Why Is My Female Dogs Private Area Swollen?

Estrus is the most common cause of swelling in your female dog’s private area.

However, this is only the case if they are not spayed.

Insect bites, infection, irritation, allergies, and other factors can cause swelling in a dog’s private area.

The private area of a dog, like any other part of the body, can be affected by diseases or injuries.

Other symptoms involving a dog’s vaginal health can be extremely distressing and, in most cases, are indicators of a potentially serious disease or condition.

It’s normal for a pet owner to be concerned about their pet’s health, especially regarding vaginal infections.

If you notice swelling in your female dog’s private area, don’t panic; instead, get to know the following inputs to know, if the swollen vulva is normal and how you can help your furry friend.

As you know now the answer to the question “why is my female dogs private area swollen”, continue reading to get more information.

Why Is My Female Dogs Private Area Swollen? – The Reasons

brown dog looking sad

Vaginal swelling in dogs is called vaginitis and, as mentioned above, can occur for a variety of reasons.

Here are the most common reasons for the swelling of the intimate area of a female dog’s private area:

Estrus Cycle

The estrus cycle is natural and regular behavior in all female dogs.

According to dog specialists, female unsprayed dogs go through this cycle once or twice a year for 3 to 4 weeks.

When a dog is in its estrus cycle, the body produces estrogen, which puts substantial pressure on the vulva tissues.

The vulva or vaginal prolapse enlargement causes the dog’s heat period.

The vaginal tissues extend from the vulva during this phase, and there is swelling of the vaginal tissues when greater amounts form on the vaginal floor.

Vaginal edema is the vaginal lining’s excessive reaction to the hormone generated during this stage when estrogen levels are at their highest.

It primarily affects unspayed female cats and young, large breed dogs.


It is typical for dogs’ private parts to enlarge due to vaginal diseases such as urinary tract infections.

Female dogs are more prone to urinary tract infections, which occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract or the urethra, causing enlargement of the vagina.

Bacterial and yeast infections or viral infections cause inflammation in a female dog’s private areas.

Vaginitis is an inflammation and swelling of the vaginal canal of a dog’s vestibule that affects female canines.

Other signs of urinary tract infections in a dog, such as peeing difficulty, frequent scratching and itching of the vaginal area, and overall behavioral changes, will help determine the cause of the vaginal enlargement.

Frequent cleaning is recommended if a urinary tract infection is present to prevent new infections and cure existing ones.

Antibiotics might also be given to prevent additional edema and to treat infections.

Vaginal Hyperplasia

When your dog is in heat, a condition known as vaginal hyperplasia can develop.

You will detect a dark pink or crimson tissue emerging from a female dog’s vulva, resulting from vaginal tissue swelling.

When the heat cycle is finished, this condition should go away.

If you do not want your dog to become pregnant, you can spay a female dog, preventing this disease.

Some spayed female dogs still have swelling in the private area and bloody vaginal discharge.

Swelling happens when some ovarian tissue remains in the female dog’s abdomen following her spay procedure.

If your dog’s private area is bloated and there is blood-tinged vaginal discharge, take her to the vet.

Indication Of Pregnancy

pregnant dog lying on the side

Numerous physical changes and health complications occur while a dog is pregnant.

A dog’s vulva can swell off a pregnant dog, precautioning you to a new addition to the family.

However, if you notice a female dog is in too much pain or is experiencing labor complications, get immediate veterinary assistance.

Forced Separation During Mating

Pet owners forcibly separate their pets during the mating process, which is not good for the dogs.

This forced separation can damage both male and female dogs’ private parts, resulting in swelling and inflammation.

two brown dogs playing

To avoid this, let the male dog ejaculate to dissolve the tie, allowing them to part naturally rather than aggressively.

Related: How Many Times Should A Dog Mate To Get Pregnant?

Allergic Reaction

According to pet professionals, allergic reaction is one of the dogs’ most common causes of skin disorders.

Some products used on dogs, such as shampoos, cause allergic reactions in humans and dogs.

An enlarged vagina in a dog indicates inflammation of the dog’s privates.

If your dog develops vaginal edema that isn’t responding to steroids or antibiotics, you may need to switch to delicate dog shampoos.

Certain foods and pet grooming items, such as shampoos can cause an allergic reaction in your dog.

Going Into Heat

It’s completely normal for dogs to experience vulva enlargement when they go into heat, so don’t be frightened.

The estrogen causes the vaginal tissues to expand and thrust outwardly to the vulva during this time.

To confirm this cause, look for other symptoms such as vaginal discharge and blood, though the dog may sometimes lick discharge away.

Insect Bites

dog with insect

Insect bites affect dogs in the same way that they harm humans.

Certain Insect bites produce swelling of the vulva, itching, vaginal inflammation, and even skin redness.

If your dog is continuously rubbing their private parts with the ground or their paws, it could be due to an insect bite.

To avoid this, put an itching control powder on your pet for immediate relief.

Urinary Incontinence

Urethral or urinary incontinence is the loss of conscious control of urination, most common in middle-aged, spayed female dogs and diabetic dogs.

old dog peeing

Urethral incontinence causes irregular urine leakage and vulva irritation.

Irritation From Fecal Or Urine Matter

Keeping your dog clean and groomed is the best to avoid bacterial infection or yeast infection.

When dogs relieve themselves, feces and urine become lodged around the dog’s private parts, irritating.

Gradually, the irritation progresses to infection, and the vagina becomes enlarged.

Symptoms Of A Swollen Dog’s Private Area

brown dog in gras looking sad

Aside from visible swelling, vaginitis or vaginal inflammation can have symptoms, including:

  • Frequent urination

  • Pain with urination

  • Licking their private part

  • Redness and vaginal inflammation

  • Rubbing her bottom on the ground

  • Yellow mucus 

  • The male dog shows sexual interest, even though the female dog is not in heat

How Can I Treat My Dog’s Swollen Vulva?

Treatment for inflammation and swelling of the dog’s vagina is possible if you know what caused it.

A veterinarian will offer the best swelling treatment based on the exact cause of the inflammation and swelling.

Some cases of vaginal edema in dogs may necessitate surgery.

However, for others, medicine is sufficient to ensure recovery.

If there is any skin irritation, you can resolve it by cleaning the affected area and exercising proper grooming.

If necessary, your veterinarian will recommend anti-inflammatories and hormone replacement medication to aid healing.

How To Prevent A Female Dog’s Private Area From Swelling

Some of the things you can do to prevent your female dog’s private area or vaginal area from swelling, and swollen private area complications include:

  • Spaying to prevent her from going into heat

  • Prevent the dog’s contact with allergic reactions

  • Prevent forced separation of dogs from male dogs in the heat cycle

  • Routine check-up of your dog from infections

Healthy Dog Vagina Appearance

dog butt in grass

Knowing what normal looks like is imperative to be in a better position to identify when something is amiss is imperative.

You should be able to view the dog’s vagina depending on whether or not the dog has been spayed.

Nonetheless, the vulva’s appearance changes considerably throughout the heating phase in unsprayed dogs.

When a dog is in heat, there is a visible enlargement of the vulva and a bloody discharge, but this does not always signal a problem.

When the cycle is complete, the bleeding stops, and the vulva returns to its regular appearance, no longer enlarged.

You should be concerned if you can’t see the vulva without spreading the dog’s skin apart.

The additional skin surrounding the vulva exposes the dog to vaginal infections, which may not be clear until the infection has advanced significantly.

Does My Dog Have A Vaginal Infection?

Vaginitis is the medical name for vaginal or vestibular inflammation.

It can occur in any female, spayed dog, or unspayed at any age.

Even puppies under a year old might be affected by unexplained causes, which usually go away after their first heat cycle.

Male dogs are frequently attracted to females suffering from vaginitis.

What Causes Vaginal Infections?

There are numerous potential causes of vaginitis in female dogs.

Some of them include:

  • Urinary Tract Infections – infection occurs when bacteria enter your dog’s urinary tract

  • Unsanitary Conditions – if you don’t maintain your dog’s bathroom clean, feces and urine can accumulate and cause vaginitis

  • Birth Defects – some inborn abnormalities, such as ectopic ureters or poor vulva conformation, may contribute to vaginitis

  • Vaginal Tumors – a tumor can cause vaginitis in the vulva or vaginal

  • Trauma – injuries to your dog’s private parts might cause inflammation and, as a result, vaginitis

  • Foreign Bodies – small objects such as sand, seeds, or plant fragments may enter your dog’s vulva

Can Puppies Get Vaginitis?

two puppies

The inflammation of the vagina can affect adult dogs and puppies of all breeds.

Vaginal discharge and an enlarged vagina are common symptoms of the illness.

Puppy vaginitis knew as juvenile vaginitis.

It causes vulvar inflammation, discomfort, and vaginal irritation, which is why some dogs lick their privates to reduce the pain.

Puppies who haven’t had a heat cycle are prone to vaginitis, which can be avoided by allowing the puppy to go through this cycle.

Adult-onset vaginitis is another kind of vaginitis that affects adult dogs.

When Is A Visit To The Vet Necessary?

brown dog at the vet

When you see the first signs of vaginitis in your dog, you will not hesitate to try many dog vulvar dermatitis home remedies on him.

Dog vulvar dermatitis is a difficult illness to diagnose.

To fully diagnose dog vaginitis, you would need the assistance of a veterinarian.

As a result, the first step in ensuring your dog’s safety and preventing things from worsening is to visit your veterinarian.

He will perform blood and urine tests to make a diagnosis.

According to Animal Wellness Magazine, your veterinarian will also inquire about your dog’s medical history, symptoms, and infection recurrence.

A culture may be required to determine whether the dog’s vulvar dermatitis is fungal or bacterial.

In some circumstances, the veterinarian may need to express the anal glands.

They would also perform a physical exam to look for tumors, extra skin, or other anomalies.

Before You Go…

Now you know the answer to the question, “Why is my female dogs private area swollen?”.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.