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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11120
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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My female dog is licking her private area a lot this

Customer Question

My female dog is licking her private area a lot this weekend. Is there something I should use to give her relief?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 11 months ago.

Welcome to Justanswer! I am Dr. Altman and happy to assist you both today!

I am so sorry to hear your dog is uncomfortable. To clarify is she licking her vulva or her rectal area? Is she spayed? What breed is she please?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Vulva and yes she is spayed. She is a Shih-you.
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 11 months ago.

When I have a dog doing a lot of licking of the vulva the concerns are going to be:
- Vulvitis/ vaginitis or inflammation/ infection of the vulva which can be due to vulvar fold pyoderma (an inverted vulva) or leaking urine. Here is more information on this condition: http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/diseases-conditions-of-dogs/reproduction/vaginitis-in-dogs
- Another urinary tract infection
- Crystals in the urine which can be related to a urinary tract infection or completely separate. The best way to describe this sensation for her is that it is like having insulation that irritates the skin on the hair of the vulva! It is quite uncomfortable, like shards of glass on the area that is very uncomfortable. I have dogs that scoot on the ground while others will do quite a bit of licking and unfortunately she is a breed at higher risk for this scenario.
- Unfortunately allergies can also be an issue but not a common cause. Ears, rectum, feet, axillary, inguinal are more common areas licked but not vulva

My first inclination is to do a urinalysis on her to rule out crystals or an infection. First morning sample, fresh or refrigerated but also want it read as soon as possible because a sample sitting for a while that is very alkaline can falsely create crystal formation. Second, doing a vaginal or vulvar swab for bacteria, white cells, or abnormal epithelial cells would be my next step followed by abdominal x-rays to rule out stones in the bladder as well.

I would try increasing her water intake for now. You can do this by supplementing the dry food with water and flavoring the water (maple syrup or salt free broth for example) as well. Increasing the water intake will help "flush" out the bladder.

In addition:
- Benadryl 1 mg/ pound every 8 hours to help with the itch
- Baby wipes after urination to reduce any crystals that might be on the area but also if there is urine that is acidic it can also be painful

- A cone or e-collar to prevent licking as well

I hope this information makes sense but please let me know if you have any additional questions I can assist with!

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Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 11 months ago.

I am glad to see you were able to view my responses earlier

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today!

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Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 11 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Altman