A first-hand Experience with Hermaphroditism

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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