Dear VetBabble: Why is My Chihuahua Howling, Licking Her Private Part, and Not Eating? Could it Be a Serious Issue?
We understand that seeing your chihuahua in distress and exhibiting unusual behavior can be worrisome. There are several possible causes for these symptoms, which we will explore in detail. However, we want to emphasize that you should consider this situation an emergency and seek urgent veterinary care for your pet. In the meantime, here’s some general information on possible causes and what to look out for:
Spay Urinary Incontinence in Dogs
If your dog has been spayed, one possible reason for her symptoms could be spay urinary incontinence. This condition is more common in larger breed dogs, but it can affect any dog species. Spay urinary incontinence occurs when the sphincter muscle around the urethra loses its ability to function properly. The result is unwanted urine leakage, leading to excessive licking of the private area and discomfort. If this is the cause, your veterinarian can help you manage the condition through medications and lifestyle changes.
Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs
Another explanation for your chihuahua’s symptoms could be a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs in dogs are often caused by bacteria entering the urethra and migrating upward into the bladder or kidneys. This can result in pain, frequent urination, and discomfort. If you suspect a UTI, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment. If left untreated, the infection can worsen and cause severe health issues for your dog.
Pyometra in Dogs
As you mentioned that your dog is not spayed, a possible cause of her symptoms is pyometra – a life-threatening infection of the uterus. Pyometra can occur in female dogs that haven’t been spayed, typically a few weeks after a heat cycle. The infection can cause fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and increased licking of the private area due to discharge. Pyometra is considered an emergency situation, and immediate veterinary care is crucial. In many cases, surgery (spaying) is necessary to remove the infected uterus and treat the condition.
Vaginitis in Dogs
Vaginal infections (vaginitis) can also lead to discomfort and increased licking of the private area in female dogs. While any dog can develop vaginitis, it’s more common in unspayed females. Symptoms may include discomfort, swelling, and discharge. Your veterinarian can diagnose vaginitis through a physical examination and laboratory tests, and they will determine the appropriate treatment based on the underlying cause of the infection.
Bladder Stones in Dogs
Bladder stones are another potential cause of your chihuahua’s symptoms. These stones are mineral formations that occur in your dog’s urinary tract and can lead to inflammation, pain, and discomfort in the private area. If your dog has bladder stones, she may experience frequent urination and struggle to pass urine. Bladder stones require veterinary attention and, depending on the size and location, may need to be surgically removed or dissolved through medication.
In conclusion, it’s essential to rush your chihuahua to a veterinarian immediately, as some of these conditions, such as pyometra, can be life-threatening. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose the cause of her symptoms and provide the necessary treatment. If your dog does have pyometra, spaying is part of the treatment. Urgent care is crucial in this situation, so if there isn’t an ER vet clinic in your area, you can find a vet on call for emergencies through clinic answering machines or websites.
Best of luck, and we hope your chihuahua makes a speedy recovery.