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Old 06-21-2010, 06:10 PM
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Unhappy Inverted Vulva/Vaginitis

Hi. As some of you know Carly has been having recurring UTI's/puppy vaginitis since she was 9 weeks old. She's gotten better at not licking herself, but she still has to go outside to pee every hour or she will have an accident in the house. Anyway, we have been going very aggresively at this with our vet: she's shaved down there and she gets flushings every week, she's on prescription food, clavomox, a probiotic, and some sort of vitamin to help with the urinary tract. She's almost 5 months old now and we are discussing spaying with the vet. We've been to 5 vets and 4 of them say to wait and let her go through a heat to see if it will help clear up her vaginitis- none of the others outside our current have mentioned the inverted vulva, but it is very inverted from looking at it. Our current vet is very pro spay but her partner is very pro waiting. Anyway, they both looked at her today and they said that her vulva is the most inverted they have ever seen (and they've seen a lot!) and even the vet that is pro waiting said that she isn't very confident that waiting will help her vulva pop out as much as it would need to. So, I thought I was already decided and I was going to let her go through a heat and then pray that she doesn't get mammatory cancer later in life. Well now I am not sure what to do. I may wait and then it wouldn't do any good, then I increased her risks of cancer for nothing. So, I guess I am looking for some guidance from people that have dealt with inverted vulvas. Does the vulva really pop out a lot during a heat? I just don't know what to do. I'm so heartbroken for her and worried.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:57 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about Carly, I went through something similar with my puppy.

If it were me, I would wait to spay her (and I'm not a vet or anything, but if something like this happened to me again I would definitely wait to spay). The vet that Maddie went to at the time said it would be fine to spay her and I listened to him. But after that she kept getting recurring UTI's and the next vet I brought her to said she shouldn't have been spayed.

Eventually I brought her to a specialist and they diagnosed her with an inverted vulva (they said that she was "very folded") and they recommended surgery. I can't remember the name right now ... I would have to look through her folder. But they said that the surgery had no guarantees that it would help (they also agreed that if she hadn't been spayed it might have popped out more with a heat cycle). The cost of the surgery was around $1500 if I remember correctly. I ultimately decided against the surgery and decided to wait and see if her immune system would catch up - something that the vet had also mentioned. Maddie's UTI's were always E Coli and the vet said that E Coli can be very difficult to clear up.

She's almost 2.5 years old now and she very recently (past week or so) got another UTI, but this was her first one in a VERY long time. Also, she just ran out of Cran-tri-c so I'm thinking that might have been a contributing factor. I am hoping that after the antibiotics she will be ok again for awhile ...

I really hope that Carly starts to feel better soon and it sounds like you are doing everything that you can to help! Hang in there ...
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:00 PM
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Letting her go through one season will not raise her risk of breast cancer that much, so I would not let that be my decision maker. In 30 years of owning intact bitches, I have had 1 with breast cancer (she died at age 13) and know of one other with breast canceer (she died at age 12). It is out there but is less common than other cancers such as hemangio or lymphoma.

I think it would be worth it just to see if it will work. If it does work, she won't need the surgery for it and if it doesn't, hopefully they can do the surgery while she is being spayed.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:03 PM
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I have never dealt with an inverted vulva, but one dog I picked up off the streets went into heat a few weeks later. boy - there were some major swellings going on down there.

this is the only time I've seen a dog in heat since I am very pro spay and neuter, but I was absolutely amazed at the difference.

If you don't get enough answers here, might I suggest you put a post about physical changes during the heat cycle under the breeder's or main thread? More people who have dealt with the heat cycle might see your post.

I hope it all works out well for your pup.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
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I think it would be worth it just to see if it will work. If it does work, she won't need the surgery for it and if it doesn't, hopefully they can do the surgery while she is being spayed.
That is a really good point! I think that makes a lot of sense.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:40 PM
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My Sara had an inverted vulva and at 9 weeks she had a UTI, with antiobotics it cleared up in a couple of weeks. I know all dogs are different but she never had any problems with it in the 13 years after. We would regularly clean her, but she never had any other issues. She was spayed as well.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:45 PM
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Does tthe vaginal area stay swelled after heat is over..or does it go back down to the original size? So does that mean it would become inverted again after heat..or does it stay a bit enlarged? Sorry if I sound dumb..Im just wondering....
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
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Does tthe vaginal area stay swelled after heat is over..or does it go back down to the original size? So does that mean it would become inverted again after heat..or does it stay a bit enlarged? Sorry if I sound dumb..Im just wondering....
It will come back down some, but will definitely stay larger than it was originally. I'm in the don't spay yet group.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:30 PM
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Let her go though a heat cycle - I've had two bitches with inverted vulva's and the heat cycle cleared things up.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:18 AM
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Thanks IowaGold, then that makes sense.
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