Inverted Vulva

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Inverted Vulva

Postby I<3mypit » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:21 pm

So Dixie (our 4 month old pit bull) has had two bladder infections. We recently took her to the vet and she discovered Dixie has an inverted vulva. I had never heard of such of thing but she showed us how it sits and why she keeps getting infections. The vet suggested we clean her every day to keep bacteria away that might build up.

So here is my question, I have been told by others that I should let her go into her first heat cycle because the swelling may cause it to straighten back out. Does anyone know if this is true?

I really wanted to get her spayed in January, but I do not want her to have continues infections throughout her life.
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Re: Inverted Vulva

Postby BrokenAquarian » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:11 pm

I've also heard that lack of growth is the problem. The hormones are what cause growth of the vulva. When you take out the uterus and ovaries - there's no more hormone production and no more growth.

My dog has a small vulva, due to spaying at 6 months - pre heat.

My next female-intact pup will go through a heat first - if her "bits" seem too small.
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Re: Inverted Vulva

Postby Sarah » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:44 pm

Yes, you need to let her have a season. Sorry.
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Re: Inverted Vulva

Postby Misskiwi67 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:14 pm

The vulva will shrink again after she is spayed, and to my knowledge there are no studies showing having a season will help. However, it is still the most commonly recommended treatment because your next option is a surgery called epesioplasty which involves giving the vulva a "lift" and it's a moderately uncomfortable procedure for the dog.
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Re: Inverted Vulva

Postby BrokenAquarian » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:39 pm

Maybe it's not so much about the spay, but the fact that the dog is only a pup at 6 months old. Letting the dog grow for a bit longer is probably what helps.
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Re: Inverted Vulva

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:13 am

BrokenAquarian wrote:Maybe it's not so much about the spay, but the fact that the dog is only a pup at 6 months old. Letting the dog grow for a bit longer is probably what helps.


Conformation is conformation. If she's tucked way up in there, getting taller isn't going to do much.

You just hope a heat cycle swells things up enough that it sticks out a bit more. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Its also quite possible the pup will grow out of it as the immune system matures, with or without early spay. I'm not saying to spay as planned, the typical treatment is to let her go through a heat cycle, I'm just making sure the owner is prepared that the treatment is anecdotal and may or may not work.
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Re: Inverted Vulva

Postby Sarah » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:22 pm

Misskiwi67 wrote:
Conformation is conformation. If she's tucked way up in there, getting taller isn't going to do much.
.


Not really, growing isn't just about getting taller, a lot of body proportions change as an individual (of any species) matures. It's not at all uncommon for an adolescent pup to look out of proportion, weird topline, no neck, etc; and then mature into a lovely well proportioned adult. No reason the vulva can't go through similar changes to the rest of the body.

Also, while the vulva may shrink after she's spayed, not all bitches go back to pre-spay size. I've seen it on my own bitches (both spayed at 4 or 5 years); Tully looks like she might have been spayed at 6 months, Tess still has a more prominent vulva.

It is true that the treatment of letting the pup go through a heat cycle may not work, but it's certainly worth trying.
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Re: Inverted Vulva

Postby BrokenAquarian » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:54 pm

Both of my dogs are bigger than they were at 6 months old - not just taller. They are definitely not done growing at that age.

I've noticed that the sex organs of many dogs stay under developed when spuetered before maturity. They grow bigger when left intact. Male's have "weenies" opposed to "Dongs" lol
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Re: Inverted Vulva

Postby I<3mypit » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:05 pm

The vet said letting her go through a season may or may not help. It is kinda of hit and miss and as she goes it could correct herself. From what I can tell from the responses it has not been verified either way. She is doing well and the infection has been cleared up but I will continue to monitor her closely and clean her if need be.

I would much rather just have her spayed in January like we had intended, I never felt comfortable letting a dog go through a season.
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Re: Inverted Vulva

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:49 pm

BrokenAquarian wrote:Both of my dogs are bigger than they were at 6 months old - not just taller. They are definitely not done growing at that age.

I've noticed that the sex organs of many dogs stay under developed when spuetered before maturity. They grow bigger when left intact. Male's have "weenies" opposed to "Dongs" lol


And developing more muscle (or more fat) as a dog gets older can cause the problem to get worse as well.

I have seen MANY dogs that were so tucked, there wasn't anything but surgery that was going to help them. The marginal ones are often helped by a season.
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Re: Inverted Vulva

Postby irkenequine » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:21 am

A vulvoplasty is a very quick and easy surgery, especially if she's already going ot be under for a spay. My roommate's puppy just had it done along with her spay and it wasn't more than an extra 100 bucks. Dissolvable sutures and she was done! When you think about it, if it saves you ONE vet visit for a UTI, its paid for itself...and then you don't have to wait on a heat cycle.
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Re: Inverted Vulva

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:32 pm

irkenequine wrote:A vulvoplasty is a very quick and easy surgery, especially if she's already going ot be under for a spay. My roommate's puppy just had it done along with her spay and it wasn't more than an extra 100 bucks. Dissolvable sutures and she was done! When you think about it, if it saves you ONE vet visit for a UTI, its paid for itself...and then you don't have to wait on a heat cycle.


Mmmm... its actually a fairly painful area to get "tucked" and severe problems can occur if the dog cannot be kept from licking the incision line. I really don't think it should be considered as quick and easy as all that.

My first practice performed epidurals on dogs undergoing vulvoplasty, i think that was mild overkill, but still, this is a painful surgery. Maybe, like many surgeries, it is much less of a problem as a puppy than as an adult, but I have no experience to go by.
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Re: Inverted Vulva

Postby irkenequine » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:19 pm

Mmmm... its actually a fairly painful area to get "tucked" and severe problems can occur if the dog cannot be kept from licking the incision line. I really don't think it should be considered as quick and easy as all that.

My first practice performed epidurals on dogs undergoing vulvoplasty, i think that was mild overkill, but still, this is a painful surgery. Maybe, like many surgeries, it is much less of a problem as a puppy than as an adult, but I have no experience to go by.


Although I'm sure that can happen, I have never seen one complication or lingering pain from the ones I've assisted on. Nothing short of take-home tramadol. We definitely didn't do epidurals. You mean like, with PF Morph in the SPINE, for a vulvoplasty?! I have never heard of that....and I work at a VCA hospital where pain management's the specialty. (its practically a motto) though we don't ever do them here as most of them are done at GP's. Every one I've ever watched its like a cat neuter (including my roommate's dog last month). Cut out a crescent of skin, put in 6-10 sutures. Not invasive, doesn't necessarily have direct contact with the vulva or naything internal...just removes a fold of skin to pull it upwards and outwards. Perhaps there are more complicated and complex ones for serious malformations, but the ones I'm familiar with definitely are quick and painless. You're right though, I'm sure its much easier on a puppy than an established adult.
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