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800-532-2890

A first-hand Experience with Hermaphroditism

 

© 2015

No portion of this article may be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder. Reprinted with permission from .

Our fine Kerry Blue, Kelly, is an XXSR hermaphrodite. She was diagnosed by our vet in CT when she was being catheterized for a spay procedure. Neither the breeders or the owners were aware of the condition.

We thought, well, that just makes our Kelly that much more special. Unfortunately, it was not that easy. She began to develop very serious, chronic bladder and vaginal infections. XXSR causes a variety of deformities, the little vestigial penis and teste-as-ovary turned out to be the least of her problems. She had constrictions in her vagina along its entire length and the exit to her urethra was displaced. As a result, nothing was draining properly and infections were inevitable. Despite being a rock hard Kerry, Kelly was miserable

We went to the Animal Medical Center in New York (we are Manhattan residents). While the AMC is the equivalent to a typical NY teaching hospital, they didn't seem to have any direct experience with the condition. Through a web search, we found Dr. Meyers-Wallen at Cornell. She clearly had a tremendous knowledge of the condition, the complications it causes and its treatment. She recommended a surgeon at Cornell with experience with the surgical procedure necessary. We went up to Ithaca to see him, we impressed as well with him and the wonderful, loving facility they have created and left Kelly their for a Friday surgery. It went well and we were able to pick her up the following Tuesday. The surgeon reconstructed her vagina, did a clitorectomy on the vestigial penis and generally straightened the pipes.

Kelly appears to have recovered fully. Her infections have ceased. She leaks a little urine a little, which is probably the source of all the problems. This is probably a weakness in her bladder muscle associated with her XXSR condition. We expect that this can be treated with estrogen. We'll start her on this when we are sure the infection is taken care of. One thing at a time.

We can't say enough good things about Vicki, her surgical colleagues and the Cornell Companion Animal Hospital. Top rate, high quality all around.

We also want to say to anyone who own's a Kerry with XXSR hermaphrodism that the complications are manageable. They shouldn't give up, nor should feel the dog will just have to live with the misery if antibiotics cease to be effective. It is such a rare disorder that I have to believe your average small animal vet won't know what to do. Our's called a teaching veterinary hospital before proceeding with the spay and got good information. In the end it was Vicki who provided the solution.

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Today is September 30, 2016

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An Ard Chomhairle of the Irish Kennel Club approved the affiliation of the Ulster Kerry Blue Club to the Irish Kennel Club.

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