Reproductive Disorders in Dogs

Reproductive Disorders in Dogs: Male and Female Dogs

Reproductive disorders in dogs are problems affecting the reproductive organs, causing infertility, inability to mate, or complications during pregnancy. 

A telltale symptom of reproductive issues in females is vulvar discharge, and in males, it is pain or swelling of the testicles. Fever, appetite loss, and depression occur regardless of sex. 

The treatment for reproductive disorders is medical or surgical. Female dog reproductive system disorders are more life-threatening than issues in males. 

Underdeveloped female dogs are prone to developmental defects, vaginal overgrowth, and complicated births. Adult female dog problems include false pregnancies, follicular cysts, mammary gland tumors, mastitis, metritis, ovarian cysts, ovarian remnant syndrome, pyometra, subinvolution of placental sites subinvolution, vaginitis, brucellosis, and infertility. 

Male disorders occur in the internal reproductive organs or the dog genital area. Frequent disorders are cryptorchidism, testicular tumors, prostatitis, brucellosis, orchitis, epididymitis, and prostate conditions. A dogs penis is affected by hypospadias, inflammation, paraphimosis, priapism, and phimosis. 

What are the Reproductive Disorders in Female Dogs?

The reproductive disorders in female dogs are listed below.

  • Abnormal or Difficult Birth: Abnormal or difficult birth (dystocia) is the inability to give birth naturally, and it is prevalent in certain breeds. 
  • False Pregnancy: False pregnancy is a condition in which unusual hormone levels trick the body into preparing for pregnancy. 
  • Follicular Cysts: Follicular cysts in dogs are ovarian cysts that develop during inhibited ovulation.
  • Mammary Gland Tumors: Mammary gland tumors are nodules of various sizes and are one of the most common cancer types in intact female dogs. 
  • Mastitis: Mastitis is inflammation of the breasts or mammary glands, and it develops irrespective of an infection. 
  • Metritis: Metritis is inflammation of the uterus in which bacteria invade and inhabit the uterine mucosal lining. 
  • Ovarian Cysts: Ovarian cysts in dogs are fluid-filled sacs of variable size on the ovaries that develop as solitary or multiple lesions. 
  • Ovarian Remnant Syndrome: Ovarian remnant syndrome is when the vet accidentally fails to remove the entire ovaries during spaying, leaving tiny tissue inside the dog. 
  • Pyometra: Pyometra is a uterine inflammation in which the uterus accumulates pus and is susceptible to life-threatening rupturing. 
  • Subinvolution of Placental Sites: Subinvolution of placental sites (SIBS) occurs after birth, and it is the primary cause of prolonged bleeding in bitches. 
  • Vaginal Overgrowth: Vaginal overgrowths are female dog vulva issues featuring excessive swelling during estrus or under due to estrogen hormones. 
  • Vaginitis: Vaginitis is an uncomfortable inflammation affecting the vestibule and vagina, associated with urinary incontinence and bacterial infections.  
  • Brucellosis: Brucellosis is a bacterial infection in pregnant dogs that causes late-term abortions or stillborn puppies. 
  • Infertility: Infertility is the inability to conceive caused by a dog ovarian cyst, anovulatory heat cycles, split heats, frequent cycling, and uterine infections. 

1. Abnormal or Difficult Birth (Dystocia)

Abnormal or Difficult Birth (Dystocia) is a life-threatening and abnormal birthing experience.

Dystocia is caused by the fetus (large size, intrauterine death, or abnormal positioning) or the mother (poor contractions, uterine issues, or small birthing canal). 

Signs of dystocia are bloody vulvar discharge before the puppy is birthed, over 30 minutes of non-productive contractions, and failure to begin labor after the temperature drops below 99° F. 

The veterinarian uses abdominal X-rays and ultrasound to determine the issue and the number of fetuses. 

Dystocia is treated medically or surgically, depending on the cause. The veterinarian provides manual assistance in some cases. 

Preventing dystocia includes scheduling a Cesarean section in advance, which is important in high-risk brachycephalic breeds. 

2. False Pregnancy (Pseudopregnancy)

False pregnancy or pseudopregnancy is a condition in which hormonal changes deceive the body into preparing for pregnancy.

High levels of the hormone prolactin in the dog’s uterus prepare for pregnancy with each cycle, and the reproductive organs produce the wrong hormones if pregnancy does not occur. 

Abdominal enlargement, weight gain, mammary gland swelling, and milk production are signs of pseudopregnancy. Some dogs exhibit nesting behavior and care for inanimate objects. 

Veterinarians diagnose false pregnancy on a physical examination based on the dog’s history and imaging procedures like X-rays and ultrasound. 

Treatment is typically unnecessary because the condition resolves within one to three weeks. 

False pregnancy is challenging to prevent. Spaying the dog at the correct phase of the estral cycle helps reduce the risk of pseudopregnancy.  

3. Follicular Cysts

Follicular cysts are functional ovarian cysts or fluid-filled sacs on the ovaries’ surface. Cysts, depending on their size, affect the dog’s cycle. 

Dogs get follicular cysts when the follicle fills with fluid, forming a pocket-like bubble instead of releasing an egg during the heat. 

Signs of follicular cysts in dogs include irregular heat cycles, prolonged heat, split cycles, and problems with hair quality. 

Follicular cysts are diagnosed on an ultrasound. Hormone medications help prevent new cysts but do not treat current ones. 

Spaying the dog is the only foolproof treatment option for preventing follicular cysts. 

4. Mammary Gland Tumors

Mammary gland tumors are newly formed growths stemming from the mammary tissue. Some dogs suffer from benign or malignant tumors that affect their mobility and quality of life. 

The causes of mammary tumors are unknown, but female hormones like estrogen and progesterone are believed to play a critical role. 

Signs of mammary tumors are visible lumps or swelling on the glands, tenderness or pain at the tumor site, lethargy, coughing, weakness, anorexia, and weight loss. 

Mammary tumors are diagnosed based on histopathological examination of tissue samples. Chest X-rays show whether the tumor has spread to the lungs. 

The treatment is surgical and includes lumpectomy (lump removal) or bilateral mastectomy (complete removal of all mammary glands) with chemo or radiation. 

Spaying before the first heat cycle largely eliminates the risk of mammary tumors, and spaying after the first cycle significantly reduces it. 

5. Mastitis

Mastitis is a mammary gland inflammation that occurs with or without infection. Dogs develop acute, chronic, septic, non-septic, and gangrenous mastitis, and all types are excruciating. 

Common causes of mastitis include bacterial or fungal infections, milk stasis, death of newborn puppies, unsanitary environment, and trauma. 

Dogs with mastitis develop red and painful swelling of the mammary glands, fever, appetite loss, vomiting, and depression. 

Mastitis is diagnosed through blood tests, milk cultures, ultrasound, X-rays, and tissue sample biopsy to rule out other conditions. 

Treating dog mastitis entails warm compresses, hand milking, antibiotics, and anti-pain medications. Severe forms of mastitis require surgery. 

Maintain a clean environment and avoid weaning all puppies at once to prevent the occurrence of mastitis.  

6. Metritis

Metritis in dogs is inflammation of the uterus. The condition progresses to chronic and causes infertility in females. 

Dogs contract metritis post-birth, after breeding, or an abortion. Bacteria is the culprit behind the infection. 

Signs of metritis in dogs include vulvar discharge, fever, lethargy, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and fast heart rate. 

Metritis in dogs is diagnosed with a blood count, biochemistry panels, vaginal cytology, abdominal ultrasounds, and X-rays. 

The treatment is antibiotics, intravenous fluids, and meds that stimulate uterine contractions to evacuate the intrauterine inflammatory content. Surgery is performed in complicated cases. 

Spaying or ovariohysterectomy is the only method of preventing metritis and uterine inflammation in dogs.   

7. Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts are small fluid-filled sacs or semi-solid lumps that form on the ovaries. Cysts on the ovaries are harmless and generally pass without symptoms. 

Cysts in dogs form as a result of abnormal cell reproductions in the ovaries or inflammation of the uterus. Common ovarian cysts include functional (follicular and corpus luteum) and cystadenomas, endometriomas, and dermoid cysts. 

Certain cyst types are asymptomatic, and others cause long heat cycles, vaginal discharge that varies from transparent to bloody, and vulvar enlargement. Coat thinning and weight loss are visible in some cases. 

Ovarian cysts are diagnosed on an ultrasound. The vet recommends ovariohysterectomy if the cysts are causing problematic symptoms. 

Ovarian cysts are not preventable in intact dogs while spaying eliminates the risk of cysts.  

8. Ovarian Remnant Syndrome

Ovarian remnant syndrome occurs when a small ovarian tissue remains inside a dog following an ovariohysterectomy procedure. The remnant is functional and triggers heat in spayed dogs. 

The most common cause of ovarian remnant syndrome is iatrogenic mistakes, namely, the veterinary surgeon mistakenly leaves a tiny tissue. 

Dogs with ovarian remnant syndrome show signs of heat cycles in spayed dogs. A telltale sign is that the female still attracts male dogs. 

The condition is diagnosed on a blood test by measuring hormone levels and with a vaginal cytology. Ultrasounds locate the remaining tissue. 

The treatment for ovarian remnant syndrome is surgical removal of the tissue. The tissue is difficult to find, and consulting a veterinary specialist is often necessary.  

Ovarian remnant syndrome is a complication arising from ovariohysterectomy, and it is not preventable. 

9. Pyometra

Pyometra is a type of purulent uterine inflammation. The condition is fatal in some cases, and dogs with pyometra require emergency vet attention. 

Dogs develop pyometra due to interaction between hormones and the bacteria E. coli. Intact females that do not get pregnant during heat cycles are at a higher risk. 

Signs of pyometra are abdominal swelling, fever, vulvar licking, depression, and loss of appetite. Some dogs with pyometra develop bloody or purulent vulvar discharge. 

The vet makes a presumptive diagnosis based on clinical signs. Abdominal ultrasound or X-ray images confirm the diagnosis. 

The treatment for pyometra in dogs is surgical and involves the complete removal of the uterus and ovaries. 

Ovariohysterectomy or spaying is the best way to prevent pyometra. Breeding dogs must be monitored for early signs of pyometra. 

10. Subinvolution of Placental Sites

Subinvolution of placental sites (SIBS) is when the uterus fails to repair itself after giving birth. SIBS causes prolonged bleeding. 

The reason subinvolution of placental sites occurs in dogs is unknown, but young pregnancies and dystocia are risk factors. 

The telltale sign of SIBS is extended bloody vulvar discharge for weeks to months after puppy delivery.

Subinovolution of placental sites is diagnosed with vaginal cytology and histology examination of the placental sites. 

Mild bleeding does not require treatment, while ovariohysterectomy is warranted for dogs with fatally severe bleeding. Subinvolution of placental sites is not preventable without spaying. 

11. Vaginal Overgrowth (Vaginal Prolapse, Vaginal Hyperplasia)

Vaginal overgrowth occurs when the vaginal tissue overreacts to the hormone estrogen in certain phases of the cycle. The condition causes tissue damage if left untreated. 

Estrogen stimulation is the main culprit. Vaginal overgrowth is common in young intact dogs. Certain breeds like German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, and Bulldogs are predisposed. 

The telltale sign of vaginal hyperplasia is a reddish-to-pink, tongue-shaped mass that sticks out from the dog’s vulva. The dog is constantly licking the area and has difficulty urinating. 

The condition is diagnosed upon clinical examination. Biopsy is recommended for older dogs to rule out cancer. 

Vaginal hyperplasia is reversible with treatment which includes lubrication, infection prevention, daily cleaning, and urinary catheters. Severely damaged tissue must be surgically removed. 

A dog that developed vaginal hyperplasia once is likely to have it again, and the best prevention is spaying. 

12. Vaginitis

Vaginitis in dogs is vaginal inflammation. The condition is harmless but warrants attention in older dogs. 

Dogs get vaginitis after the heat cycle. Severe causes include structural abnormalities, viral infections, hormonal imbalances, and cancer. 

Vaginitis in dogs manifests with vulvar discharge, excessive vulval licking, male dog attention, frequent urination, and skin changes around the vulva. 

The condition is diagnosed by analyzing a vaginal discharge sample under a microscope. Dogs with complicated forms require vaginoscopy or vaginal endoscopic examination. 

Mild cases of vaginitis resolve independently, while complex cases require antibiotics. Dogs with anatomical defects in the vagina need surgical correction to prevent future episodes. 

Use pet-safe wet wipes to clean the dog’s skin around the vulva and reduce the incidence of infections. 

13. Brucellosis

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease caused by the bacteria Brucella canis. The bacteria affects the dog’s reproductive organs and causes pregnancy issues. 

Female dogs contract brucellosis from males during mating. Infected dogs pass the bacteria through their semen, saliva, urine, and nasal discharge. 

Signs of brucellosis in dogs are late-term abortions and stillbirths. Puppies typically die after being born. 

Brucellosis is diagnosed based on culture or serological tests, but their results are inconclusive. 

The disease is incurable, and infected dogs need antibiotics and spaying to control the infection. Euthanasia is considered in some cases, given the condition’s zoonotic potential. 

Females diagnosed with brucellosis must never be included in breeding programs because they pass the infection to the puppies via milk.

14. Infertility

Infertility in dogs is the inability to conceive or deliver live puppies. The effects of infertility are physical and psychological. 

The causes of infertility in female dogs are divided into four broad categories, including cycle problems, failure to breed, unsuccessful conceiving, and loss of pregnancy. 

The main symptom of infertility in females is a lack of pregnancy or conception when a viable breeding male is present. 

Diagnosing infertility includes various tests, such as complete blood count, biochemistry panels, hormone assays, urinalysis, infectious disease screening, vaginal cytology and cultures, and imaging options, such as ultrasound and X-rays. 

The treatment options include medications to stimulate heat, optimizing the breeding time, and artificial insemination. 

Providing breeding dogs with a stress-free, clean environment and optimal nutrition minimizes the risk of fertility problems. 

What are the Reproductive Disorders in Male Dogs?

The reproductive disorders in male dogs are listed below. 

  • Cryptorchidism: Cryptorchidism or retained testes is a congenital abnormality in which one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum.  
  • Testicular Tumors: Testicular tumors are abnormal growths stemming from different cells and tissues in the testes and are prevalent in older intact dogs.  
  • Prostatitis: Prostatitis is a bacterial inflammation of the prostate gland that occurs acutely or chronically. 
  • Brucellosis: Bacterial disease caused by Brucella canis, leaving the testicles swollen or shrunken and making dogs infertile. 
  • Hypospadias: Hypospadias is a rare developmental defect in which the urethra opens away from its anatomical position. 
  • Orchitis: Orchitis is bacterial, viral, or fungal inflammation of the entire testicle, causing severe scrotal pain and swelling. 
  • Epididimytis: Epididymitis is inflammation of the epididymis or testicular tube that helps store and mature sperm. 
  • Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce: Penis and prepuce inflammation is a painful condition associated with traumatic injuries, microbes, urine leakage, and tumors.
  • Paraphimosis: Paraphimosis occurs when the dog is unable to retract its penis into the protective prepuce. 
  • Priapism: Priapism is an erection that lasts for more than four hours, and it is not caused or associated with sexual stimulation. 
  • Phimosis: Phimosis in dogs is a condition in which the penis is unable to protrude from its protective sheath called prepuce. 
  • Disorders of the Prostate: Two commonly seen dog prostate disorders include benign hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatic cancer. 

1. Cryptorchidism

Cryptorchidism is when the dog’s one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotal sac. The standard descension time is between six and 16 weeks of age. Retained testicles are prone to cancerous changes. 

The condition is genetic and observable in Dachshunds, Pomeranians, Yorkshire Terriers, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Chihuahuas, Shetland Sheepdogs, French Poodles, and Miniature Schnauzers. 

Dogs with cryptorchidism do not show clinical signs or symptoms. The condition is diagnosed on a regular exam upon palpation of the scrotal sac. An ultrasound locates the retained testicle. 

The treatment for cryptorchidism is removing the retained testicle to prevent it from becoming cancerous. 

Excluding cryptorchid dogs from breeding programs is a good way of preventing the condition. 

2. Testicular Tumors

Testicular tumors are abnormal growths stemming from the testes tissues. Seminomas (from germ cells), interstitial tumors (from Leydig cells), and Sertoli tumors (from Sertoli cells) are the most common testicular tumors in dogs.

The cause of testicular tumors is unknown. Older, intact dogs from certain breeds, like German Shepherds, Boxers, Collies, Afghan Hounds, Shetland Sheepdogs, Maltese, and Weimaraners, are prone to testicular cancer. 

Signs of testicular cancer include testicle enlargement, uneven testicle size, and swelling of the scrotum. 

Testicular tumors are diagnosed in most cases after neutering, but in breeding dogs, they are examined with fine needle aspiration. 

The recommended treatment for testicular tumors is neutering. Chemotherapy and radiation are included in the treatment if the cancer spreads. 

Neuter dogs at an early age to prevent testicular cancer or practice frequent vet exams to catch issues before they turn into tumors. 

3. Prostatitis

Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate and is prevalent in intact male dogs. The condition is painful and causes trouble peeing. 

The top four causes of prostatitis in dogs are bacteria, benign hyperplasia, prostatic or paraprostatic cysts, and prostate cancer. 

Signs of prostatitis in dogs are abdominal pain, back pain, blood in the urine, straining to urinate and defecate, stiff hind limb gait, appetite loss, fever, and lethargy. 

Prostatitis is diagnosed with rectal palpation, urine tests, and imaging techniques like X-rays or ultrasound. 

The treatment for bacterial prostatitis is antibiotics, while other forms of inflammation of the prostate are treated surgically. 

Early neutering helps prevent certain types of prostatitis in dogs, and regular checkups control the situation in intact dogs. 

4. Brucellosis

Brucellosis is a severe infectious disease in dogs caused by the bacteria Brucella canis. The bacteria affects the dog’s reproductive organs. 

Dogs get brucellosis when eating contaminated material, usually afterbirth tissues. The bacteria is secreted in the vaginal discharge, semen, milk, urine, nasal discharge, saliva, and aborted fetuses of infected dogs. 

The telltale sign of brucellosis in dogs is abnormally sized testicles, which are swollen or shrunk. Other signs are infertility, fever, lethargy, anorexia, weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes, muscle weakness, lameness, and incoordination. 

The golden standard for diagnosing brucellosis is the culture test. Serological tests are used in some cases, but they sometimes give false results. 

Brucellosis is incurable, and management includes antibiotics and neutering. Euthanasia is recommended for dogs that are unresponsive to treatment to prevent spreading. 

Neutering helps minimize the spread of the disease. Infected dogs must not breed because they transmit the disease to females. 

5. Hypospadias

Hypospadias is a developmental condition in which the urethra does not open at the usual point. The defect affects the dog’s urinating ability. 

The cause of hypospadias in dogs is unknown. Symptoms are urinary incontinence, frequent urinary tract infections, and dermatitis around the preputial opening. 

Hypospadias is diagnosed through examination of the penis and prepuce. The vet makes an abdominal ultrasound to check if the rest of the urinary organs are properly developed. 

The treatment for hypospadias is the surgical correction of the urethra. The condition is not preventable. 

6. Orchitis

Orchitis is inflammation of the testicles. The condition is not life-threatening, but it is excruciating and harms the dog’s fertility and life quality. 

The most common cause of orchitis in dogs is bacteria that ascends to the testicles from the prostate gland or urethra. 

Signs and symptoms of orchitis include scrotal swelling, redness, pain on touch, licking of the scrotum, depression, lethargy, appetite loss, reluctance to walk, and fever. 

The diagnosis of orchitis is based on a clinical exam paired with blood analysis and ultrasound. Antibiotics are helpful for some dogs, and others require neutering. 

Unilateral removal of the infected testicle is possible for breeding purposes in high-value dogs. Neutering is the best prevention option. 

7. Epididymitis

Epididymitis in dogs is inflammation of the tube of the testicles that stores sperm, called the epididymis. The condition is painful and affects the dog’s fertility. 

Common causes of epididymitis in dogs are infections. Severe and direct trauma to the scrotum is another culprit. 

Dogs with epididymitis have swollen testicles, excessive licking of the scrotum, anorexia, fever, reluctance to walk, and depression. 

Epididymitis is diagnosed with clinical exams followed by blood work and ultrasound. Antibiotics treat the infections in some cases, while others require castration. 

Inflammation of the epididymis is not preventable in intact dogs, while neutering eliminates the chances of epididymitis. 

8. Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce (Balanoposthitis)

Balanoposthitis is inflammation of the dog’s penis and prepuce. The prepuce is the skin sheath protecting the penis. Balanoposthitis is highly uncomfortable. 

Dogs develop inflammation of the penis and prepuce due to bacterial infections, traumatic injuries, phimosis, and tumors. 

Signs of balanoposthitis are yellow to green discharge from the prepuce, excessive genital licking, swelling, lethargy, depression, loss of appetite, and fever. 

Diagnosis is based on clinical examination, which must be performed under sedation. 

The treatment includes cleaning the area combined with antibiotics. The dog wears an e-collar to prevent licking during the treatment. 

Keep the dog’s prepuce clean and hair well-trimmed in the genital area, and practice frequent examinations to reduce the risk of balanoposthitis. 

9. Paraphimosis

Paraphimosis is a condition in which the penis is unable to retract into the prepuce. Prolonged penile extrusion damages tissue because the prepuce acts as a tourniquet. 

Dogs get paraphimosis due to congenital abnormalities, penis fractures, traumatic injuries, foreign bodies in the prepuce, and tumors. 

Signs of paraphimosis in dogs are excessive licking of the exposed penis, redness and swelling, unusual discharge, urine dripping, and restlessness. 

The condition is diagnosed based on clinical manifestation. The treatment returns the penis to its normal position, which requires surgery in severe cases. 

Clean the dog’s prepuce regularly and keep the surrounding fur well-trimmed to minimize the risk of paraphimosis.

10. Priapism

Priapism is an erection that lasts for over four hours and is unassociated with sexual arousal. Specific forms of priapism affect circulation, causing penile tissue damage. 

The problem is caused by spinal issues, vascular abnormalities, penile masses, tumors, trauma, or its causes remain unknown, and it is labeled idiopathic. 

Signs of priapism include obvious erection with excessive licking, restlessness, and pain or discomfort. 

Priapism is diagnosed with a physical exam, but the underlying trigger requires a more detailed diagnostic process. 

The treatment for priapism is medications like terbutaline, gabapentin, or ephedrine. Dogs with severe forms and tissue damage are treated surgically, with penis amputation being a standard procedure. 

Priapism is not preventable, and castration does not eliminate the risk because the condition occurs irrespective of testosterone.  

11. Phimosis

Phimosis in dogs is a condition in which the dog is unable to get its penis out of the protective prepuce. The inability inhibits normal urination. 

The problem is congenital in German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers or secondary to persistent penile or preputial frenulum, inflammation, scar tissue, or cancer. 

Symptoms of phimosis in dogs include unsuccessful attempts to copulate, dribbling urine, licking of the genital area, and pain when urinating. 

Veterinarians diagnose phimosis based on a clinical examination of the penis and prepuce. The treatment is surgical. 

Surgery includes removing the penile frenulum or enlarging the preputial opening. Phimosis in dogs is not preventable.  

12. Disorders of the Prostate

Disorders of the prostate include benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatic cancer. BPH is not dangerous, while prostatic cancer in dogs is highly aggressive. 

Dogs develop benign hyperplasia with age, while the causes of cancer are theorized to be genetic and environmental factors. 

Symptoms of BPE and prostatic cancer include difficulty urinating, passing abnormally thin and ribbon-like stool, abdominal discomfort, and stiff gait. 

Benign prostatic hyperplasia and cancer are diagnosed with urine cultures, microscopic urine analysis, X-ray imaging, and ultrasounds. 

BPE is treated with castration, while the effectiveness of neutering in dogs for prostatic cancer is variable based on the type. 

Radiation and chemo are considered in certain cancer cases. Early neutering minimizes the risk of disorders of the prostate in dogs. 

What do reproductive disorders in dogs indicate?

Reproductive disorders in dogs indicate health problems. Certain issues with the reproductive organs, like ovarian cysts and epididymitis, cause infertility. Others, like pyometra, are fatal if not treated. 

Dogs with reproductive disorders require veterinary attention. The consequences of disorders vary and are individually managed, depending on the circumstances. 

How to Treat reproductive disorders in dogs?

To treat reproductive disorders in dogs, follow the instructions listed below.

  1. Identify the disorder. Explain the symptoms to the veterinarian and let them perform diagnostic tests to determine the underlying conditions. 
  2. Try medications. Certain reproductive disorders in dogs, such as vaginitis in females and orchitis in males, are treatable with antibiotics. 
  3. Correct the disorder surgically. Other reproductive disorders require surgeries. One of the most common exclusively surgical conditions is pyometra in female dogs.  
  4. Care for the dog. Monitor the dog closely during its recovery period. Adhere to the vet’s guidelines and ensure cage rest for dogs that undergo surgical procedures. 

Can Canine Spaying and Neutering treat reproductive disorders in dogs?

Yes, canine spaying and neutering can treat reproductive disorders in dogs. Certain problems with the reproductive system are curable through “fixing.” 

Fixing treats pyometra and ovarian cysts in females and orchitis and testicular cancer in male dogs. Other reproductive conditions are preventable by canine spaying and neutering

What are the Symptoms of reproductive disorders in dogs?

The symptoms of reproductive disorders in dogs are listed below. 

  • Vulvar Discharge: Discharge from the vulva is a sign of a reproductive problem in female dogs. The discharge varies in type, color, and amount based on the underlying condition. Bloody discharge in a female who is not in heat is an emergency. 
  • Testicular Pain and Swelling: Pain or excessive tenderness in the testicular region is an indicator of male reproductive disorders. The dog’s scrotal sac appears enlarged and swollen. 
  • Fever: Disorders of the reproductive system cause increased body temperature. Fever refers to temperatures exceeding 103° F. 
  • Appetite Loss: Reproductive conditions in dogs are painful, which makes them disinterested in food. 
  • Lethargy: Dogs with reproductive problems have low energy levels, sleep excessively, and are disinterested in daily activities. 

Can autoimmune diseases lead to infertility in dogs?

Yes, autoimmune diseases can lead to infertility in dogs. Autoimmune conditions that affect the dog’s fertility are rare but possible. 

A link between anti-thyroideal autoantibodies and testicular inflammation was established in a study titled “Chronic Immune-Mediated Orchitis Is the Major Cause of Acquired Non-obstructive Azoospermia in Dogs,” published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science in 2022.  

Dogs with azoospermia do not have viable spermatozoa in the ejaculate and are infertile. The exact mechanism behind autoimmune diseases and infertility in dogs is poorly understood. 

What Particular Breeds are Susceptible to reproductive disorders?

The particular breeds susceptible to reproductive disorders are listed below. 

  • Labrador Retrievers: Female Labrador Retrievers are prone to pyometra, while males are at a high risk of issues like phimosis and paraphimosis. 
  • German Shepherds: Male German Shepherds are high-risk for phimosis, paraphimosis, and testicular cancer, and females are susceptible to vaginal hyperplasia.  
  • English Bulldogs: English Bulldogs are notorious for their inability to give birth naturally and require Caesarean sections. 
  • Beagles: Female Beagle members are predisposed to false pregnancies, and males to prostatic cancer and other prostate-related conditions. 

How can reproductive disorders in dogs be prevented?

Reproductive disorders in dogs can be prevented by early spaying and neutering. The procedures remove the dog’s reproductive organs, eliminating the risk of disorders. 

Spaying or neutering is not an option for dogs of high breeding value. Maintaining a healthy body weight reduces the risk of reproductive disorders in breeding dogs since obesity contributes to reproductive problems. 

Monitor the dog’s health and practice regular veterinary checkups to catch issues early on before becoming more severe.

Can Age Contribute to reproductive disorders in dogs?

Yes, age can contribute to reproductive disorders in dogs. Age is a risk factor for reproductive problems in females and males. 

Pyometra is more common in older females undergoing several heat cycles without being pregnant. Abnormal sperm morphology followed by infertility is prevalent in senior males. 

Older pregnant females are likely to experience birthing difficulties and have stillbirth puppies.