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Too Much Skin Covering the Vulva

By Dr. Aime Berman, NGAP/DRVC Medical Director
Posted: July 5, 2016

There are a few female dogs whose vulvar anatomy is just naturally not ideal. They can sometimes have too much skin covering the vulvar lips, leading to excess moisture, urine retention in the skin folds, and consequently accumulation of debris, odor, and infection in their private area.

Prolapsed Vulva

Before photographs

The skin can get very irritated and pets can be uncomfortable and even in pain, manifested by constant licking of their vulva.

It is easy to put a pet on antibiotics to temporarily fix this problem. Sometimes this works; sometimes it doesn’t. This condition can also be addressed as if the animal is just itchy, veterinarians will put these patients on antihistamines or even steroids. However, if the pet has loose skin covering the vulva accounting for all the aforementioned signs, that skin can be surgically removed. This exposes the vulva and eliminates the entrapment of urine and debris.

The surgery is curative. The excess skin is surgically removed, opening up the entire area. Healing is usually noneventful and the animal no longer requires the chronic medical attention she had prior to the surgery.

This procedure was done to an American Bulldog previously seen for chronic vulvar issues and vulvoplasty was recommended. The owners agreed and the following pictures journalize the vulva pre-, intra- and post- surgery.

Prolapsed Vulva

Photographs of the surgical procedure

The owner and the pet are much happier! This particular dog may need a second surgery to remove the excess skin coming from each side of the vulva. But we are going to watch her for a while and see how she does. Hopefully, the initial surgery will be adequate and she will stop having problems!

Prolapsed Vulva

Left:Before Right: After

This particular dog has fatty sacks on each side of the vulva. We do not expect the fatty sacks to be an issue, but if they are, they can be removed in the future.

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