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Vaginal tumor in the female dog: causes, symptoms and treatment

Outside of the periods of heat and the days preceding whelping in pregnant females, vulval discharge should be a cause for concern because it can be a sign of a vaginal tumor. It is essential to consult the veterinarian without delay because the prognosis is vital in the case of an aggressive tumor. But when it is benign, the prognosis is obviously favorable. However, this does not exempt you from having your female dog treated. Let's take stock of the situation.

Vaginal tumor in female dogs: causes

This is a rare type of tumor in the female dog, since it represents only 3% of tumors in the dog species. Vaginal tumors are mostly found in female dogs over 8 years of age. 7 to 9 out of 10 of these tumors are benign. The rest are malignant.

Regardless, a vaginal tumor in female dogs can be:
  • A Sticker sarcoma, which is a venereal (sexually transmitted) tumor, in fact it is the most common malignant tumor in the female dog,
  • A lipoma,
  • A fibroleiomyoma tumor, by far the most frequent case in terms of benign tumor.
The main cause of most of these tumors is hormonal since they are usually hormone-dependent tumors.

Vaginal tumor in female dogs: symptoms

A vaginal tumor can interfere with the function of the surrounding organs. It is not uncommon for it to cause localized neurological disorders or rectal and/or urethral compression, the latter of which can lead to urinary symptoms.

The female dog with a vaginal tumor has specific symptoms, such as
  • Unwanted licking of the vulva,
  • Discharge of blood,
  • Discharge of pus,
  • Difficulty urinating,
  • Constipation,
  • Vaginal ptosis, which can lead to vaginal prolapse, which means that the tissue of the vaginal walls protrudes between the vulvar lips,
  • A deformity of the perineum.
When the female dog presents one or more of these symptoms, it is important to consult the veterinarian as soon as possible so that the animal benefits from a fast management.

Vaginal tumor in female dogs: treatment

During the consultation, the veterinarian first performs a vaginal touch and then continues his investigations with a speculum that allows a visual exploration of the vaginal cavity. The vaginoscopic examination is followed by a blood test, an ultrasound to verify the extent of the tumor, and a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

Once the tumor is localized, the treatment is surgical. In some cases, an episiotomy is performed to facilitate resection and visualization. To limit the risk of recurrence, the professional may decide to perform an ovariohysterectomy, which is the removal of the ovaries and uterus. This eliminates the recurrence of this type of tumor since this procedure directly impacts hormone dependency. However, after the surgical treatment, radiation therapy is often necessary.

It should be noted that ovariohysterectomy is also performed in cases of sterilization, not only in female dogs with vaginal tumors. It is a protective health measure because it has many beneficial effects. It prevents vaginal tumors and many other problems. This is why it is highly recommended and can be done as soon as possible if the owner does not intend to breed the female dog.

Some tumors appear during the cycle and then regress spontaneously. But they too require a consultation. It is important to remember that in some cases a tumor can lead to significant tissue damage. The treatment of this type of pathology can be very expensive. It is therefore essential to insure your female dog with a health insurance company in order to be reimbursed totally or at least partially for the expenses incurred.