Do dogs have hymens? If you’re an experienced dog owner, you may have an idea of what a hymen is. However, that may not be the case for a person adopting a dog for the first time. It is always good to know the anatomy of animals before you bring them home as pets.
Yes, dogs have hymens. A hymen is a sheet of tissue or a membrane that blocks entry into the vagina from the vestibule. It is usually torn after the first mating or ruptured as the dog grows older, but in some cases, it acts resistant, causing pain to the bitch.
Some female dogs can have tissue sticking out from the vulva, recurring vaginal infections, and urinary incontinence, but difficulty or pain during copulation is the most common sign.
Do Dogs have Hymens
Imperforate hymens can cause problems with mating, frequent infection, and incontinence. Therefore, it is essential to manage this problem and know how to take care of a dog.
Imperforate Hymen in Dogs
The central part of the hymen commonly has a tiny opening allowing the flow of blood and mucus. If the hymen is imperforate, the mucous membrane lining the uterus that thickens during the heat cycle will accumulate blood and mucus.
The hymen is expandable and thin, so vulvar swelling may arise in the imperforate hymen. This suggests that there is an accumulation of vaginal fluid as well as blood in the uterus and vagina.
This condition leads to many complications for the female dog, causing a lot of distraught and physical infections inside the reproductive organs.
Problems of Imperforate Hymens in Female Dogs
Imperforate hymen is the most common issue in female dogs. Fetal structures grow to form the majority of the female reproductive system. The abnormal growth of these reproductive systems can give in to partial or complete closure anywhere along with the uterus and the vagina.
This means that the vagina can be divided into multiple chambers with the growth of bands of tissue or a horizontal narrowing of the vagina.
This causes the female dog to experience a lot of pain when mating. It also leads to several other diseases if not kept in check. If your dog is showing symptoms of discomfort around the first mating season, you should get her checked by a veterinary doctor.
Symptoms of Imperforate Hymen
- If you notice that your dog discharges fluid from her vulva, that may indicate a problem. It can be clear and watery, like mucus, bloody or pus-like, and signal various conditions such as infections or reproductive issues. In such cases, you should take them to the nearest vet hospital without delay.
- During copulation, if the female dog has difficulty and barks in pain, then that is a sign that not everything is normal with her vagina. It may be because of the presence of a partially or wholly closed hymen. This membrane usually ruptures when a female dog matures, but sometimes it doesn’t, resulting in excruciating pain for the dog.
- Sometimes constipation can also be a case of an imperforate hymen. The abnormality of the hymen causes an accumulation of pus in the vagina due to the obstruction of its genital tract. This further leads to an increase in the size of the abdomen resulting in constipation.
- Dogs occasionally lick their vulva to clean themselves, which is normal. However, if the licking is excessive, that may be a sign of infection or other significant problems with their urinary tract. Consult the vet doctor at once if this is the case.
- Persistent hymen can cause urine leakage whenever a dog changes its body positions. This is because the muscles that shut the urethra are weakened and cannot close properly. So, whenever a dog moves to change its position, you can notice that there will be small amounts of urine leakages from the vagina.
- Some other symptoms may also include passage of feces through the vulva, vaginal infection, or even swollen vulvas.
How Does Imperforate Hymen Cause Vaginal Infections in a Dog?
Imperforate hymen is a rare abnormality by birth that can lead to significant fluid accumulation within the vagina during a dog’s heat cycle. This fluid is discharged from the vulva, which leads to many other vaginal abnormalities. If not checked, it can lead to severe complications for the dog.
- When pus is discharged from the vulva, it dries around the outer layer of the vulva if not cleaned. This forms bacteria that enters the female dog’s body through the vagina and causes pyometra.
- Infection and bacterial growth in the vaginal area can also be caused by cysts forming in the uterus.
- Recent surgeries are also a cause of concern for bacterial growth in the vagina when the wounds are not well taken care of. This results in infections that cause discomfort to the dogs.
Diagnosis for Vaginal Abnormalities in Dogs
- In the case of your dog displaying any symptoms of discomfort, take it to the vet for a check-up. Give the vet a detailed description of your dog’s recent symptoms, biological history and information on if your dog has previously been bred. The doctor will check the heart rate and digitally examine the rectum with an inserted finger. This is done to check the presence of any lumps, bumps, or anything asymmetrical.
- Cellular culture is another treatment procedure where the doctor takes samples from the infected areas to determine the cause of infection and the period cycle of the dog.
- Rectovaginal fistula treatment is also essential to determine the presence of fecal contamination in the vagina. Urinalysis will show the increased levels of white blood cells if there is an existing urinary tract infection. This procedure gives the doctor the ability to identify any congenital structural abnormalities.
- If there are no traces of infection after the physical examination, then ultrasound, x=rays, and vaginoscopy will assist in finding out the finer details of discomfort in the dog.
There are cases of disease complexities being caused because pet owners often delay the process of imperforate hymen diagnosis. It is highly advised to check dogs for this disorder during puberty to prevent the rise of future complications.
Treatment of Vaginal Abnormalities in Dogs
Treatment is not highly advised if the dog is not having much discomfort, but recurring signs of the involuntary release of urine and infections usually call for surgery. Breeding-related problems can be rectified with ovariohysterectomy, whereas surgically removing the hymen membrane is the solution for other more significant problems. It is advisable to reduce dogs’ daily activities at home after surgery.
The abnormal connection between the rectum and the vagina also requires surgery to correct the problem of gas or feces passing through the vagina. Making the dog go on a liquid diet before surgery is commendable. Dogs that have a problem with constant constipation because of megacolon also require continued visits to the vet.
In case of a cancerous tumor, surgery or chemotherapy may be advised according to the severity of the disease. If cancer spreads, then there may be a necessity for further treatments.
Recovery of Vaginal Abnormalities in Dogs
Dogs usually experience mild symptoms from vaginal abnormalities. Surgery makes the chances of a complete recovery possible, even in the case of the more severe rectovaginal fistula.
Extended management of the dog will be required if it develops a case of megacolon. It needs to follow a special diet and take medicines to ease the congestion. In case of cancerous symptoms, the vet will plan out the course of treatment after diagnosis unless the issue is recognized in the early stages.
How to Take Care of a Dog With Imperforate Hymen
If you are a dog lover, knowing how to take care of a dog is most important. Your life should center around the dog, especially if you decide to adopt one.
Imperforate hymen is a rare disorder for female dogs, but it exists. It causes them a lot of discomfort and pain. You can learn a few ways to know how to take care of a dog at home.
If you are a proud owner of a female dog, you should check for signs in her to know if she is showing any symptoms of imperforate hymen disorder. Sometimes the dog might discharge yellow or gooey fluids from the vulva. This would mean that the body is signaling certain reproductive infections.
If there is a swelling in the abdomen, the dog is going through constipation. You should be aware of all these symptoms to take quick action whenever necessary. To minimize other conditions caused by imperforate hymen, you can learn simple steps on how to take care of a dog.
Clean the dog’s vulva whenever she discharges fluids, do not let her go, and breed with a male dog if you know she has the disorder, take her to the vet if you see abnormal leakage of urine and feces, etc. All these simple steps can make your dog’s life easier.
Dogs, like all mammals, have hymens in their vaginal structure, and it sometimes causes harm to their health if there are abnormalities in them.
Sometimes, the hymen does not tear completely, causing the dog pain while mating. Such a disorder is called the imperforate hymen, and it can lead to various other diseases inside the dog’s body.
It is essential to take the dog to the vet before it hits puberty to avoid further complications. Delaying the diagnosis process when you notice symptoms can only worsen the dog.
Imperforate hymens can cause a lot of aches and discomfort to the dog. Hence, it is crucial to be alert to their symptoms So that quick action can be taken to relieve the dog.
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