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My dog, Alley, just began using her wheelchair. I noticed once she's in, the positioning of the rear leg rings make her vulva pop out. Is this common among female dogs?
My concern is that the same issue happened with a harness I was using with her a week prior and she developed a UTI. She's still on the antibiotics and I'm worried that once she's off, she'll get another UTI.
Thanks in advance for any help with this!
Are you also seeing any redness? I don't know about the wheelchair or leash, but my partially paralyzed dog who wears a diaper had something similar. The inner part of her little girl area, which the vet referred to as her vulva, was bright cherry red and kind of pooching out a little, and she put her on oral antibiotics which cleared it up. Since then we have done 2 things that kept it from happening again. 1) I switched to a different type of absorbent pad in her diaper. I discovered when I changed her diaper, if I ran my fingertips across the surface of the pad we were using, it was wet. So we found better pads. A good gel filled pad soaks up the urine and locks it in and does not leave the surface of the pad wet to the touch. 2) every time, when I stick a fresh pad into the denim diaper before I put it on her, I squeeze a little bit of Neosporin (or Wal-mart generic equivalent) onto the spot where her little girl area will be resting once the diaper is fastened. Seems to be working, since doing these 2 things we have not had any more problems. If your dog does not wear a diaper, I wonder (?) if maybe she would benefit from wearing one simply to protect her from germs she might pick up contacting the floor? Don't know, just thinking out loud. I hope someone will have an exact answer to your question.
I think that the UTI could certainly cause irritation to the vulva and using the rear harness system/in cart could cause more pressure compounding the situation. I think that your dogs issue is related to the medical problem. Please have your Vet examine your dog. If it means stop using the rear harness and cart until your dog's UTI is gone, then that is what you should do. I hope this answer helps.
Thank you both for your responses,
There is no redness and her UTI seems to be under control. Alley has seen her vet.
I guess my main question is: Do people with female dogs have the same issue? Does the back ring harness cause your dogs' vulva to become more exposed and protrude out?
If other dogs experience this, but have no other side effects, then I will rest more easily.
Thank you again!
Alley is spayed. Her vet discovered multiple disks along her spinal cord pressing against her nerves; her brain is losing the ability to tell her back legs to move.
At any rate, I'll be in contact with her vet again to determine whether or not this is an issue. Thank you for your feedback!
OK, good luck. If possible, it would be great if you could post what you learn here, in case anyone else ever has this issue.
When you first posted, I didn't know if she was using the cart for arthritis or paralysis or something else. If she has been gradually losing mobility from a disk problem, she may be at the point where her bladder needs attention. When a disk begins to affect the nerves going to the hind legs, it also tends to affect the nerves that control urination. At some point most dogs get to the place where you need to help them empty their bladder by squeezing their tummy. (It is called expressing the bladder.) The fact that she got a UTI also fits with this picture very well, as UTI is the normal result of a dog that does not empty the bladder completely. Even if she is still urinating voluntarily, it does not necessarily mean she is emptying completely.
I have never heard of a full bladder causing the vulva to show but I'm sure different dogs are different. My paralyzed dog with a mid back injury has a tight urinary sphincter and I have never seen her vulva showing. My partially paralyzed dog with the nerve problem down near the tail is different, her vulva show all the time, pink if healthy or red when she had an infection. Since you are not noticing any redness it does not sound like an infection, it sounds more like something mechanical, such as a full bladder or full colon or both, that puts a strain on the female area when pressure is applied to the lower abdomen by a harness or saddle. I don't know but it would be something to check. The vet can palpate her abdomen and see if her bladder is full. If you have already begun expressing her bladder, it might be good to have an "express check" where you express the bladder, then your vet expresses her right after you to see if any more comes out. That way you have a better idea of whether you are getting it all.
Here is a video that gives the idea of expressing, including a dog that has partial control but does not empty completely.
A complete article on expressing is here (including pictures of expressing a dog in a wheelchair):
http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... dog_or_cat
If all of this turns out to be totally irrelevant to your situation I apologize, but I wanted to pass along the information in case you are not back anytime soon.
Best of luck!
I know it's been almost a year since your original post but I have this same thing with my dog.
Skipper became paralyzed from a disc calcification at the beginning of November in 2012. She can hold her bladder until it's really full and then it just goes. So when she's in her wheelchair I notice she is more relaxed and it all hangs out so to speak. I think with dogs with shorter hair it's more noticeable. My friend has a dog with almost no hair and hers is always visable. My theory is, as long as it doesn't look any different than the day before, she must be ok. Our vet hasn't said anything so I'm guessing it can't be that big of an issue
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