The danger to dogs of hormonal cream containing oestrogen (HRT) for use by humans has been highlighted by a 12-week-old puppy that was in season. 

The highly-unusual case surprised specialists at Paragon Veterinary Referrals in Wakefield who identified that the very young Dachshund called Lilly had been in contact with the cream where she lived, causing the remarkable symptoms.

Lilly has made a full recovery, however, in more prolonged cases contact with hormonal creams can also cause life-threatening bone marrow toxicity in dogs.

Lara Baptista, clinician in small animal internal medicine at Linnaeus-owned Paragon, said: “Lilly was presented to Paragon for further investigations of a marked swelling of the perineum and the vulva. Vaginal cytology revealed Lilly was in season, which is very unusual for such a young puppy.

“It was disclosed that one of the members of the household where Lilly lives was using a hormonal cream containing oestrogen (HRT) on their forearms and Lilly had been in contact with the area, causing her to also absorb the cream, and therefore signs of the season.

“Once contact with the cream is stopped, the clinical signs should resolve, such as is the case with Lilly.”

Lilly’s owner Kirsty Mattinson said: “We very concerned but the team at Paragon were excellent and kept us constantly updated.

“I’ve learnt an important lesson and my advice to dog owners is to keep them away from hormone products that you may use on your body.”

Paragon provides expert care in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery. 

For more information on Paragon Veterinary Referrals, visit or search for Paragon Veterinary Referrals on social media. 

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