Uh, What do Normal Dog Girl Parts Look Like?

All right, I'm going to try my best to express this as best as possible without being too graphic. I have to admit, I've never taken a good look at Lucy's private area. Until today, I had always thought the vaginal opening was up by the anus and I had never noticed it before. I've been out of town the last week and I noticed Lucy licking a bit this morning. James said that she had been doing it for the last few days and the fur in the surrounding area is already stained from the licking, so I'm assuming it was more than a few times.

Upon closer inspection, the area looks a little swollen but, I have to say, I don't know what normal is supposed to look like. It kind of looks like something is swollen on the exterior which doesn't seem normal. She's about 8 or 9 years old (rescue) and spayed so it wouldn't be anything cycle related. She's never had an allergy that caused this kind of licking before and nothing has changed in her environment. She's not licking constantly so I don't think it's excruciating. I'm going to take her to the vet on Monday I think but, in the meantime, can anyone give me some insight on a) what should healthy girl parts look like from the outside? and, b) anyone had similar experiences with excessive licking?

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I can't offer any help but I just wanted to say you handled that awkward subject very delicately. . . Kudos!
"Normal" can differ from dog to dog, and breed to breed etc... a little. It can also make a difference if she had ever had a heat cycle before being spayed, or if she ever had pups before being spayed.
If she is spayed then it may be an infection... I don't think it is very common for females to get urine crystals or kidney stones?
Are you sure she is spayed? Being a rescue, they may have been wrong on that. (I was told Abby was spayed as well but she was pregnant) If she's not spayed she could be in heat.
If she is spayed, as willowsprite said the "normal" can vary from animal to animal. But it is entirely normal that a spayed female has a little thin and clear discharge coming out. Nothing to worry about it just may itch her a bit or "tickle" for a lack of better words. If she isn't spayed she might be going into a late heat or she could be showing signs of early pyometra but those dogs generally are lethargic and you would have noticed a pus like substance coming out. She might just have a UTI. Female dogs are more prone to UTI since their urethra is so short as opposed to male dogs.
As far as I know and can remember from the reproductive class I had in school, a normal "female part" should be pinkish in color with little or no discharge and not look swollen (size obviously varies).
My dog had something like what yours has I think. It sounds the same. She was always licking and sometimes she would have some discharge coming out which bothered her, hence the licking. Nothing was every wrong and I took her to the vet. It was old age for her and she was probably 9 or 10 at the time.
Hope that helps a bit. I can do some more research in my books if you'd like.

There is no doubt she was spayed-- in fact she was "spayed" twice. When I first got her, they didn't think she was and I took her to get spayed and got a phone call later that day. Expecting the worst, my heart dropped but the vet just informed me that she was fine but the surgery had been unnecessary since she was already spayed. Poor Lucy limped around for a week after that. I felt terrible.

There doesn't seem to be any discharge that I can see. She seems fine and I'm probably just worried for nothing. For all I know, she's always looked like this. I don't exactly spend a lot of time gazing in that area. I don't think she licked it once today. Since she's white, the bronzing is very obvious from the licking which probably makes it worse. I'll keep an eye on her tomorrow and see how things look and if she looks uncomfortable then, I'll take her in just to be safe. now that she's getting older I worry about every little change!
Maggie was doing a lot of licking of the area when I first got her, and the surrounding hair was a dark brown from the licking. I asked my vet about it and he prescribed some ointment in case it was an infection. Unfortunately at that time, I had just got her and her temperament was rather nasty and when she tried to bite me when I would try to apply it, I decided that my hand was more valuable and I would postpone the remedy until she felt more comfortable with my handling. Meanwhile the problem seems to have gone away.
She may just be irritated for some reason, i.e. sat on something, bug bite. If it doesn't go away in a day or so, you're best to take her to the vet. Annie once received a much too shot haircut and she was irritated by the razor down there. She allowed me to put Neosporin on her and she was better within a day. I did put a mens' undershirt over her back legs and tied it around her body so she couldn't lick. The Neosporin helped to soothe the area.
The only time my parents' dog licks excessively in 'that' area is because she has a urinary infection, which she is prone to get. We can also tell because she smells AWFUL. I don't really examine my dogs down there either, so I can't help you on the look aspect.
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