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    Thread: Hooded vulva

    1. #1
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      Amelia's Avatar
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      Hooded vulva

      I have been reading some of the pros and cons of spaying a dog with this condition since our Amber has a hooded vulva. Our vet said going through a heat sometimes corrects this issue but not always the case. Just like spaying early or after a heat seems to have pros and cons as well. Just wondering if anyone else has recently gone through this.

    2. #2
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      I have not, but a lot of people I know have. Waiting one or two heats can resolve it. So, you wait. And, if not, then you can manage and see how it goes or you can opt for a vulvaplasty (basically a 'lift') which will resolve the situation. It's common and often a wait and see situation.

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      None of our dogs have had that but I delayed having Lark spayed until after her first heat for whatever other health benefits there are from waiting, skeletal, etc. I'd never had a dog in heat before and for us, it really didn't seem too bad an experience. She did not have her first heat until she was 15 months old. I got some of the washable dog diapers and used panty liners inside. We didn't get any stains inside on the rugs, she was pretty good about keeping the pants on. We didn't experience any neighborhood male dogs coming around looking for a hook up with her. We had her stay in the yard rather than take her on walks but where we are, it wasn't necessary to keep her leashed up all the time- she could still run around in the back yard like she usually does. I don't leave my dogs outside for long periods and she was supervised. Were I to have a pup with a hooded vulva, I wouldn't fear having her go through a heat session or two to see if it corrected.

      One of our previous members who passed away a year ago or so was quite outspoken on the benefits of waiting one or 2 heat sessions to see if the anatomy corrected itself for females with this condition. I'm not sure if her webpage is even available any longer but she was a resource for many people on that issue and I seem to recall many folks saying how glad they were to have waited. I'll see if any of the old threads on that are still around.

      Here's the thread that Patty had regarding inverted vulvas. I hope you find it helpful. You can also use the search box and type in inverted vulva to see if there's any other info on here.

      Recessed/Inverted Vulvas - A Must Read

    4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to smartrock For This Useful Post:

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    5. #4
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      Thanks for the responses. We have had a lot of female dogs of different breeds and have never had one go through a heat. This could very well be our first then. If she goes into heat early I'm trying to picture keeping any kind of dog diaper on her since she is still quite a chewer!

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      Coming in late but Sarah has the same problem, in fact she came to us at 8 weeks with a uti. We got that cleared up and around 4 months she had another uti we got that cleared up and at 6 months she was spayed. We haven't had any trouble with uti's since, knock on wood.

      You just have to read take in the information and proceed with what you feel comfortalbe with doing.

      We rescued Ginger at 2 years old, a week or so after we got her she came in to heat. We found those doggie diaper panties that worked well for her, they also have them in bigger dog sizes so that might help keeping everything in place.
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    7. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Amelia View Post
      I have been reading some of the pros and cons of spaying a dog with this condition since our Amber has a hooded vulva. Our vet said going through a heat sometimes corrects this issue but not always the case. Just like spaying early or after a heat seems to have pros and cons as well. Just wondering if anyone else has recently gone through this.
      I would absolutely wait to spay, at least one heat cycle, then reevaluate, and maybe a second, and i love your vet for encouraging you to let her go through a season or two. The bitch puppies of my last litter, (I kept one and sold the rest) are all in season right now and its a little bit of a pain for pet families, but tolerable. I advise keeping them girls away from intact males for at least a full 30 days from the first spotting.
      The hormones act to mature and swell those vulvar tissues and it "pops" out. There are of course rare cases where is needs surgical revision, but a heat cycle or two usually does it. None of the bitch puppies in this litter had an 'inverted', or 'hooded' vulvas, but I have had them before. Sometimes urine collects in the folds, and it a great environment for bacterial urinary tract infections. To prevent that from happening, I have had good results with keeping the tuft of fur on the vulva trimmed short, (so bacteria cannot travel up the hairs to the urinary bladder), wipe her vulvar area with in unscented baby wipe at least a couple times a day, or every time she urinates, and supplement with sugar free/dye free additive free cranberry capsules or powder until the first heat cycle. My puppies have eaten the cranberry caps like candy, but they are Labs, they will eat almost anything. Good luck I hope it corrects naturally!

    8. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
      I would absolutely wait to spay, at least one heat cycle, then reevaluate, and maybe a second, and i love your vet for encouraging you to let her go through a season or two. The bitch puppies of my last litter, (I kept one and sold the rest) are all in season right now and its a little bit of a pain for pet families, but tolerable. I advise keeping them girls away from intact males for at least a full 30 days from the first spotting.
      The hormones act to mature and swell those vulvar tissues and it "pops" out. There are of course rare cases where is needs surgical revision, but a heat cycle or two usually does it. None of the bitch puppies in this litter had an 'inverted', or 'hooded' vulvas, but I have had them before. Sometimes urine collects in the folds, and it a great environment for bacterial urinary tract infections. To prevent that from happening, I have had good results with keeping the tuft of fur on the vulva trimmed short, (so bacteria cannot travel up the hairs to the urinary bladder), wipe her vulvar area with in unscented baby wipe at least a couple times a day, or every time she urinates, and supplement with sugar free/dye free additive free cranberry capsules or powder until the first heat cycle. My puppies have eaten the cranberry caps like candy, but they are Labs, they will eat almost anything. Good luck I hope it corrects naturally!
      We have been giving her a cranberry supplement and I clean her with unscented baby wipes each time she urinates. The vet was going to try getting a urine sample at her office doing a Cystocentesis but even though we didn't let her out before the visit she said her bladder wasn't full and couldn't do the test. Apparently when you try collecting a sample in your yard there is a good chance of contamination and the dog might not really have a UTI. She has not shown any recent signs of a UTI and no accidents in the house. We take her back Tuesday to the vet and she will see the other doctor there so we will get his opinion. Thanks for your help!

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