Symptoms of a Prolapsed Uterus in Dogs

Prolapsed uterus is a condition that generally occurs in female cats. However, this disease is seen in a few female dogs and is known as a female reproductive disorder. Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus protrudes through the dog’s vagina, particularly after whelping.

This condition is known to manifest itself in pets of varying ages and breeds. Although some dogs develop a prolapsed uterus after an abortion, others may develop the condition soon after delivering the last puppy in the litter. Since the symptoms of prolapsed uterus cause a lot of pain and discomfort, it’s important to be aware of this condition particularly if you own a female dog.

Symptoms of Prolapsed Uterus:

  • Visible protruding mass in the vaginal area
  • Straining
  • Pain
  • Fever accompanied by vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Listlessness
  • Bleeding
  • Pain in the abdominal area 
  • Pet frequently licks the vaginal area

Diagnosis of Prolapsed Uterus

Although female dogs generally develop a prolapsed uterus if they’ve had a difficult birthing process or if the fetus had to be surgically extracted, some pets develop the condition due to no known cause. Such cases are termed as idiopathic in nature. However the vet will try to determine if the dog is suffering from uterine cancer if the symptoms are not associated with the birth process. After performing a thorough physical examination of the vaginal area, the vet will perform several tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Vaginoscopy is one such test that’s essential to determine the seriousness of the condition. The vet will insert a type of an instrument or a scope into the vaginal passage to detect lesions or abnormalities of the vagina. Subsequently, the vet may perform a biopsy of the tissues of the vagina and the uterus, to rule out malignancy. Since the prolapsed uterus is exposed to environmental contaminants, the pet is highly susceptible to infections of the uterus. It’s thus important to watch for any signs of prolapsed uterus in female dogs and seek medical help at the earliest.

Treatment of Prolapsed Uterus

The type of treatment option selected varies according to the severity of the condition. Some dogs may develop a partial prolapse while others may have a full blown prolapsed uterus. Regardless of the type of prolapse present, the dog will require hospitalization. The vet will have to perform surgery to put the uterus back in position and prevent death. Moreover, if the dog is severely debilitated, intravenous fluid therapy and supportive care will be required. After the uterus is put back into position and the condition of the dog is stable, the vet will perform an ovariohysterectomy. Pets that develop prolapsed uterus shouldn’t be used for breeding purposes. However, some owners consider replacing the uterus to maintain the reproductive capability of the dog.

Pet owners should work with the vet to determine what’s best for the dog. Since this condition could lead to death, it’s necessary to administer all prescribed medication on time and keep the pet in a stress free environment. Although pets that have undergone uterus replacement surgery are capable of reproducing in the future, it’s best to perform an ovariohysterectomy to protect the life of the dog.