Anybody Have Experience with an Inverted / Recessed Vulva in a Puppy?

Ava has just been diagnosed with this, and it seems to be the cause of her recurring UTIs and Vaginitis. She has had four UTIs in less than six months and round after round of antibiotics, which is a huge concern. She's taking vitamin and cranberry supplements, fish oils caps and FortiFlora, and I use antibacterial baby wipes, but her problems persist.

Apparently, it's congenital and can self-correct with growth, but Ava's has not and at 8-1/2 months, she's pretty much grown. If it doesn't self-correct or is not surgically corrected, she could suffer a lifetime of chronic UTIs. This was really tough news, and the options aren't great. The vet says letting her come in season might correct the problem, but it's equally likely that it will not, and not spaying her comes with other risks. And the thought of reconstructive surgery is awful– she's just a baby! Does anyone have experience with this or know anyone who has? I could really use some advice. It's horrible for poor Ava and for me, too.

I would wait and let her come in season to see if that helps. I have never heard of anyone with this issue, but if a season might help, give it a try. She should be in season by early Oct and out by Nov, you would need to wait 8 weeks post season before spaying, and that is not a big deal.

I would tend to agree with Lisa and let her come into season and see if it self corrects. I have never heard of any Basenji with this issue…. however in just a quick seach about it, seems that all say do not spay before at least one season and see is it self corrects.

I'm sorry. I don't have any experience with this, but if i'm reading right, there's a 50% chance having her come into season would correct it? I think i'd try that, you can always have the surgery done when she's being spayed.

Thanks for the responses! I had never heard of it, either, and it doesn't seem to run in Ava's line. The vulva can swell and "pop out" during her first heat… or not. There's no way to tell. Apparently, Ava's case is fairly serious and self-correction seems unlikely. The vet also said that letting them come in season doesn't help that many pups... and most pups don't have recurring UTIs before or after. Those that have UTIs before are likely to be plagued with them for life. Ava's case is unfortunate. I'm just devastated by this. I really am.

I spent quite a bit of time researching it, because it's not something anyone seems to know much about. Going through a heat cycle seems to help about half the pups, and some take two heat cycles to make a difference. For most, it doesn't become "normal"– it just corrects enough to lessen or alleviate the chronic UTI problem. Sometimes, the vulva swells and pops out, then goes back to the way it was. Seems like a big crap shoot, and some are luckier than others.

IMO (and this is just my opinion), unless your Vet has had lots of experience with this and with this in the Basenji breed, I would still let her go into season and see what happens. Some breeds do not swell that much and maybe that is why your Vet is thinking it might not work, Basenjis on the other hand, in my experience, swell LOTS… therefore I would think that it could resolve itself.

My vet hasn't had a lot of experience with this, Pat, and Ava is only one of two Basenjis in the practice. Ava has been examined numerous times, and nobody ever mentioned anything about this– and of course, I had never heard of it! I Googled it after a woman mentioned it at the puppy park (what did we ever do without the Internet!) and saw that was Ava's problem. The vet agreed. I think she believes that Ava won't swell enough to overcome the deep recess, but it's encouraging to know that Bs swell a lot! It's a miracle that I haven't already had her spayed, since the appointment was originally scheduled right after Memorial Day and was postponed. I hope it resolves itself. It will be so awful for Ava if it doesn't.

So far, I haven't heard of a single Basenji that has had this.

I agree with Pat, basenjis swell a lot, so do whippets, they both look like they have a cauliflower sticking out for a week or so.

So sorry to hear of the issue Ava is having. Sometimes, when it rains..it pours. You haven't had the easiest time with her and this is just not the news you needed. I would agree, that the chance of this fixing itself (however small) is worth letting her go into heat once..even if it does increase the risks by not spaying her before her first heat. I know it'll be a terrible time in between with her getting the UTI's and the stress you are having with it..but perhaps it's worth a shot?? Tough call to make

Thanks, everyone! Yes, I had pretty much decided to let her come into season and see what happens. Not much choice, really, if there's even a chance it will help her. I feel more optimistic now that I've heard how much Bs swell. LOL, Lisa– you just don't learn these things as a boy mom! It will be a challenge, since there are two large male dogs on both sides of us. The pair on one side are untrained, unruly and left outside all the time (not well treated at all, poor things). They dig out under their fence and roam, so I anticipate having to be extra cautious or they could tunnel under mine. Ava doesn't go out alone, but still. They'll drive us crazy!

I wonder if some of Ava's behaviorial issues have been because she doesn't feel well. She appears to feel okay, eats well and has energy to spare, but all these infections have to be causing discomfort. Maybe this is why she is so restless at night. Neither one of us ever gets a good night's sleep, because Ava just won't lie still.

Chealsie, you've had a time of it, too, with Oakley. It's been one downpour after another... Good thing we love them so much!

I was just going to say that I too wonder if some her behavior issues are because she has never really felt well….. time will tell, fingers/toes crossed that this helps...

What a pain it sounds like with your neighbors... I am guessing that they are not fixed either? And if that is the case, for sure you will need to be extra cautious... My friend Jeff, had a neighbor with a German Short Hair Pointer, not fixed... he finally had to hot wire the fence top, middle and bottom, because when his bitch came in season, he would "eat" through the fence...

We say that they look like little white tail deer when the bitches are in season!

@ownedbyspencer:

I wonder if some of Ava's behaviorial issues have been because she doesn't feel well.

I would be willing to bet that is a part of the puzzle. What does your breeder think about this most recent turn of events? Poor Ava, poor you! What a tough time you both have had. But you know, sometimes the ones that are the most trouble turn out in the long run to be the most worthwhile. (certainly the most memorable!) Fingers crossed your problems are resolved and you have many happy, trouble free years together.

It's one of those unfortunate things that happen, and nobody seems to know why. It has certainly made housetraining difficult, and I'm sure it must make Ava feel insecure and needy. But she's a very active, playful girl and she hasn't had an accident in her crate for more than a month, though she does still wet the bed sometimes. I would get up and take her out, if she'd just give me a nudge!

And you're right, Pat, the dogs next door aren't fixed. They're only two years old and have irresponsible owners. I can see this being a problem, because they already bark like crazy whenever Ava goes down on that side of the yard.

I wonder if it's too late to consider showing her, since I won't be spaying her right away? She has basic obedience training, but nothing else. And I guess she would be considered to have a deformity, so not show quality?

Would her temperament and behavior allow you to show her? I know my breeder said Oakley could have been shown..but he wouldn't have enjoyed it..and I wouldn't have been able to bc of who he is

Not sure, Chealsie; probably not. She would need to work with someone a lot more skilled than me! She is easily distracted and a handful, but she has calmed down some, and admittedly, I'm not a great handler. Both her parents were GCh., so I just wondered how she would do.

Why not try her in Companion Dog Shows? Butu really enjoys them, and they exhaust him…a tired Basenji is a Good Basenji...

@ownedbyspencer:

Both her parents were Grand Ch., and her breeder was planning on showing her, so I just wondered how she would do.

Would the breeder show her for you? The easiest shows I went to with my one and only winning Basenji were the ones where her breeder handled her. I have little experience handling, and my girl would either chase or go around the ring looking behind her! But puppies get a lot of leeway from some judges. She took Best of Opposite at a sighthound specialty over several finished bitches despite my lack of skill, and I was so proud of her! You should try it. I bet Ava is a winner! 🙂

@ownedbyspencer:

It has certainly made housetraining difficult, and I'm sure it must make Ava feel insecure and needy. But she's a very active, playful girl and she hasn't had an accident in her crate for more than a month, though she does still wet the bed sometimes. I would get up and take her out, if she'd just give me a nudge!

I wonder if it's too late to consider showing her, since I won't be spaying her right away? She has basic obedience training, but nothing else. And I guess she would be considered to have a deformity, so not show quality?

I will say that when Zest! was in season she tended to pee in her crate. Not in the house, just when she was in her crate. (easy enough to clean!) And she did become a bit more needy when in season.

It is certainly not too late to consider showing her. As long as she doesn't mind being handled by total strangers and doesn't mind being in crowds and other dogs (not that she will have to interact, just be around other dogs), I'd say try it. If you're in a nice area, you'll probably enjoy getting to know other basenji owners. Most of the basenji show people are nice and helpful. If you decide you or Ava don't enjoy it, you certainly don't have to go back. 🙂

@QuizBasenji:

Why not try her in Companion Dog Shows? Butu really enjoys them, and they exhaust him…a tired Basenji is a Good Basenji...

I'm not sure we have those on this side of the pond.

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