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. Hi,

    We’re about to get a female black lab, and the family we’re getting her just had her checked from a vet and had a clean bill of health, except for a slightly recessed vulva.
    Does the slightly mean anything different? And when we called our vet, they said it’s not a big deal, but they recommended to have her fixed before her first heat and that it’ll fix itself.

    But everything I’ve seen online so far says to wait until after the first heat to get her fixed. So should we wait to have her fixed? Will this fix the recessed vulva?


  2. Hi Patty,
    I have a 7.5 year old bichon. She has had recurrent uti’s for the past 14 months. She was spayed prior to being in heat and I wasn’t informed that she had an inverted vulva until last year. The vet has recommended surgery, I’m not willing to do that at this point. I have been giving her solid gold berry balance for the past couple of months and just found out she has another uti. Maybe the dose I was giving wasn’t enough. She weighs 14.8 pounds. This is the cranberry supplement I bought to use It has 400mg cranberry per tablet. How many would you give per day based on her weight for maintenance (once her current infection is gone, she is on an clavamox now) I also have this probiotic Thank you for your help.

  3. Per my vet’s recommendation at 7 months I had my golden retriever spayed. As the doctor was giving me post-op instructions she mentioned that she notice some discoloration in the fur around my dog’s womanly area. She said that she suspected a vaginal infection and upon further inspection confirmed her suspicion and said that it was due to my dog’s recessed vulva. I’m assuming that she noticed the infection prior to preforming the spaying, yet she went ahead with the surgery anyway. Is it considered common knowledge that a heat cycle will usually correct an RV? Should the doctor have held off on the surgery and informed us of all of this? It makes me sad on behalf of my dog that she could have been cured naturally of this problem. She’s a year and half now and on her 3rd diagnosed infection despite my consistent cleaning of the area.

  4. I have a 2 year old Berger Picard that we bred via AI due to an inverted vulva that my vet said would never be able to be penetrated by a male. With such a rare breed, an innie isn’t reason enough not to use her since she’s very sound all other ways. She (nor her sister or another dog I know of with innies) has ever had a UTI or any type of infection due to the condition. I’ll be keeping an eye on this through her pregancy though when voiding gets harder sometimes. Her going through her heat cycles never brought the vulva any further out.

    I’d like to know what advice you can give me about definately needing to do a c-section with this condition. My reproductive vet said she also has a stricture that may or may not be able to be cut. We’ll be looking at xray and puppy:pelvis size as well in a few weeks.

  5. For those of you that have not gotten a response from me I am so sorry.

    There appears to be a glitch in the system and I have not gotten an email notification on many posts.

    I am working with the admin. to straighten that out.

    If anyone needs an answer or help now please email me at

    Especially those of you breeding or wanting me to share my contract and letter to vet.

    Anyone needing help. please email me and I will respond quickly. Be sure to let me know you posed here and give me the info so I do not duplicate when I post back her (once the glitch is fixed)

    I appologize for my lack of keeping up with checking in here, but have relied on my email for that in the past.


  6. FYI:
    Alkaline urine does not cause a UTI; UTIs create alkaline urine (sometimes, from the metabolism of the bacteria); e. coli is an organism that frequently causes UTI because it is normal intestinal flora and the rectum is in such close proximity to the vulva (in dogs and the urethra in human females). The suffix “itis” merely means inflammation, which can be present without an infection. Vaginitis may or may not be infectious; it CAN be caused by a bacteria (and then antibiotics will work) or by a fungal infection (yeast); trapped urine from a recessed vulva can cause vaginitis (inflammation and/or infection). Cranberry acidifies the urine and makes e.coli less likely to adhere to the bladder wall. Acidification of urine does not “cure” a UTI.

  7. Hi Folks,

    The glitch has been fixed so please post your questions here and I will get email notification to respond.

    You are welcome to still email me privately.

    But, it is often helpful to others for you to post here for all to see.


  8. Hi Patty,
    I have been following your blog for the last several weeks. What a wealth of information, we all appreciate it. My story is that I have an almost 4 month old lab that has an innie. Got her from a reputable breeder. To consolidate my experiences over the last 2 months I have owned her…every 10-14 days she will pee in the house 1-2 times over the course of 1-2 days. I know it is not puppy mistakes it also coinsides with multiple squattings outside. This has happened on three seperate occasions several weeks apart. The first time it happened we just “waited to see” and it went away. The second time she had it I found your blog. Took a urine sample to the vet and was told there was no sign of infection, but that her white bood cell count was high (50 instead of 5). The vet per her on antibiotics for a week due to elevated WBC count. I also started on the cran caps and baby wipes- both once a day. After being off the antibiotics for 1.5 days she began with a mistake in the house two days in a row and the multiple squatting outside again. We went back to the vet 3.5 days after she finished the antibiotic. They took urine from a needle and said it was ultra clean + no sign of inflamation. They then also cultured the urine in a petri dish for 72 hours to see if any bacteria would emerge…again no bacteria. In my next conversation with the vet she said that with the innie, which is a genetic defect, other genetic defects can be present in that area. This obviously scared the heck out of me. I asked her what kind and she mentioned a few…”etopic ureter” (did research on the net- don’t think she has because she is not leaking urine), she also mentioned “short urethra” (not sure that she has this because it causes UTI’s which she was not diagnsed with). The vet is going to call the internist to get a second opinion and suggest a scope of the vuvla area. In the meantime, yesterday and today I have noticed a discharge, milky yellow-green (with foul order). From what I have read it sounds like a classic case of vaginitis. I am giving her 125mg of Vit C, 10 billion probiotics along with the cran caps. I also have a call into the vet to notify about the discharge.
    Just thought I would run this by you to get your opinion and let me know if I am doing the right thing. Also using baby wipes after every trip outside. I will definitly wait before getting her fixed. My biggest concern that I am losing sleep over is the though of other genetic defects linked to the innie. Have you heard anything about this link? Also, you mentioned that you had a 4th pup with an innie….did she also correct like your others did? The vet said that her innie was pretty severe. I didn’t think it was all that different from the photo you posted. Would you mind if I sent you a photo to give your opinion?
    Thanks so much!

  9. Hi Lynne, I would not think she has EU either. She would have been leaking urine from birth.

    The short urethra is not something I have experience with but may be worth looking into.

    Your pup is showing classic signs of a UTI so its trange that she is negative for one.

    You could try dbling up on the crancaps giving one in a.m. and p.m. meal and see if that helps.

    I would be interested to know what the internal spec. has to say and any results you get on further testing – scope, Ultrasound, etc.

    Wondering if you should have her kidneys checked (at least thru bloodwork and if something is off there than an ultra sound) see what the specialist says about that.

    Feel free to email me a pic of her vulva. Be sure it is the proper size for emailing.


  10. Hi Patty,

    I wasn’t sure if I should go ahead with all that additional testing (already up to $300) since I am now thinking this all might be due to vaginitis. Discharge wasn’t noticeable at vet visit…but now with looking regularly at her “parts”, is evident. With the discharge it seems like vaginitis would be what this is all about. Let me know your thoughts and I will email a picture later.

    Thanks much,

  11. Lynn, I have never heard of vaginitis causing a dog to squat frequently or have accidents in the house.

    vaginitis will often go away after puberty/first heat according to Dr. Hutchison. Antibiotic will not clear it up. I beleive there is a link in my blog you can read up on.

    PH of 6 is normal range so I am still stumped as to what is causing her accidents and frequent squatting.

    Is she drinking excessivley? You may just want to start with a full blood panel to see if all organ function is normal.

    I understand the $ believe me. I have spent a fortune on my dogs over the years. The bloodwork for now would be the least expensive.

    see what the specialist has to say after your vet has the consult.


  12. Hi Patty,

    Good news. After consulting with (2) specialist the vet diagnosis is vaginitis. They said that the symptoms can be similar to a UTI.
    So needless to say we are thrilled with this little problem. They also did not seem to think there were any further possible genetic problems based on the symptoms she is having….and no need for further tests.

    Thanks again,

  13. Patti,
    So I have a 67 lb yellow lab who has been getting recurrent bladder infections since 6 months old… she is now 3 yrs. Our old vet never diagnosed her with an inverted vulve but we moved to a new state and our new vet diagnosed her right away. But subsequently she has been on a plethra of antibiotics her whole life, as of this most recent infection she has crystals, a pH of 9 and multiple different bacterium. We are going to have the surgery done since she was spayed young but are there any web sites with average cost of the procedure?

  14. Deseriee,

    have you considered (after another round of antibioitics) of putting
    your girl on the crancaps, checking PH and using probiotics, before
    resorting to the surgery?

    If this were my dog that is what I would try first.

    I have no idea of the cost of surgery or a site to send you to, but
    you need to be sure to find a vet seasoned in this procedure. As much
    as I love my regular vet if he has not done this surgery enough I
    would not let him perform it on my dog.

    I am here if you want to talk on the phone and want more info.

    contact me thru my web site

    PS: even if you resort to the surgery it sounds like your dog has
    been on a ton of antibiotic. Therefore, I would get her on a
    probiotic for a few months at the least.

  15. I have a 19 week old lab who was just diagnosed with a RV. I knew that something didn’t seem right the first time I saw it, but it didn’t seem to be causing any trouble so I didn’t do anything about it. I just took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with a UTI and put on antibiotics. The vet did suggest the surgery but I really don’t want to go that route if it’s avoidable. I started doing some research on the matter and found this site. I would like to try the cran caps and prebiotics to help keep her from further infections until she goes through her first heat. Hopefully that will correct the problem. I would like to know how much of the cran caps and prebiotics to give a pup who is 19 weeks and weighs almost 34 lbs. Is there a dose per weight that I need to follow or just a general dosage for all pups? Any advice would be appreciated as this is the first time I’ve dealt with this.


  16. Hi Alison,

    I start 6 week old pups on one crancap daily for prevention and I test urine PH with strips (info on buying both are in this blog)

    If you see elevated PH dbl up on crancaps for a week and check PH and than again for another if PH is not in normal range. If at that point you still have elevated PH take a urine sample to the vet – be sure to collect properly as mentioned in my blog (there are times antib. is needed – but if you get rid of the intial UTI and are diligent in my method with crancaps you should avoid future antib)

    No special dose on crancap but for a 19 wk old (1 cap/day for prevention) I would give between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp of probiotic daily (be sure and read my blog if giving antibiotic – give the prob away from antib. and continue with prob. for a good 2 wks after finishing antib)

    If you need more help let me know.

    So glad you are willing to go thru a first heat for your pup.

    It will most likely correct her RV.


  17. Hi Patty,

    I have a 5 1/2 year old medium x breed who has a inverted vulva. I had her as a pup from a rescue centre and she went to the vets to be spayed 3 months after her 1st season, (this was through the rescue centre)
    I was not aware of inverted vulvas and the vet obviously was either, and it was not until she was about 4 1/2 years old that she really had any problems.
    She doesn’t get uti’s but the area gets all sore and scabby and she is constantly wanting to lick and nibble at it. The area has no hairs on it unlike my other dog.
    She has been to the vets and had blood tests which have shown a lot of allergies to foods, grasses and dust. She is now on a suitable diet for these and has started immunetherapy injections. before this she was put on steriods and when she was on these she wasn’t itchy.she also used to get itchy and sore feet which she always used to chew and lick too, but since the injctions these are lots better.
    I am seriously considering surgery now as it just drives her mad. First thing in a morning when she gets out of bed she goes mad itching and licking and scooting to soothe the itch, its horrible seeing her go through this all the time. When we are out in the van during the day (i am a dog walker so she comes out with me all day) she doesn’t usually lick but then as soon as we get back home she starts again and then through the evening too.
    I was wandering if you have had any other experiences with these symptoms or have got any advice for me that can help Skye.

    Many Thanks


  18. Hi Laura,

    Your description of Skye being ok when out in the van but not at home tells me she has allergies to something in your home or on your property.

    Think about what you use to clean your house, carpets, her bedding., etc. Viniger and water is great as a cleaner where allergies are a concern.

    Have you tried the crancaps? Did her RV correct on first heat? Sometimes it takes a 2nd heat to correct.

    These questions need to be addressed before you go and do the surgery.

    I am always here if you want to call me. My number is thru my website


  19. I have a 7 week old rottie puppy that i just bought from the breeder. I noticed that she was doing a lot of squatting but not really urinating. Just small drops. She was going in her crate all the time. It was becoming a concern because it smelled really bad and everytime i cleaned her up she would tinkle again within 5 to 10 mins. So i took her to the vet on her 3rd day of living with me and the vet said she had a UTI and a Inverted Vulvas. My question is this, is this a issue that will go on because i have kids at home and i dont want them to get attached to her if this is something that would cause us not to be able to keep her.

  20. Hi Andrea,

    It is something the breeder should have noticed and told you about.

    However, it can be dealt with (even with human children in your home) if you are willing to follow my routine above and let your pup go thru a first heat.

    Please read my blog in its entirety and than……

    There is no reason you should not keep your puppy. But you have to be prepared to allow her to go thru one heat cycle so the recessed vulva can correct itself (its rare but sometimes it takes 2 cycles).

    If you are prepaired for that follow my regime on crancaps, testing urine, etc. and start it now to prevent future UTIs.

    you may want to get her on an antibiotic to get rid of this UTI if it is severe (ask the vet) and than start on the crancaps.

    Be sure and give probiotic as I mention above while on the antib (2-3 hours away from meds) than when off meds get her on crancaps and continue for a couple of weeks with prob.

    If you are not prepaired to deal with a heat cycle please call your breeder right away if you are going to return her as its easiest to find her a new home when she is young.

    You should also let your breeder know about the RV and tell her to read my blog so she will know how to spot future litters that may have RVs and know how to deal with it.

    If you want help with how to handle a heat cycle (its not as much work as you think) please email me or call me (contact info thru my website) or ask your breeder for help. Be sure there is not an early spay clause in your contract – if so breeder may not allow you to go thru a cycle (unless she knows how important this is for a RV pup)

    If you want to talk on the phone thats ok too, sometimes easier.

    you can reach me thru my web site.


    (I personally would not give up on a pup with a RV now that I know what it is all about and how to deal with it) (if the best pup in the litter as a show/breeding prospect had a RV I would not let that deter me from keeping her)

  21. Hi,
    I’m very desperate for some way to help my dog she has a recessed vulva and she has very bad infections that you can tell she is in pain wen she urinates, she is short haired so her very little fur that she has around her vulva is stained. It is also very irritated to where it looks like an open wound her vet told me to put mometamax but it doesnt seem to go away. I adopted her when she was 8 weeks and already spayed, please let me know it your think your regimen would help her.

    Thank you

  22. Hi Lauren,

    I am sorry for your girl and what you are dealing with.

    I do believe my regimen would help her. It is to prevent UTIs in dogs (especially those with RV)

    Give it a try and see how it goes. Get her on the crancaps and be sure to get the PH strips too and follow my instructions on collecting urine for testing PH.

    From what I know mometamax is antibiotic for ear infections and have never heard of using it for anything else. I would be a bit concerned of her ingesting it when licking herself. However the ear has mucous membranes so maybe that is not an issue.

    Have you tried unscented baby wipes to clean her each time she urinates?

    The other thing I would suggest is something like Bag Balm on her sores. It will not hurt her if she licks it off.

    Good luck and please keep me posted on how she does. Don’t hesitate to post if you have more questions.


  23. Hello,

    I have a 6 month old yellow lab who has also been diagnosed with RV. She was diagnosed at a very young age, 2 month, after discovering her first infection. Since then I have been keeping the area very clean daily and we have only had one other infection. I do not like to use the topical medication the vet gave us for inflammation, so instead I have tried aloe vera. This seems to work, is that alright to use? Do you have another suggestion for when the area becomes inflamed? I have already had her sprayed because I have never informed that waiting could allow her to self correct. My vet did tell me that we might have to do surgery if the problem has not self corrected by 1 year. Is it still possible for this to self correct even if she has been spayed? Also, I am interested in using cranberry pills and a probiotic, however I am not sure which product to use. Does it matter which brand of cranberry pills? Can you please recommend a probiotic? Please let me know if you have any other advice or information for me because I would like to do anything I can to prevent her from having to get another surgery.

    Thank you so much,

  24. Hi Kirsten,

    As far as I know Aloe is safe for dogs even if she licks it off.

    You can also use Bag Balm for when she is sore and that won’t hurt either.

    IMO she will never correct since she is already spayed. And your vet, IMO, is wrong if he thinks she can still correct up to a year. I have never seen that happen after a spay.

    I have however heard of very young pups correcting prior to first heat/spay but that is usually because they are over weight and the fat makes the vulva recessed and as the pup grows it corrects. Is your pup over weight?

    Use the products, crancaps and probiotid in the info below:

    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 Snowcolabradors)

    And here is a link for PH strips. I highly recommend this if she is having recurring UTIs. follow directions in my blog for proper collection of urine for PH testing.

    Good luck and please post back on how your baby does.


  25. I have a almost four year old female english bulldog with an inverted vulva. She was spayed before her first heat by a vet who did not advise this would be a problem. I give her cranberry powder and probiotics (according to your protocol) but she has continuous UTI’s. We culture the clean urine to find out the specific bacteria and treat appropriately. She has gotten staph in her bladder in the past but the predominant bacteria is ecoli. She has been on antibiotics nonstop for her young life and my vet and my previous two vets all recommend the surgery. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. If this was your beloved pet would you do the surgery? Also, if I do the surgery how long is recovery generally?

  26. Nicole,I am surprised the cran powder is not working.

    I need a link to the product you are using to see the potency to advise.

    I also need to see pics of her vulva. If it is overly severe surgery may be the only option. I have only seen that in one dog.

    If you choose to send pics please position the dog properly like you see the dog at the top of my blog and don’t send the pics too large.

    If this were my dog I would only do surgery as a last resort. I have no idea of the recovery time. A vet very experienced in vulvoplasty would be my only choice and they should be able to tell you recovery time.

    If you want to call me please do so. Get my number thru my web site.


  27. Nicole,

    Sorry i did not respond sooner.

    What dose of crancaps were you giving? what is the product? Can you post a link to it here so I can read the lable? Have you dbled up? Are you checking urine PH at home? I do know some people have gotten rid of ecoli with cranberry and also adding vit C.

    I would only do the surgery as a last resort and have no idea what the recovery time is. Be sure and find a vet seasoned in this if you opt for surgery.


  28. I have a 9 month old Havanese with an RV. I purchased her from a reputable breeder as a show puppy with plans to breed her in the future. Nothing was said about the RV – and yes, it may correct itself when she comes in season.

    My males are showing alot of interest in her but she has not spotted yet so her first season is near. I won’t breed her until she is 2 and has had her health testing done. But I have questions…

    Is this congenital? Will I be able to breed her in the future? Will she have to be AI’d? Will she have to have a C-section? I have so many concerns.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

  29. Hi Susan,

    First off please notify the breeder you got your Havanese from so she is aware of this and show her my blog so she knows how to deal with this.

    It is a non issue if you follow the right protocol.

    Sometimes it takes more than one heat cycle to correct. It all depends on how much the bitch’s vulva swells during her cycle. You won’t know if she is corrected until the heat is over and all swelling goes down.

    There is no proof if RV is congenital or genetic – no genetic tests available for that.

    You should have no problem breeding her in the future. If her RV does not correct, depending on the severity I can not tell you to go natural or AI. (in this day and age I and my breeder friends do AIs)

    She should not need a C

    A lot will depend on if she does not correct on her heat cycles and how severe her RV is.

    If you want to send me pics of her RV positioned like the pick at the top of my blog I will give you my opinion. Please don’t depend on your vet for this because most have never seen an RV (not to mention most breeders)

    I will help all I can and as I have said to others above you can always call me.

    Relax…..take a deep breath……. I will help you all I can.

    contact me thru my website.


    “I am not a vet but have experience in this issue if people want help”

  30. RV seems almost like a natural occurrence with pups, much like it is expected for ladies to bleed when they reach maidenhood. In most cases, infections are prevented by keeping proper hygiene.

    This is really helpful, Patty, and the work for the details you put in is commendable. While you are not a veterinarian (as you said), you might as well be, with all these great information. I’ll make sure to let my friends know about this.


  31. Hi Patty. First of all, I want to thank you for all of this information you have shared and the time you have put in to replying to all of these questions. 🙂

    We have Roxi,a 3.5 year old GSD who was just diagnosed with a recessed vulva today. I brought her in to the vet after noticing she had a dark brown discharge coming from her (I’d have to say this has been going on for 2 weeks) where I’ve noticed a heavier discharge and it’s been on our bed sheets and today little tiny drips on the floor. A urinalyses was performed and the only thing she found was crystals and no blood in the urine. The vet said that Roxi may have had a UTI that is now gone and may have bladder stones (hence the crystals in her urine) but we are first going to run her on 30 days of amoxicillin (500mg twice a day). The vet did mention that if Roxi does have bladder stones and they need to be removed that the vet should also fix her vulva. After reading all this information, I’m thinking that might not have to be done. I am going to purchase the cran-caps and multidophilus to help manage any UTI’s. An advice is appreciated and was also wondering how much multidophilus I should give her while on the antibiotics, as well as how much cran-caps to give her, she weighs 86lbs.

    Thank you very much for your time!

  32. Hi Melissa,

    I would give her 1/2 tspn of multidoph 1x/day, 2-3 hours away from antib.

    When antib. are finished continue the multidoph for 2-4 weeks.

    The discharge you mention sounds like vaginitis but it is usually not brown. Did the vet check the discharge for bacteria? Vaginitis is not bacterial and usualy beige to yellow in color or sometimes white, from what I know.

    Discharge from vaginitis is also thick and mucousy. Wonder if this is the case with your girl. What did the vet think of the discharge?

    What type of crystals does she have, struvite or oxalate? They are different Struvites will not be effected(cleared up) by diet change but Oxalate can.

    See this link:

    If your girl has not had problems with (or many) UTIs I would not consider the surgery at this point.

    I would also purchase the PH strips so you can check her regularly.

    Good luck and keep me posted on how she does.


  33. Hi Patty,
    I so wish that I had found your blog about 8 months ago…. We have an 11 month old Chesapeake Bay Retriever that has had chronic UTIs since she was about 3 months old. After the first round of antibiotics we put her on a cranberry powder supplement, but our vet suggested that we not give this to her due to the fact that it can be linked to kidney stones??? We took her off the supplement and she continued to have ecoli infections every 8-10 weeks. At 6 months upon the recommendation of our vet we had her spayed. The infections continued and the vet finally recommended we have the surgery. Our sweet pup had the surgery today and although she came through it fine we have several weeks of recovery ahead of us (and a $2400 vet bill). My question for you now is how should we proceed post surgery/recovery? Should we start up the cranberry again? Would probiotics be helpful to her? How about vitamin c? What would you recommend for dosage? She is 11 months and weighs 45 pounds.
    As soon as we are through her recovery we’ll be switching vets to someone that takes a more holistic approach.
    Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks so much…

  34. Hi Patty,

    I am so glad to have found your blog! We have a 4 month old yellow lab purchased from a breeder. She has an “innie” and we are now on the 3rd round of antibiotics. After the second round, I started her on 1 crancap a day (1/2 in the a.m. and 1/2 in the p.m.). She seems to be doing fine, but on our last visit to the vet yesterday, we took a urine sample which showed no signs of infection, but a high white blood cell count. The vet has started her on the 3rd round of antibiotics and wants to test her on the last day of the medication. It seems that she is trying to determine if she has a UTI or if it’s vaginitis. When I asked if the amount of cranberry I was giving her was correct, she pretty much dismissed it and said that there was no scientific evidence that cranberry prevents infection in dogs, so no help there. I have 2 questions. Do you think I should continue with the cranberry while she’s on antibiotics (will it interfere with the medication?) and do you think there is any liability on the part of the breeder for not disclosing the RV when we purchased her? The costs are beginning to mount. When I emailed the breeder about the bladder infections, all she said was to let her go through 1 heat before spaying her – no mention of the RV which we didn’t learn about until yesterday.

    Thank you so much!

  35. Hi, I have a almost 2 year old silver lab and she has an inverted vulva. We waited for the first heat before spaying her. It did not correct it self. She has chronic UTI’s I have her on Cranberry as a holistic approach- She still gets UTI’s but even more frustrating is that sometimes, she gets urine that pool and she stands up after sleeping ( she is not even aware it happened)and she is wet. It is a very dilute pee but still, is she is laying on the carpet- uggg. She is very well potty trained, has a doggie door. This is not an accident it just happens.
    My question is- I trust my vet, and she wants to do corrective surgery. Will this surgery stop the urine leak totally?

  36. Karen,

    My doberman mix, Vicki, had an inverted vulva with pooling urine and constant UTIs even with cranberry. Sometimes the leaking would happen when she had an active UTI.

    She had the surgery about a month ago, and we have had absolutely no problems since. She doesn’t have to “push” her urine out. No more problems with retaining the urine around her vulva.. it’s been excellent. I talked to my vet about it, and he said that if you have a spayed dog treating infections and other symptoms without surgery is like spinning your wheels… you can manage it but it never really gets better. For us, at least, the surgery has been great. If your dog has bladder weakness on top of the inverted vulva, then she will still leak urine, but if it is just the infections and the anatomy, the surgery will correct the problem.


  37. Hi my Rhodesian ridgeback puppy has an inverted valva. When we took her to be spayed fortunately the vet noticed and recommended waiting for a season so the problem might correct itself. Now I’m reading your comments and I am so releaved. She has some discharge but it is not worrying her and is slight. I’ve found your comments very informative. thank you!

  38. Jane, so glad your vet spotted the RV and wonderful they suggested to wait for first heat.

    Good luck.


  39. Hi! Shocked nobody has mentioned the use of d-mannose, it is the sugar found in cranberry but does not raise glucose levels when given. Patty, have you any experience with this?

  40. Hi Skyline.

    I have heard of DM but have not used it because I have had success with crancaps and no need for other methods. Therefore, I have no experience with it.

    I have never had glucose levels raised from crancaps.

    By all means chime in about DM and what product is good and dosage as it may help others.

    Do you use it when diagnosed with a UTI or to ward off UTIs?

    I have also heard of vit C for UTIs but my girls get C from 8 weeks of age and I have still had elevated PH at times and vet diagnosed UTIs so I don’t feel the C is enough to ward off UTIs

  41. Hi,

    Understandable. I have not yet a lot of experience with all of this. I began d-mannose during an active infection. Here is my story:

    My dog (7 y/o siberian husky, spayed, 55 lb, not overweight) has this inverted vulva problem. I have never noticed any weird bathroom activity until recently. I got home one day and blood was dripping from her (A week prior to this she had been having accidents in the house but I wasn’t sure why). Rushed to the vet and she was diagnosed with a UTI. Of course, they pushed surgery and started her on antibiotics. During antibiotics the indoor accidents stopped. Almost immediately after antibiotics they started up again. I didn’t want to subject her to another round of antibiotics so I started her on d-mannose.

    The brand I got is as follows: Solaray – D Mannose with CranActin.
    Each serving of 2 capsules contains: D-Mannose – 1,000mg, CranActin Cranberry Extract – 400 mg, and Vitamin C – 30 mg

    I first gave her once a day (remember, she is 55 lbs) and noticed no change (Having some accidents inside, not able to hold her bladder very long, constantly wanting out to urinate.) Then when I found you could not overdose on these, I began giving 3 a day; One was given right before bed so it could absorb bacteria while she slept and then be expelled the next morning. Almost immediately after I bumped her dosage up to 3 pills, the indoor accidents stopped. When I stopped administering d-mannose, they started up again.

    I don’t know about anyone else but my girl has some pus around vulva, it smells bad. I’m not sure if that is the pus or the trapped urine. But I do know the trapped urine is irritated that area. I have started shaving it to help air it out.

    I have not tried the PH strips yet but will pick some up and begin monitoring her.

    Hopefully this helps someone. Though from what I have read, the whole cranberry/d-mannose thing only works if the UTI is caused by the e-coli bacteria. The e-coli sticks to the d-mannose (Found in cranberry) instead of the bladder wall, then is expelled by dog.

    ———> I read someone asking about surgery prices, I was quoted $2,000 USD for my dog’s surgery.

    ———> My girl was naturally cured of heartworm infection by administering artemesia and black walnut pills.

  42. I am curious your thoughts on this… We have a 1o month old yellow lab. She has had a bladder infection and vaginitis as a pup. We thought she was having accidents in the house because she was hard to train but watching her it is as if she doesn’t know she is leaking urine. We took her to the vet and he put her on Proin to see if it will tighten her “back end” He did not mention RV but people we know have. What do you think?

  43. Hi Dawn,

    I can not tell you anything without seeing a pic of your girls vulva. Take one like the pic at the top of this blog and email it to me.

    Your girl may have an RV or other issue.

    I am having computer issues right now so please go to my web site for my number and call me so I can help you.

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