There is something rarely mentioned about the effects of spaying.
A spayed female's vulva tends to be smaller and deeper than a non spayed gal. You see, when a bitch goes into heat the vulva enlarges, becomes swollen. It sort of fills the space. Picture the dog's vulva as a garlic clove in a cup. The natural vulva is like a large garlic clove filling the cup, while a spayed vulva is a small garlic clove sitting lonely at the bottom of the cup. You might say the non spayed vulva never builds up, or rather you might say, it atrophies from non use.
This smaller vulva presents, as my vet says, as an "immature conformation".
So what, you ask?
The deeper vulva construction is more vulnerable to infection. When there is so much space in a sort of deep dark dirty well, germs and yeast and who knows what just naturally gather. These villians travel on down that well and pretty soon the dog has a bladder infection.
What's the conscientious owner of a spayed dog to do?
Keep it as clean as you can. Most of us don't bathe our dog, and hence her nether zone, as often as we bathe ourselves. Still, there are ways to keep her clean short of a full bath. You could squirt her between the legs with the garden hose. You could soap up a wash cloth and scrub her area then rinse off the cloth and repeat.
After some bladder infections and vulvitis episodes occurred with some of my girls, I started a new daily routine. The good girl rolls over on her back and allows me to drop some diluted iodine onto her vulva.
So far so good.
Keeping our fingers (but not our legs!) crossed.