If your female dog has a clear jelly discharge and you’re wondering what might be the cause, you are not alone.
Many pet owners are quite confused about problems concerning their dogs’ nether parts.
Is it normal for a dog to have some sort of vaginal discharge?
Sometimes, yes, it is quite normal, but you’ll have to monitor your precious pet for any other symptoms that might indicate a serious condition.
What types of vaginal discharges are normal in a dog?
If you have a healthy female dog, a clear odorless discharge serves to lubricate the vagina.
Such a discharge should be transparent and odorless, but sometimes it may be a bit more consistent and look more like jelly.
A watery type of jelly, but still a jelly discharge. If your dog feels OK otherwise and is her usual self, there’s probably nothing to worry about.
Vaginal discharge in pregnant dogs
When a female dog is pregnant, an odorless discharge may again be normal. However, you should keep an eye on your dog because it may indicate there’s a problem with the pregnancy.
If your dog is close to giving birth you may expect her to eliminate the so-called mucus plug when she’s about to go into labor.
The mucus plug is released from the cervix and it should be white or transparent.
Since we’re talking about mucus it may look very much like a jelly discharge.
On the other hand, if you haven’t been monitoring your dog you may be surprised to discover a reddish discharge.
That’s a sign the labor is well underway and the first puppy is about to appear. Hopefully, you’re ready for the big moment.
If you have any worries, however, give your vet a quick call.
There’s really not much to it.
Dogs can deliver the puppies without any assistance and the new mommy will know what to do.
When should you be concerned about your dog’s jelly discharge?
Quick recap – a clear jelly discharge or a more fluid one can be perfectly normal in a healthy female dog.
You should start worrying only if the discharge changes color, turning green or yellow, and you notice a strong odor coming from your dog’s bottom.
What is vaginitis?
Vaginitis is a broad term used to describe an inflammation of the vagina. This condition can appear at any age, even in very young dogs who haven’t reached puberty yet. Also, it can appear in both spayed or intact female dogs.
The good news is that if your young prepubertal female dog develops vaginitis, the condition may resolve itself after she goes through her first heat cycle.
Tip: Male dogs tend to be quite attracted to female dogs with vaginitis so keep an eye on your precious darling, especially if you’re not planning on having puppies. You never know!
While a clear jelly discharge in a dog may be a way of attracting male suitors, vaginitis can be caused by other problems, such as:
- A urinary tract infection
- A bacterial or viral infection
- A foreign body stuck in the vagina
- Vaginal incontinence
- Anatomic abnormalities (like an ectopic ureter)
- Tumors (uncommon in young female dogs).
How to tell if your dog has vaginitis?
The discharge you’ve noticed won’t be the only symptom if your dog has vaginitis. Here are a few signs to watch out for:
- Redness or swelling of the vaginal area
- Frequent urination
- Licking of the vaginal area (more than normal)
- Scooting on the floor
- Rubbing the vagina against objects or furniture
The most important thing to watch out for is the color and odor of the discharge. If there’s pus coming out, that’s never good and you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
How is vaginitis treated?
The vet will probably run some tests to determine the cause. Usually, that means blood and urine tests, but your dog may also need a vaginal cultures test or a vaginoscopy (examining the internal part of the vagina with a small camera).
If the doctor suspects an anatomic abnormality, your dog may need an X-ray test or an ultrasound.
While all these tests may sound scary, they won’t take very long and the treatment is usually simple. And quite efficient. If there’s an infection present, your dog will be put on antibiotics. In some cases, the doctor may also recommend vaginal douches with a disinfectant solution. These may need to be performed once or twice a day and here you may have a problem as the dog may naturally object.
What is pyometra and why is it so dangerous for dogs?
A vaginal discharge can also be a sign of pyometra which is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
To put it simply, pyometra is a bacterial infection that affects the uterus of a female dog.
This condition affects mostly intact dogs and tends to appear within a couple of weeks after a heat cycle. According to statistics, 25% of intact female dogs will develop pyometra at one point in their lives.
The problem is caused by high levels of hormones (estrogens and progesterone) without a pregnancy. These hormones make the uterus an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. When the dog goes into heat, the cervix is partially open and this allows bacteria to reach the uterus causing an infection.
Pyometra can cause a discharge from the vulva. It may look like a jelly discharge, but it will rarely be clear. Most often, pyometra triggers a yellow, green, or dark red discharge.
On the other hand, your dog may still have pyometra even if there is no vaginal discharge. This is known as closed pyometra and it can be very dangerous as the pet owner may not be aware there’s a problem with the dog.
If you have an unspayed female dog, you should always watch out for other pyometra symptoms like:
- Lack of appetite
- Enlarged abdomen
The disease is uncommon in dogs under the age of signs, but there have been cases of pyometra in young females so don’t rule it out as this may put your dog’s life in danger.
You need to get the dog to the vet right away. Your dog will need a broad-spectrum antibiotic and IV therapy. In many cases, the dog will need surgery to remove the uterus.
Why is there a jelly discharge coming from the dog’s anus?
It’s quite easy for a pet owner to be confused about the source of a jelly discharge. If you have a female dog you may assume it is coming from the vagina, when in fact it’s an anal discharge. This may be caused by impacted anal sacs or it may be the sign of an infection.
Here’s what you should know.
Is there a problem with the anal sacs?
Most people will assume the jelly discharge is related to a problem with those mysterious anal sacs. When the dog is unable to express her anal glands the normal way, through defecation, they may leak. There’s only one problem, and it’s quite a major one. The anal sacs’ main function is to produce a fluid dogs use to mark their territory. And that fluid smells something awful. If the discharge is coming from the anal sacs, your nose will alert you to it.
Is the jelly discharge a sign of intestinal inflammation?
If you notice mucus or slime in your dog’s feces it may be a sign of an inflammation of the large intestine.
This condition can have multiple causes, some of them benign.
Change of diet
If you’ve changed your dog’s diet recently don’t be alarmed to see a jelly discharge coming from her anus. The probable cause is that the change was too sudden and the dog’s digestive system did not have enough time to adapt. The advice is to introduce a new type of food slowly, mixing small quantities with the dog’s old food over a few days, up to a week.
What are the signs of inflammatory bowel disease?
The presence of mucus in the dog’s feces can also be a sign of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As the name indicates, IBD is a condition in which your dog’s intestines become inflamed and this affects the lining of her digestive tract, hence the production of excessive mucus and a suspicious discharge.
IBD can be caused by a variety of factors:
- Genetic factors
- Food allergies
- Bacterial infection
- Weak immune system.
The irritation of the digestive lining stimulates the production of mucus, hence the jelly discharge.
However, a dog with IBD will also have chronic diarrhea and vomiting and will rapidly lose weight, so the discharge will be the least of her problems.
IBD can be treated with antibiotics, steroids, and dietary changes.
For a healthy female dog, a clear jelly discharge can be normal. If the discharge is translucent and odorless you shouldn’t worry about it. However, any change in color or an offensive odor associated with the discharge can be a symptom of a disease and it’s best to have your dog checked out. Treatment will depend on the cause of the problem. If it’s a vaginal infection or a UTI, a course of antibiotics will solve the problem. If the discharge is coming from the anus rather than the vagina, it may be an inflammatory condition, which will require medication as well as dietary changes.