Recessed Vulvas/Surgery

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How You Doin'?
Barked: Tue Feb 1, '11 11:43pm PST 
I am looking for any input anyone can give me on Chance’s latest health problems. If we are being stupid, let me know. If anyone else has had this problem, we would love to hear what you did!


Yesterday, Chance was diagnosed with a slightly recessed vulva. She is a rescue and was spayed just before she turned 6 months old. She will be 4 in April and is of a muscular build.

Today, her urinalysis came back with another UTI. We have antibiotics and are waiting for the culture results.
This is either her 2nd UTI since November or the same one she had in November didn’t get cleared and wasn't picked up in the December urinalysis. It would be her 3rd UTI in 2 years if it is a different one.

She had an ultrasound of her bladder/kidney area in December. That showed no problems.

She did have a lot of vulvar irritation and inflammation on Jan. 3 and WBCs showed up in her urinalysis that was done the same day.

Because of her 3 (?) UTIs in 2 years, the vet wants Chance to go to a specialist for an endoscopic exam of her bladder to check for excess tissue that can trap bacteria and any other problems.
We are going to schedule a consultation tomorrow.


What is bothering us is surgery to correct the vulva has already come up. Her vet said she and both specialists (from 2 different clinics) think Chance is a good candidate.

I did a bunch of research tonight and everything I read said that is more for owners who are unwilling to keep the vulva clean or dogs that keep getting UTIs even with cranberry supplements and their owners being diligent with the cleaning or dogs with urinary incontinence and UTIs. Chance isn't incontinent.

Jan. 3, the vet gave us a prescription ear wash/skin wash to use to wipe Chance's vulva and keep the bacterial growth under control. There was no sign of irritation or inflammation yesterday.

Jan. 8, we started using Cranberry Relief to help prevent UTIs.
It looks like she had a UTI when we started it though.

The antibiotic course for a UTI is very short (I found out thanks to Dogster), only 10 days.
When the culture comes back, we want Chance to be on antibiotics for longer to make sure the UTI is gone.
Once the UTI is gone, she will have the endoscopy.

Then we want to see if the Cranberry Relief and wiping her vulva a couple of times a day to keep it clean of urine and using the prescription ear wash or vinegar/water if she will tolerate it to keep down the growth of bacteria keeps her UTI free.
Shellie - *RIP*

Barked: Wed Feb 2, '11 9:33am PST 
Shellie had a recessed Vulva, which corrected with her first heat cycle, she was spayed after. She had 3 UTI's before her surgery, and hasn't had one since (over a year) (knocking on wood). We do give her the cranberry just in case since she's prone to them. I use Berry Balance by Solid Gold. I don't have any experience with the surgery though.
Bernadette- 02/05/04 - 09/25/08

Ripped out of my- family\'s arms- too soon

Barked: Wed Feb 2, '11 9:47am PST 
When I was about 2 years old I had some leakage issues. I had a recessed vulva (our vet called it a hooded vulva) and I had to have an episioplasty. Mom calls it my Booty Tuck.

It was a difficult recovery, as I wanted to lick it desperately. I was given the "cone of shame" for about 4 days, and watched like a hawk.

The hooded vulva caused my urine to pool in my vagina so it would leak out, and sometimes cause me to have an infection.

Once my booty tuck was done, it was much better! I looked totally normal!

Jenny, my sister has a hooded vulva, but it isn't causing her any issues.

Hope all goes well for you!little angel


How You Doin'?
Barked: Wed Feb 2, '11 10:27am PST 
Monday, her vet didn't think it was recessed enough to require surgery if we cleaned it once a day.

We're supposed to watch for leakage and so far we haven't found any evidence that she does that.

Her vet is concerned about "excessive UTIs". I'm not sure what is considered excessive though.

Her 1st UTI was in Dec. 2008.
We'd had a lot of snow (for here) and it was unusually cold - cold enough that the snow stuck around for weeks. Chance was out playing in it for a minimum of 6 hours a day every day plus going for walks of a couple of hours at night.
That urinalysis showed she wasn't drinking nearly enough water and she wasn't peeing much. Her vet felt that was the cause of that one.

Her 2nd UTI was in Nov. 2010.
We've been having a very wet rainy season and she loves to slog through the mud and muck. She usually comes back a grayish, brown color with globs of clay stuck in her fur. So she always has to get rinsed off in the tub and then she falls asleep damp.
Apparently that makes for a good breeding ground for bacteria.
We make sure she gets plenty of water but she sometimes holds her pee, especially if we try to get a free-catch sample. Once we try (and fail) she will hold it for the rest of the day if needed to keep us from getting one.

Her 3rd UTI was diagnosed Feb. 1 (yesterday) but her Jan. 3 urinalysis did show WBCs present.
Her vet said yesterday that it very well could be the same UTI from Nov. 2010 and the antibiotic course may have been enough to supress it but not get rid of all the bacteria.

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Wed Feb 2, '11 5:04pm PST 
We've been dealing with vulva dermatitis issues with Rexy for almost a year now, so I can empathize. hug

The episioplasty surgery has been suggested to us as well, which in our situation is kinda silly in my opinion, as from the additional research I've done, and the food changes, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have made a difference and we'd be out $900 with a dog that still had persistent issues.

I'm assuming that Chance's urine pH has been tested? Is it in the normal range? Has the bladder been examined by ultrasound?

I can't remember from the original post, but have you gotten a second opinion?

ETA: Just wanted to add that clipping the fur around the vulva has made a huge difference for Rexy (and it removes a large source of bacteria). Cleaning is quicker, easier, and much more thorough. Keeping the area as dry as possible is key (swimming and playing in the mud is fine, so long as you clean and dry the area afterwards).

Feel free to p-mail me!

Edited by author Wed Feb 2, '11 5:07pm PST


How You Doin'?
Barked: Wed Feb 2, '11 5:22pm PST 
I have looked back through as many of the urinalyis reports as show up on her e-records.

Her pH values have been:
3/2009 = 6 (wellness exam)

9/2009 = 8 (can't remember why we had this)

6/2010 = 7 (wellness exam)

9/2010 = 7 (accidents, realized ingesting a lot of water playing in wading pool, solved by waking her up to pee an hour after she ate)

11/2010 = 7 (UTI --- unusual urination, vulvar irritation, rash on belly)

12/2010 = 6.5 (recheck, RBCs and trace of blood, cysto collection)

1/3/2010 = 6 (recheck for RBCs, WBCs found, vulvar irritation/inflammation)

1/31/2010 = 7.5 (UTI --- recheck for WBCs)*** vet said this could be the same UTI from 11/2010

Ultrasound in December was fine.

3/2009 was the last time her urine came back clear, every other one has been cloudy.

The Sept. 2010 visit had to be done by cysto because we couldn't get a sample. It was Labor Day weekend so we had to see the relief vet to have it done. When the urinalysis came back clean the next day, she put on the chart that it was urinary incontinence and we haven't been able to get that diagnosis changed.

ETA: Rexy, I'll be PMing you in the next day or so. Thanks!

ETA again: No 2nd opinion yet. We've decided to see what the specialist says at the consult when they've actually seen Chance in "person". I've decided to have her records reviewed by a different vet clinic to get a 2nd opinion on if the scope is needed. I hate her having to be put under again so soon (her last was Jan. 31). Fresh eyes may help!

And Dogster really needs to make it so you can still see previous posts when replying!

Edited by author Wed Feb 2, '11 5:28pm PST

Ginger DSA- ThD TT CGC - &hearts

My Angel
Barked: Thu Feb 3, '11 4:08pm PST 
I have not heard of surgery but I had to clean the vulva/surrounding area for Ginger we think it was due to her spondylosis, she wasn't able to clean herself because she couldn't bend her back. My vet had me use Malacetic wipes for it and I never had a problem once we started using those.

How You Doin'?
Barked: Thu Feb 3, '11 5:00pm PST 
We are going tomorrow to a different vet to get a 2nd opinion on if she has chronic UTIs that would warrant the bladder scope and surgery.
We'll be taking all 34 pages of her medical records along with us for him to look over.

I've been to this clinic twice with a friend and have seen 2 vets in action.
The last time I watched the vet we will be seeing tomorrow doing a rear leg amputation through the surgical room windows.

We specifically requested him because he's been a vet long enough to have a daughter who is a vet (and happens to work there too). His special interests are surgery and reproductive health so I figure he should know his stuff where vulvas are concerned.
If he agrees with Chance's vet then we make the appointment with the specialist for a consultation.

Her culture came back positive for Proteus bacteria. We'll be continuing with the Baytril. I asked the vet about a longer course so Chance will be on Baytril for 3 weeks instead of just 10 days.
Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Fri Feb 4, '11 8:41am PST 
Never had a female dog, so I'm not all up on the vulva stuff, I did have a question though. A dog at our vet kept getting frequent UTIs and we couldn't figure out why. Turns out she just had hygiene issues, she'd literally squat and pee in the dirt, dragging her vulva through all the dirt and urine (really nasty). Have you watched Chance urinate, could this be some kind of contributing factor?

How You Doin'?
Barked: Fri Feb 4, '11 12:51pm PST 
When she pees, she stays high enough that it was very easy to get a free catch urine sample from her.
Now she's older and wiser and pretty darn impossible to get anything under her before she realizes it and stops peeing.
We're going to have to try the ladle method next time and then we're out of ideas.

And half the time she doesn't squat at all.
She learned how to hike her leg so she could mark things from another female dog.
We get funny looks when she hikes her leg and people tall us "He's a pretty dog" and we say "Thanks but she's a female."
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