fixed itself, but unfortunately there’s not much I can do about that now.

    My question is, is there any way I can tell if she has a UTI? There are no vets for me to take her to. I take as good care of her as possible but I have very little veterinary knowledge. She doesn’t have accidents in the house but when I take her for walks she pees pretty often and sometimes squats down to pee but only a few drips come out.

    I’m finishing up my service here in 2 weeks and am headed back to the United States. I already made an appointment with my vet for the day after I get back… should I just hold out for that appointment? Is it worth it to wipe her with baby wipes or something in the mean time? Will 2 weeks make a big difference in her care? I really don’t know what to do.

    Thank you so much for your help.


  32. Hi Phoebe,

    “when I take her for walks she pees pretty often and sometimes squats down to pee but only a few drips come out”

    This is a classic sign of UTI. If you can get crancaps put her on them now to prevent further issues like urine crystals.

    When you get home take a urine sample to the vet collected the way I describe above.

    Since she is spayed I would keep her on crancaps for life and be sure to regularly test her urine PH.

    Let me know if you need more help and have a safe trip home.

    PS: sorry for the delay in my responding – computer glitch.


  33. Hi and thanks for this site to explain options for the recessed vulva issues. I have a 2 year old smooth collie who was spayed before her first heat, because the vet said it was safer to do it then. she had her first UTI at about 6-7 months of age, and then not another one until last year. This year, she started licking her self excessively, and before i knew it, it was a red raw sore mess. She was on 2 courses of clavamox and as of yesterday, the infection is finally gone. I wish i could say that for the irritation in her vulva. I give her the cranberry probiotics, but does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to clean the area. I literally have to fight with her to even touch it, i know because its so sore. what should i clean it with? what position have people found to work best? how many times should i clean it? I ordered a salve from a holistic vet, but while i am waiting for it, she is just so irritated and sore. Any suggestions would be great. i fear i will have to get her surgery, but the vet at least is not pushing this. right now, i need to do all that i can to clear this up so i know if i can’t, then at least i did my best before resorting to surgery.

  34. Hi Lisa,

    I am glad you found my blog. Only sorry your vet was not more informed prior to spay.

    2 UTIs is not a reason to do the surgery IMO.

    Keep her on the crancaps and get the PH strips to monitor her urine PH as I mention above.

    As for the irritation: it sounds like her licking constantly is causing this.

    I would consider putting an elizabethen collar on her to get a grip on this soreness and keep her from licking in order to let it heal. Constant licking is keeping her vulva raw and sore.

    In the mean time and while using the collar I would wipe her vulva with unscented baby wipes and use Bag Balm on her vulva. It has wonderful soothing properties.

    You can try wiping her while she is standing as long as you get into the valley of the recess to remove pooled urine – she may tollerate this better.

    Once the soreness goes away she will most likely leave her vulva alone and you can remove the E collar.

    But do continue with the crancaps and testing PH. The probiotics can’t hurt to continue either.

    Please let me know if you have more questions. You can always call me thru my website if that is easier.

    Please let me know how you make out.


  35. PS: only wipe the vulva with baby wipes each time she urinates – not constantly.

    But do keep her coated with Bag Balm for best results.

  36. Patty, I check here regularly because I always learn something.

    Our holistic vet gave us aloe ointment with calendula for Maggie’s hot spots. I wonder if Bag Balm would have worked equally as well.

    Lisa, good luck. Your poor collie must be miserable. In your post you mentioned cranberry probiotics. Did you mean cranbery and probiotics? Just want to be sure you know they are two different meds. I give Maggie both every day.

    Just an update on our end. Patty, since we started Maggie on Vit C at the end of August like you recommended, she has not had any more hot spots. When we took her to the vet a coupe of weeks ago, they were amazed that she has not had a reoccurrance. She said in Sept and Oct they have seen unusually high problems with hot spots. Maybe the Vit C is working. One for her, one for me, and I haven’t been sick either!

    And we’ve decreased the crancaps to 500 mg 2x daily. No symptoms of UTI and pH remains at 6.5ish. I wonder if eventually we can wean off it??


  37. Jill,

    I have heard of using an aloe product for its soothing properties but never tried it. Bag Balm is soothing too so it may work well for you. See what your holistic vet thinks. Bag Balm was originally developed for the sore, dry utters of cows.

    Vit. C helps build the immune system so it may very well have done the trick on the hot spots.

    Glad to hear it is all cleared up.

    You can most likely go down to 1 crancap daily and be sure her PH stays in range. You can eventually try taking her off – checking PH and if she stays in range she may be fine.

    Just be sure to spot the early signs of UTI and if PH elevates get her back on 2-3 a day for a few weeks and recheck PH.

    You can experiment as long as you are on top of things – watching for excessive urination or squating often without expelling much urine, or leaking urine, accidents in the house, as these are signs of UTIs.

    Thanks for the update and let me know how you make out with the experimenting.


  38. My 14 week old Golden Retriever puppy has been having UTI for about a month now. She seems to go all the time and house-breaking has not had much success. After a second visit with the vet she informed us that the puppy needed an episioplasty. She said she thought this operation would be costly – somewhere around 2000 to 2500 dollars. If all else fails and we do have to go to that route, is that a normal charge for this procedure?

  39. I don’t know the cost of the surgery in your area but that sounds very high.

    If your pup has a recessed vulva please follow my info above and let her have a first heat cycle. The surgery is an absolute last resort if vulva does not correct on first heat and than only if the dog is having chronic UTIs.

    Also,if you have to resort to the surgery make sure you have a vet seasoned in the procedure. Your vet not knowing the exact cost tells me they have never done this surgery.

    If you vet pushes a spay prior to heat and pushes the surgery this tells me they don’t know enough about RVs and I would find a new vet.

    If this were my pup I would get her on the crancaps and test urine PH at home until she has her first heat cycle. You must keep her on leash for her entire heat. Intact male dogs will travel miles to get to a female in heat.

    Please let me know if you need more help or have more questions.

  40. I have just begun my research after a 2.000 emergency internal medecine weekend visit for my Female German Shepherd 5 yr old who has just been diagnosed with an inverted Vulva and will not empty her bladder because of the pain. She has since a pup licked herself and it is always wet and sore looking dont even think about touching it. We have battled Bladder infections and UTI all her life and constantly giving her antibiotics and cream on her vulva. They want to scope her vulva and make sure nothing is there also talking surgery… I am sick and dont know what to do….she strains to pee and you can tell it hurts it has never been this bad. Thank you for any advice you can give me. Do I let them scope her and do surgery???

  41. Hi Deborah,

    I am so sorry for what you are dealing with. Have the vets ever done a culture/sensitivity (urine taken via cystosentisis) to pinpoint the exact bacteria?

    If not this should be your next step. This will tell them the proper meds to get rid of a recurring infection. I would than get her on crancaps and test PH at home as I mention in my blog to see if you can keep her infection free.

    The surgery is a last resort if you can’t keep her UTI free with holisitic means. You don’t want her constantly on antibiotic.

    I would also get her on a probiotic as I mention – during and after antibitiocs.

    The other thing I am thinking because of her severe pain is have they checked her for bladder stones via x-ray or ultra sound? Recurring UTIs can involve crystals and if not cleared up those crystals can clump together causing bladder stones. You will often see blood in the urine with stones. They can be very painful and prevent a dog from emptying the bladder. Usually surgery is required to remove the stones.

    If these things I have mentioned have not been done I would find another vet willing to go this route prior to putting her thru vulvoplasty surgery.

    You may want to consider a holistic vet that will not poo poo the crancap, etc. approach. It truly can work and keep a dog UTI free.

    You can try wiping her vulva after each urination to keep urine from pooling in the valley of the recess and preventing bacteria. Unscented baby wipes work well, or something with Aloe.

    You may also want to try bag balm to sooth the irritation on her vulva.

    Prayers you can get this under control and avoid the surgery.

    Please let me know what you do next and how you make out.


  42. Patty thank you for the reply this has been a journey to say the least. Yes the vet and the emergency internal medecine people have both taken a urine sample to do a culture and both times it came up clear. But my dog had already been on about 5 days of antibiotics when this happened.I was referred to the internal medecine critical care people and they have run blood panel which indicated kidney problems (she has always tested postive for that) they did a sonagram and said she has moderate kidney scarring/damage/diease. Possibly from an UTI they took xrays to look at her abdomen nothing there. Before we took her home they tested her urine again and said no infection but some blood but they were not concerned it is probly from her straining to pee. so now we are seeing friday their Dr who is going to do a scoping on her female area. Insert a scope into her and look and see if there is anything going on besides an inverted vulva. They are talking about surgery and I just dont know how difficult it will be for my dog to heal. She is such a slow healer and stays down for a long time. I just wish someone could make the decision for me. She had suffered enough with infections all her life on and off on antibiotcs.
    She has been emptying her bladder and squatting normally the last day. Still not eating and doesnt want to drink. But she seems in ok sprits..we even played a little ball last nite… let me know how difficult the surgery and if anyone has had this done and the outcome….thank you for easing my mind….
    I will ask them a couple of questions friday about stones and the holistic approach.

  43. She most likely still had antibiotic in her system when they did the culture. They should wait 3-5 days after meds are finished.

    Make sure she does not dehydrate since she is not drinking. Pinch her skin on foreleg. It should flatten right out. If it stays up get her to the vet for fluids ASAP

    I don’t know the recovery for the surgery. you can google vulvoplasty for some info.

    Good luck Fri. Keep us posted.

    As for the kidney damage, not sure if it will help but read my blog on kidney failure for natural supplemets to support the liver and proper levels of phosphorous.

  44. Patty
    thank you for the replys i am sorry i havent sent you any more infomation on my shepherd Bella….she had her vaginal scoping last friday and we are waiting for the tissue samples they took of her uretha. I dont have the technical terms with me but the just of it is the tissue in her uretha (at the very beginning to the curve is inflamed)and is so narrow at some parts she could see why she couldnt urinate. I will send you the diagnosis later (i am at work now) along with vaginitist. so the vet said because of her history and age (5yrs)and chronic uti she suggested a chronic inflamatory diease..2nd senario cancer. We are waiting for the results….sent home with meds antibiotics and she is looking healthy as ever…..back to normal??? i cant figure it out…. so I am believing this is just severe inflamation and the medication is doing its job and now she can pee….i will list the drugs tommorrow…..thank you for your all your help ….deborah

  45. Thank you so much for your blog, it’s very helpful
    C.J, is our 5 year old Sheltie. Last spring, she started licking herself. We discovered then that her vulva was all red and inflammed. We took a urine sample and brought it to the vet. After testing, he discovered crystal oxalate in the urine. The xrays showed a stone. She had surgery to remove stone but there was no stone. He flushed her bladder of the crystal oxalate. I still feel really bad about this. Since then she’s been getting constant infections around her vulva. She’s got a recessed vulva but there had never been any problem up until this last spring. She just had surgery to remove extra skin and she’s now in recovery. Stiches are still in for another week. I find her vulva to be a big inflammed again. She can’t lick, she’s wearing a collar. We had tried to keep it clean before the surgery to avoid this with baby wipes but it didn’t help. We don’t know what more to do. it’s like eczema or something. Her vulva gets red and swollen with pustules on it.
    She weighs 29 lbs. Would loosing weight help? also I just thought this morning, would emu oil or salve help her?
    thank you so much

  46. Hi Brigitte,

    I have not experienced all you mention other than RVs.

    It could be a bacteria in her urine causing the inflamation/infections and pustules.

    I would consider a culture/sensitivity of her urine to pin point the exact bacteria to get her on the proper meds. If there is even a bacteria present

    If they do find bacteria/UTI – after meds I would get her on cracaps daily and see if that helps ward off further problems.

    Now that she has had the surgery I don’t see losing weight helping this. That is only something that will sometimes help a fat overweight pup to correct a vulva that was not really recessed to begin with/just caused by excess fat.

    You may want to consider a second opinion to try and figure this all out if the C/S shows nothing and she is not having UTIs

    Let me know how you make out. Good luck


Leave a Reply