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Long –Haired Canines and Their Private Parts

By David G. Wolf, NGAP Director
Posted:August 10, 2016

We have recently seen long–haired dogs with growths as a result of their long and thick hair. The owners were unable to recognize the problem until it was slightly bad. In the most recent case, we were presented with a Golden Retriever with a growth next to her vulva. Growths often develop associated sores and attract insects that lay their eggs in the affected area. In this particular case, the dog had messy and matted hair, a growth, and an insect infestation marked by visible maggots around the horrible looking area. The following photographs are gruesome, but they ultimately tell the story of an extremely matted dog. Long Haired Canines If you have a long–haired dog , it is imperative to keep those private areas shaved with margins to prevent a mess of this degree. In add to its aforementioned issues, this particular dog was also a candidate for vulvoplasty, a surgical procedure removing a flap of skin that significantly covers the vulva causing urinary tract infections, urine crystals, and significant discomfort for the dog as well as potential continuous aggravation for the owner.

For this Golden Retriever, it would have been appropriate to clean the area, remove the growth, perform a vulvoplasty, and then, with some continued aftercare by the owner, the dog is home free. I can't imagine the discomfort of some of our pets having to live with these conditions. If you can stomach it, you can view the photographs below and they will tell the story.

Long Haired Canines

Dr. Mills is somewhat repelled.

Preparing for surgery. Upper right image shows soiled and matted hair as a result of not shaving the area.

Closeup of the maggots.

Area after shaving. Upper right image uses arrows to point to the growth and vulva. Lower right image shows segmentation of growth before surgery.

Above images demonstrate the procedure.

Vulva after procedure. Arrows indicate excess skin and vulva.

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