"Lily" the Vaginoscopy
"Lily" , an 8 year old intact female dog, presented to her veterinarian with a difficult history of vaginal bleeding that had been going on for a few days. Initially the owner thought she was in heat but it seemed to persist longer than expected.
General exam was normal with the exception of bloody type discharge from her vulva, and all other testing was within normal limits.
The decision was made to spay Lily, and this was performed the following morning. 7 days post surgery she was still experiencing bloody discharge and now had a small "lump" at her back end between the vulva and anus. A digital exam revealed a thickening at the entrance to the vagina and the regular veterinarian recomended vaginoscopy to evaluate further.
A vaginoscopy was performed and immediately revealed diffusely prolific and abnormal tissue within the vagina. The mucosa was thickened, inflamed, and fibrinous. Examination of the urethra was performed and deemed normal.
Biopsy samples of the vaginal mucosa were collected and sent to the lab.
Unfortunately, a diagnosis came back as a vaginal sarcoma and the owners elected not to pursue an oncology referral.
In general, vaginal sarcomas are not very commonly diagnosed in veterinary medicine. Prognosis of tumors of this type tend to be poor, so it is fortunate that they are relatively rare. In this case, the fact that Lily was unspayed may have increased her risk for this type of neoplasia, but we can't be certain. It was worthwhile performing vaginoscopy here because sometimes we find benign polyps that can be removed. In these cases the prognosis is excellent as removal of the cause will alleviate the problem.