19th June 2012, 05:33 AM
Cause of vaginitis?
Our wonderful and gentle female CKCS, "Freckles", just turned 7 years old. She's had a relatively healthy life to-date; however, she has occasional bouts with what what her veterinarian describes as "vaginitis". We don't believe this is a common problem with the breed. She also usually needs to have her anal glands relieved once or twice a year--which, we believe, is somewhat common for smaller breeds, in general.
The vaginitis becomes manifest with her licking her vulva area--and occasionally "scooching" that area across our area rugs. Left unchecked, this leads to inflammation and discomfort...and more licking and scooching. If the condition worsens, we end up taking her to the veterinarian--where urinalysis usually reveals a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). She's had this problem repeatedly over the last four or five years. Each time, the veterinarian placed her on a 14-day regimen of Clavamox, with Zyrtec, as needed. This would clear up the problem--but only for a few months. The veterinarian has commented that Clavamox will lose its effect on her.
The veterinarian is unsure of the root cause but is speculating that a "structural problem" in the bladder area is perhaps causing some urine to not fully drain--resulting in irritation/infection. The veterinarian is recommending that we have a regional specialist perform a "vaginascope" -- a procedure that will identify any structural problems, polyps, etc. But this would simply be an expensive ($1500!) exploratory procedure that wouldn't necessarily resolve anything. At best, it would determine that there is -- or is not -- a structural problem. If no structural problem is found, the veterinarian speculates that the problem could be due to an allergy; the veterinarian questions this, however, since she doesn't seem to be manifesting any other allergy symptoms; i.e., itchy skin, etc. The problem is consistently limited to itchiness/irritation in the vulva area. We're wondering how conclusive lengthy allergy testing would be.
She had been on Eukanuba Adult Small Breed dry food. When she was first diagnosed with this problem, however, her veterinarian suggested that grain be removed from her diet; we changed her food to Royal Canin K-9 Hypoallergenic dry food--which, besides being quite expensive, she didn't seem to like. After a few bags of the Royal Canin, and without any significant improvement...and after speaking with other CKCS owners...we switched her to (grain-free) Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet--Sweet Potato and Fish dry food. She seems to like the taste of this much better...and has been on this food for the last 18 months or so. She usually gets one Hill's K9 Hypoallergenic biscuit per day. She also occasionally gets baby carrots and cucumbers--which she likes very much. We've tried various combinations of limiting these items--an admittedly very difficult task--without any noticeable change.
She experienced the problem again about a month ago. We've been removing the area rugs from off the floors...and preventing her from being unsupervised in carpeted areas; we've also been placing an 'Elizabethean Collar' on her when we leave the house. Between the collar and the Clavamox, the inflammation diminished drastically; however, she continued to try to scooch. The veterinarian then prescribed a three-week regimen of Temaril-P (used to treat general allergic reactions); she gets her last pill tomorrow. Today we caught her licking and trying to scooch--so we're concerned that she isn't over the problem...and could be headed for another UTI.
I'm posting this message out of frustration and desperation. Besides our sadness over her ongoing condition, the veterinarian visits are becoming too expensive. Can anyone offer experiences, suggestions, or guidance? Which is likely the culprit: a structural defect, an allergy, or something else? Thank you for your time and consideration.
Last edited by cwaters; 20th June 2012 at 02:02 AM.