No, Kim Kardashian hasn’t yet copped to having undergone vaginal rejuvenation surgery and, indeed, I have no knowledge of her having gone there. However, buoyed by any misread of Angelina Jolie’s breast-related confessional, I suspect Kim may yet prove the first celebrity to out herself as having undergone (or at least considered) a vulvoplasty (as the procedure is widely known).
After all, this procedure is, inexplicably, all the rage in certain communities of women (where, I have to assume, money has no substance and life beyond the $100 pedicure and a golden vagina has minimal meaning). And Kim Kardashian and her ilk have climbed smack-dab to the peak of the bell curve in that cultural milieu.
To be 100% transparent, I mention Kim and Angelina because sometimes I wish my writing life were more engaging to a wider readership. It’s not that dogs, cats, and animal health, in general, aren’t worthy subjects. It’s just that sometimes it’s hard to get the average Joe to pay attention to important pet healthcare issues when there’s so much highly salable celebrity filth on offer.
Frustratingly, I learned this the hard way, after I inadvertently wrote a post on how stupid Kim Kardashian looked scruffing a cat for the cameras. Holding the poor thing up for a photo-op or indulgent selfie (I can’t remember which), clueless Kim’s antics made me want to smack her.
And yet, exasperatingly, the post went viral as few ever do. I may have gained a lot of eyeballs in traffic that week, but little of it stuck around to learn more about pet health. Nonetheless, I take comfort in knowing that at least a few people may have come to understand that only idiots treat animals like objects with the sole goal of advancing their celebrity. (Score one for me.)
But, ultimately, I couldn’t help allowing for the fact that Kim Kardashian had gotten something going for me. Indeed, I came to believe that sometimes it’s worth writing about something more Cosmo and less like my standard stuff. After all, girl pets have their issues, and this is one salacious subject.
No, we really don’t do vaginal cosmetic surgeries for female dogs like we do for their more vain human counterparts –– not like vaginal rejuvenation, anyway.
Not to be snarky, but it’s my understanding that the human version of this surgery is generally reserved as a post-partum experience which, I’m told, makes C-sections an absolute godsend for the lucky women whose nether-regions aren’t blighted by the “horrors” of the birthing process. (Which seems odd given that most women I know have never complained.)
Interestingly, dogs have the opposite problem to contend with. The more juvenile and inverted their vulvar folds (not stretched, scarred, or otherwise “marred”), the likelier they are to suffer peri-vulvar infections, vaginitis, and/or recurrent urinary tract infections (the triumvirate sequel to a so-called “hypoplastic” vulva).
Early spays were once considered the likely reason for such juvenile-looking vulvas in adult dogs, but that view has now gone out of favor. It seems some female dogs are simply genetically predisposed to tiny privates. Add in some excess weight (which our dogs are increasingly wont to do) and the folds that surround the vulva will often overshadow the orifice in ways that can predispose them to infections.
Allergies can also play a role: any inflamed skin is, by definition, predisposed to yeast and bacteria, which are constantly prepared for a full-frontal assault on its adjacent structures (namely, the vulva, vagina, and urethra).
If baby wipes and frequent assiduous cleansing of the area (with a mild disinfectant solution or medicated shampoo) don’t prevent nasty, recurrent infections, (assuming allergies have been controlled, when it’s a feature) surgery is typically recommended.
To solve this issue, veterinary surgeons (I recommend a board-certified specialist, as this is one of those surgeries that’s easy to do but hard to do well) will remove and/or reconstruct the surrounding tissues to expose the vulva, lending it a more natural, exposed configuration.
So there you have it: A nip and tuck story –– albeit somewhat in reverse.
Though we may giggle at the scandal of it all (and I’ll enjoy my jab at Kim Kardashian, I’ll bet you a free office call this post gets more web traffic than anything else I’ve written this month. Which would be wonderful) - everyone, after all, deserves to understand the ins and outs of “vaginal rejuvenation” in dogs.