Why Female Dog Leaks Clear Fluid

dog with female owner

There are several reasons female dogs have vaginal discharge, which is usually straightforward. When this occurs, it’s often the body’s way of cleaning itself, or the discharge may begin while your dog is in heat or after giving birth. Other reasons may indicate a health concern, such as a urinary tract infection, injury, or another condition that requires immediate assistance from a veterinarian.

While many reasons cause this clear fluid, it’s essential to become familiar with the various causes of vaginal discharge, so you can determine whether it’s best to contact your vet immediately or whether it’s an expected outcome following surgery or due to postpartum symptoms.

Pregnancy and Symptoms After Labor

After a female dog gives birth, discharge is common. You may notice bloody discharge shortly after the puppies are born, and the amount of clear discharge, which usually follows, can vary. When the discharge persists, there may be cause for concern, such as a bladder infection.

If you have a pregnant dog, you may notice discharge, which can vary in color and thickness. Clear and watery discharge is expected and considered a normal vaginal discharge. However, if you notice a change to yellow or green, this may indicate complications in the pregnancy.

When the clear fluid changes to green, this may signify placental abruption, and a bloody discharge during pregnancy may indicate internal bleeding or a hemorrhage. Excessive discharge of white or yellow in color may be a sign of a ruptured amniotic sac.

When this occurs, your dog will go into labor, and the puppies will likely be delivered quickly. If you notice any of these symptoms or visual signs of discomfort in your dog or suspect a miscarriage, it’s best to contact your veterinarian immediately for an assessment.

If you notice a consistent, clear fluid, this may be a sign of miscarriage, or there may be further complications with your dog’s health that accompany the watery discharge, such as bacterial infection, vaginitis, or anal sac disease.

dog playing with clear plastic

Genetic Conditions

Some dogs have recessed sexual organs, where the skin folds over all or part of the genitalia. While this condition may not cause any major health conditions, excessive skin may cause extra body heat, when combined with urine, can increase the risk of bacteria growth, infection in and around the sexual organs, dermatitis or skin irritation, and urinary tract infections. You may notice clear fluid or discharge, which may indicate an infection, though, for most dogs, normal vaginal discharge is typically harmless.

If you adopt your pup from a reputable breeder, you can request a medical history report to determine if there are possible genetic factors that may increase the chances of specific diseases or conditions, including recessed sexual organs, certain cancers, and chronic illnesses.

Visiting Your Veterinarian

When you notice clear, odorless discharge changes in color or texture, a potentially serious condition may require more urgent attention. Your veterinarian can provide a physical examination, which includes searching for signs of infection, injury, or other abnormalities, which may cause the discharge. It’s also essential to provide as much information as possible during the visit, such as other concerning symptoms,  whether your pet is sexually active, pregnant, postpartum, or spayed.

Suppose your dog displays unusual behavior simultaneously with the discharge, such as excessive licking, pain, or discomfort. In that case, your vet may suggest running tests, including an ultrasound, to determine if there is a severe infection, cancer, or another condition, which may require a referral to a specialist.

In the event of an infection, veterinarians may prescribe medication or treatment and a modified diet. A sample of the discharge may also be used to conduct a test through a process called culturing, along with a blood test, to measure the severity of the infection, if there is any poisoning, and whether the infection has spread or if it is contained in one specific region. If a serious illness, such as blood poisoning, is found, your vet will suggest immediate treatment and further tests, including an MRI or X-ray.

giant dog with owner

Final Thoughts

When your dog produces clear odorless fluid, it’s often not of major concern, especially if it doesn’t cause pain, discomfort, or changes in your dog’s behavior. If you find the discharge excessive, it changes color, or other concerning symptoms, it’s best to visit your vet to ensure your pet is safe and healthy, with a few routine, non-invasive tests.

In most cases, these tests can give you the peace of mind that your dog is in good health, or if there’s a need for treatment, your vet can provide you with the options available to improve your pet’s health.

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