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DrAmy, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 266
Experience:  9yrs experience vet care medicine, surgery, dentistry, oncology, behavior
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My 2 y.o. yellow lab (female) has dark hair around her private

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My 2 y.o. yellow lab (female) has dark hair around her private parts. It seems to be darker than normal. And she does seem to be licking more often. Thank you.

DrAmy :

HelloCustomer Thank you for your question! I appreciate you contacting me to help with your dog's skin issue. The dark hair around your dog's vulva area could have a couple different causes. 1. Urinary problem. Urinary incontinence is when there is some urine leaking while she is sleeping and the urine causes moisture around the vulva and the fur is stained. Dog's can lick the area to clean any urine. The urine can irritate the skin, which also can cause the dog to lick. A bladder infection could also cause her to lick the area. This is more likely if you notice her urinating more frequently and straining to go. 2. Skin fold infection (also called intertrigo) with or without allergies. Your dog may have an infection of bacteria and/or yeast in the skin folds around her vulva. Yeast or bacteria normally live on the skin. However, they can overgrow where there are skin folds (commonly around the vulva or also in the tail folds of breeds like English Bulldogs) and cause irritation that will lead to licking the area. Dogs that have allergies can have this occur as well, but there are usually other signs of skin allergies. For example, recurrent ear infections, licking the paws, and/or generalized itching. The best next step would be to have her evaluated by a veterinarian. They can examine the skin folds. If there is an infection, they can prescribe medication to treat it. It could be a topical product or oral medication, depending on the severity. If you have noticed any issues with her urination habits, they may recommend checking a urine sample. Once the underlying cause is resolved and she stops licking, the last thing to improve will be the color of the fur. The new hairs growing back in should be normal in color. Lastly, I will say that I have seen dogs with darkly stained fur around their vulva and it was normal for them. However, in those cases, the surrounding skin was not red and the dog did not lick the area. I hope my answer has been helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. I am here to help!


Thank you. This is most helpful. We will follow up with the vet just to be sure.

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