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Golden Retriever with a tucked vulva
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Golden Retriever with a tucked vulva

We have a 6 and a half month old female Golden who was getting UTI's frequently and put on meds to help with this. Evidentally the vet is telling us that the vulva is tucked and showed us the envelope of skin that is also causing the UTI's. The vet is telling us that usually putting a dog through their first heat will allow the system to clean itself and the vulva usually pops out and clears up the issue. Other times surgery may be needed if the latter doesn't work. Now I know plenty of people who love this vet but this is the first year I have been with them since moving. I decided to call my last vet, of 9 years, who told me differently and suggested seeing someone else. Can someone tell me if this sounds right or if I really should get a second opinion. I have read up on what the heat is going to involve so with kids it could be rough. This vet also told me if we were to get her fixed with the issue at hand she could go on uti meds for life if the problem persists. As a side not she hasn't had a uti in two months but had 3 before that.
Thanks for the help. Any additional information please let me know.
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675347_tn?1365464245
Ideally it is always best (if you decide your dog should be spayed) to do this BEFORE their first season (heat) If surgery is done then, it will offer them the greatest protection against breast cancers in later life (and obviously uterine cancer) My vet told me that getting them spayed after their first heat does not protect half as much as before their first heat. In fact, he said, if spayed before their first heat, the chances of breast cancer developing are more or less nil.

When a female comes in heat, about half-way through the 3-week cycle, her vulva becomes quite swollen, and alters shape, then after a few more days it returns to its normal size and shape. No doubt this is what your vet meant by "the vulva will pop out and clear the issue." Technically it would probably work. (?)

But is it worth it?

If it were me I would quickly get a 2nd opinion, before she does come in heat for the first time. It might even be possible for her to have a little labioplasty 'tuck' made in the vulva while under anesthetic for the spaying surgery?? I don't know if this would be possible. You could always ask.
Don't feel you would be disloyal to your vet to get a 2nd opinion.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the information and suggestion. I'm definitely going to get a second opinion with my other vet.
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Avatar_m_tn
I wanted to let you know what I found out from the vet I used to take my first dog to, which was a very productive appointment. I found out that Maya has a resessed vulva which needs to surgically be corrected. There is also a narrowing where the urine builds up causing her issues as well. Basically she did have the inverted vulva and I needed to take her to a specialist for a consultation and setup the surgery at some point.

Well the specialist was very informative and also stated when he also spays her there may be a third issue on the bladder, which may need to be removed and the bladder slightly reconstructed. Forgive the lack of medical term for it but evidentally when she was still inside her mother all urine waste from the puppies flow through a connector to the mother and is dispensed when the mother urinates. When they are born it disconnected but sometimes it doesn't dissolve all the way causing UTI's as well due to a space harboring bacteria which antibiotics don't get to very well. He will check this out during the spay portion of the surgery.

Bottomline in about 2 weeks she will be much better and good to go. The surgery is roughly $2,000 but will be done tomorrow. She is part of the family so it shall be done.
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675347_tn?1365464245
I see now what was the problem with her. It's good that she is getting the surgery, and the problem has been properly identitified, instead of being mis-diagnosed, and allowed to go on and on, with mounting problems over the years. This is good.

I  send you and her all the very best wishes for tomorrow. Good luck! (I guess she will be wondering why she isn't getting fed about now! The worst thing about putting a dog in for surgery is you can't explain to them why you can't give them any food! I hate that!)

Do post back to tell us how she's doing. I do hope all goes very well tomorrow.
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Avatar_m_tn
Maya came home yesterday and we were very happy to see her. We had no idea how evasive the surgery was going to be since she has staples and stitches in three areas. I felt so bad for her even though it's better for her long term. I was up laying next to her last night since she was whimpering alot so I am pretty tired but she was happy and went right to sleep. Maya appreciated it and that is all that matters. We have another dog, which we are taking to my mothers since it's a bit hard keeping one upstairs and one downstairs. We have a rough two weeks ahead trying to keep a 7 month old from jumping, running, and pulling as she heals. I hope the days go by quickly.

I'll keep you posted and thanks again for your best wishes.
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675347_tn?1365464245
I'm glad to hear she is doing ok. She will be sore right now, but should heal ok. It is hard work making sure a dog doesn't scratch the staples and stitches....or otherwise disturb the wounds.
She'll feel a bit strange for a day or two, even an anesthetic can make her feel woozy afterwards for a day or two, and she'll be wondering what happened to her!!

I am not envious of your job the next 2 weeks! Trying to keep her from jumping around, which as soon as she feels over the surgery, she surely will start to do!

Anyway -good news it is fixed for her. Hoping her recovery is swift and hassle free (for you!) All the best. Ginger.
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