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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2813
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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Is there an easy procedure that can be done to enlarge a small

Customer Question

is there an easy procedure that can be done to enlarge a small vulva in a show gilt?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Michelle-mod replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have not found and answer and will continue to wait for a reply
Expert:  Michelle-mod replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about small vulvas on gilts. I'm sorry you're in a difficult situation, but glad you're looking for the information you need. I'm also sorry you've had such a long wait for an expert with the necessary experience and knowledge to help you. Please rest assured I'm here now and will do my best to provide you with the information you're looking for.
You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY. That way we can chat until you're satisfied with the information I've provided and are able to give me positive feedback on my answer.
Please also rest assured that I'm answering your question from the point of view of not only a veterinarian, but an Iowa girl with 4-H experience. I understand how it can be a huge disadvantage for a show gilt to have a small (often called "infantile) vulva.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I feel it is important to be completely honest, thorough, and accurate in my response to you. Please understand I don't want to make you angry, and please let me know if I've misunderstood what you are asking for.
Let me be frank...
There isn't a procedure for enlarging the vulva on a show gilt precisely because that's one of the things she's being evaluated for. I'm guessing you already know that gilts with small vulvas don't do well in the show pen because they're not championship breeding material, and that's why you'd like to fix this. Unfortunately, fixing the small vulva won't increase the gilt's chances for reproductive success. Infantile vulvas are associated with poor breeding performance due to not only problems with the vulva, but with the rest of the reproductive tract. That's why judges (and people purchasing breeding stock) are taught to steer clear of gilts with an infantile vulva.
In a sense, having surgery to alter the appearance of a gilt's vulva would be a form of cheating or fraud. It would be unethical to do a superficial procedure to alter a gilt's appearance to make her look more like she would be good breeding stock when she is, in fact, not.
The unfortunate fact remains that a gilt with this flaw is not going to do well in the show ring or be a desirable breeder. No surgery can change that.
The purpose of the show is to select for the most desirable specimens who show great reproductive potential in their natural, unaltered state.
Again, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news. In short... no, there isn't a simple surgical procedure for altering the appearance of a gilt's vulva, and shows exist precisely to select for gilts who don't have that flaw (amongst others).
Consider this: Let's say we were trying to develop a dog breed with bobbed tails through a selective breeding program and were having shows and contests around the country to select breeding stock who had bobbed tails. To be successful, we'd only want breeding stock who were *born* with bobbed tails, not those who'd had their tails surgically docked. There would be rules against and penalties for showing a dog with a surgically altered tail under those circumstances, because it defeats the purpose of the show.
Infantile vulvas in show gilts are the same thing. No surgical alterations are allowed.
I hope this information helps. Again, I hat being the bearer of bad news, and please do not take offense at my explanation. None is intended. I simply wanted to answer your question (the answer is NO) and provide information as to why.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions after reading through the information I've provided above.
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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Just checking in to ask if there is any further information I can provide you with to help answer your question. I know it's kind of a touchy subject and I want to emphasize that I do not intend to offend you with my answer.
Please let me know how else I may help.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for answering my question. I wasnt trying to cheat because the person who i bought the gilt from is going to AI her to see if she can become pregnant. Her mother is a very consistant sow so we're hoping for the best. We just didnt want to give up on her because shes perfect in every other way.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I completely understand, and I hope my answer wasn't upsetting to you. I'll be hopeful she can do well as she is, and it sounds as if she is being wonderfully cared for. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. If you are ready to leave the conversation, please take a moment to ACCEPT my answer and rate my response. Even after taking this step, you can still return to this thread to post more if you think of something later. Thank you again!