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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16325
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My vet has diagnosed my eight year old red nose pit female

Customer Question

my vet has diagnosed my eight year old red nose pit bull female with dermatitis around her vulva and says the only way to cure it is with surgery to give it a "face lift" for it is very receded {sucked in} I really dont like the idea for many reasons but I want her to be better for I know it is uncomfortable for her. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 year of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that D.O.Gee is having trouble with chronic dermatitis around her vulva.

It sounds like she has a conformation issue that is allowing moisture and urine to get trapped around her vulva, which is very irritating. This predisposes to secondary surface bacterial and yeast infections, which only irritate things further.

Of course she wants to lick, which will only add moisture and irritate already sensitive, raw skin and make things worse.

There are different types of defects but we can see a fold of skin tissue over the top of her vulva that shouldn't be there, the vulva itself appearing to tip slightly inward, or be recessed deep into tissue around the sides of her vulva.

It sounds like she has an immature, recessed vulva. Sometimes if these pups are allowed to go through a heat cycle the vulva enlarges and drops a bit, so it isn't so tipped in, and the folds of tissue over and around the vulva might decrease in size, or at least be less likely to be an issue if the vulva isn't covered so much by it. Of course she's spayed older and now, so it's too late to consider that as an option for her.

The best treatment long term is a vulvoplasty, where the excess fold of tissue is removed and the conformation thus becomes more normal, less likely to trap moisture and create an environment for infections to thrive. Here's a link to a webpage that discusses the condition and surgery:

In the meantime keeping the area clean and dry is essential. You can use hypoallergenic/alcohol free baby wipes to clean the area after she urinates and before bed at night. The ointment that your veterinarian has prescribed can serve as protection too, and decrease urine scald and moisture sitting directly on the skin.

Do not let her lick. If she is licking an elizabethan collar (cone of shame or lampshade collar) may be necessary.

In some relatively minor cases keeping her clean and dry will be all that is needed. But if she is suffering from recurrent skin and/or urinary tract infections then those cases will do better in the long run with surgery, as the conformation only seems to worsen with age.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, if you do please feel free to respond, thank you, ***** *****

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about D.O.Gee. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara