Jul 19 2009

Ironical twist of the week

Frances Q Smith at the vet
Franny at the emergency clinic

My new puppy, Frances Q Smith, has a malformed vulva and is going to need

— wait for it —



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  1. humanbein

    It’s that rare beast, and actual instance of irony in the wild. One despairs of actually ever hearing something truly ironical again after fifty million instances of brain-dead sarcasm called irony.

    Goodness! That is so ironic!

  2. PG

    Yes, the elusive instance of true irony. Poor pup! I hope she makes a full and speedy recovery.

  3. R.

    She’s adorable, though!

  4. SargassoSea

    You made that up. I hope.

  5. Larkspur

    Irony is not dead? Yay.

    But boo for Ms. Frances, who will undoubtedly have to wear one of those horrid collars for a short time. But if the surgery fixes the malformation and makes it both easier and more fun for her to lick herself, then yay x 2.

  6. Comrade PhysioProf

    (1) That’s totally fucking ironic!

    (2) What the fuck is that plaid shit in the photo?

    (3) I hope poor widdle Frances suffers as little as possible and recovers quickly and fully.

  7. pheeno

    If you’re not going to breed her, why does she need corrective surgery?

  8. Samantha B

    I second pheeno’s question.

  9. Jill

    “If you’re not going to breed her, why does she need corrective surgery?”

    It turns out that the nature of young Fran’s vulvular anatomy is such that she’s got extra skin, folds and crevices wherein microbial infestations breed and wreak destruction. Particularly in a sporty sort of dog who spends a lot of time in bodies of water of varying degrees of brackishness. In this instance, her skinfolds provided a hospitable environment for a nasty case of vaginitis, which morphed into a UTI. Unpleasant for everyone. The dog’s suffering was bad enough, but the peeing-every-five-minutes aspect of the malady made me get drunk.

    Fran’s feckless “breeder” apparently never thought to look at her ladyparts, because that infection had been growing in there for weeks before I ever got my hands on her. A daily swab with some Malaseb would have prevented it. Dumbass.

  10. Comrade PhysioProf

    If her vulval malformation is interfering with urination or causing repeated vaginal, urethral, or bladder infections, then it would need to be corrected regardless of whether she is going to breed.

  11. Jill

    Oh wait. Were you guys calling me out for ableist hate speech?

  12. Jill

    That “plaid shit,” incidentally, is my knees. They are smartly attired in a pair of exceedingly stylin’ riding pants.

    Why does everybody give me shit about those breeches, I wonder?

  13. Cottonpants

    Somewhat related: I once had a male cat whose frequent and painful kidney stones forced our vet to give him a sex change. I wish I could give you more info on exactly why and how his sex was changed, but I’m afraid I was 8 years old at the time, so I really couldn’t tell you.

    It’s funny, anyway. This cat still lives with my dad, by the way. He’s gotta be at least 16 or 17 by now, but he’s Siamese, so I’m sure he’s got at least another 5 years in him yet.

  14. Comrade PhysioProf

    Those are some serious motherfucking pants!

  15. Tarr

    Out at the horsebarn resides a goat that had serial problems with his boy parts. Eventually the barn owner took him to the goat surgeon, and believe me, those are hard to find.

    Poor ol’ goat got a sex change and now he pees vigorously straight out backwards. You need to be mindful of where he is. Most of us have gotten urinated on.

    How about some horse pix?

  16. Ron Sullivan

    I think I had a pair of bermuda shorts in that plaid once, when I was oh about 10. From what I’ve seen lately, I think that makes it “vintage.”

    (It just ain’t right to walk into an antique store and see a great wall of covers from LPs you remember having sex to.)

    Any chance of nicking the breeder for part of the surgery cost? Plus pain and suffering? Poor puppy.

  17. Frumious B.

    My cat is so fat that her flesh protrudes around her vulva and provides the same microbe-friendly folds of flesh that young Fran has. Plus, she doesn’t clean back there cuz she’s, well, fat. So I shave her fur back there.

    That’s right, folks, my cat sports a Brazilian.

    She’s also on a diet, for those that are interested, but hasn’t lost an iota of weight.

    Jill – please share the source of those pants. I want to learn to ride, and some rocking plaid shit would make my day.

  18. Sis

    Information to save puppy from predatory vet:

    1.) yogurt and cleansing wipes
    2.) first estrus
    3.) then spay



  19. Yankee Transferred

    That is some ridiculous twist of fate, no? Poor ole’ Fran.
    Them pants is unreal.

  20. Compcat

    My dog Maddie had reoccuring UTI’s as a puppy. Sure makes the house training era extra super special.

    If you are going to do the corrective surgery, talk to your vet about letting her go through her first heat cycle before spaying. There’s research that shows that it reduces the chances of having chronic UTI’s for life. It seems to have worked for Maddie, but she didn’t have any extra folds of skin.

    (Waiting to spay until a puppy is a year old may also reduce the chance of joint problems later on too.)

  21. Sis

    So this little puppy has a hormone problem. As in, none yet to speak of, which would be about natural, no? Then when she goes into heat, she’ll need other interventions from the friendly vet. Estrogen, perhaps? For some kind of imbalance. Doggy menopause will be yet another vet intensive experience. I’m surprised it took them this long to get on the medicalizing female dogs gravy train.

    On what species do you imagine labiaplasty surgeons train? Vet schools use dogs. Why let all that improvement go only to human females.

    vaginitis no more thanks to natural diet

  22. Comrade PhysioProf

    This “predatory vet” shit is starting to bug the fucking shit out of me. I have dealt with many small-animal vets over the years, and every single one of them has been a kind and compassionate person who genuinely loves companion animals, and wants nothing more than to ameliorate suffering and help keep our pets healthy.

    Where are you coming up with this shit?

  23. incognotter

    Subdued plaid? That’s just wrong. I hope it’s more eyesoreful when you look at the whole pants. Having survived the 70s once I prefer the rerun be comic.

  24. Cimorene

    I second the skepticism of anti-vet people. Two of my friends will be attending vet school next year, and I’ve never met anybody who is as dedicated to animals (and the environment generally) than those two. One is planning, vaguely, to go into small animal practice, and one wants to work with fish farms to create sustainable farms (or something). My dog’s vets are wonderful people who are very concerned with his wellbeing, and have been clear about not wanting to medicate unless necessary. Nevertheless, I put him on prozac at my vet’s suggestion and he’s a far happier, less anxious, less violent dog because of it. And the vet suggested we use it as a training technique, to convince him while on the meds that other dogs are not all trying to kill him (or me) and then wean him off after a summer of dog parks and long walks.

    I love my vets.
    And I hope your pup’s ironical surgery goes well.

  25. slade

    What a face! I’m glad she has you as her Protector. Nice to know that some things work out OK. So damn cute.

    Bet that breeder has some nasty Karma headed his way…um, viagra blindness, possibly?

  26. Pinko Punko

    Basically, it seems like Fran’s bits are akin to a pug’s face, except the closeness to the urinary tract makes the chance of a UTI very very high. I’m glad that they caught it, and I hope Fran does OK. Also, I feel bad if she’s been peeing in the bunkhouse because she probably can’t help it. Up with Fran, down with lacking in feck breeders!

  27. denelian

    this is why i can’t have pets – if i had a dog who needed this surgery, i would have to give the dog away, because i can’t afford such a thing, and even if i could, i am not physically capable of wrestling with pet to make pet take meds, clean areas that need cleaning, etc.

    i know that this has to be really sucky, right now, both for you and puppy (she’s so CUTE!); but it has, at the very least, stiffened my resistance to my friend who has puppies to hand out…

    my lack of pets aside – wow. just, wow. and, wrt irony: this also makes me wonder if it is possible that some labiaplasty is necessary for women – sure, we only hear about the ones where the women claim they did it for the looks – but is it possible some of these women were having real problems that the labiaplasty helped? i’m going to have to do some research

    serious question – if a woman really really really hates the way that her labia looks, if she really thinks it looks deformed and etc, is it really bad, if she can afford it, for her to be able to “fix” it? how is that functionally any different than me wanting breast reduction surgery because i wear a fraking FF size, and have since i was 13? i only know one person in real life who got labiaplasty, and she was fairly young (19? around there) and she did it because when she wore underwear – not *thongs*, regular-type underwear, the “granny panties” type – her labia hung down *outside* the underwear – she couldn’t wear pants that weren’t very loose, because everyone would see her labia, she couldn’t wear swim suits at all – she was very very self-concious about it, and suffered many UITs and yeast infections before the surgery – but after, they stopped almost completely… i know why *I* am, in general, against labiaplasty – in most cases, the only reason for the surgery is to match an “ideal” that is, itself, unreal and digitially manipulated, and generally only to please a male partner, not yourself. those reasons offend me – but not my labia, and if it makes a woman happy to have her labia changed to please a guy, well, that’s fucked up and i will keep trying to change the world so that women can stop feeling like they have to change to please men. that’s where my problem is – the fact that so many women feel pressured to get a surgery done just to please a man.

    but if it will genuinely help the person who gets the surgery… like a breast reduction would help me (and everyone who has ever gotten one)

  28. Sis

    In response to your overheated protestation. (Methinks etc.)

    What planet do you live on? COI between vets and the medical industry is common knowledge. And unacceptable.

    Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association,
    May 26, 2009

    Dear Sir,


    The relationships between the corporate sector, and in particular with drug companies, and private medical practitioners, hospitals, and medical schools, are being called to question by the Institute of Medicine in the US (1).

    Is a similar examination called for in the veterinary sector where comparable corporate interests may be at play and affect the quality of care and services animal patients receive? It would seem that there has been a lack of due diligence over the role of diet, specifically, highly processed pet foods (2) in many contemporary health problems of companion animals. The same may be said about the routine application and so called ‘preventive’ treatments with anti-flea and tick topical products that only now are being fully evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (3). Was due diligence also lacking, in part because of inadequate information and understanding, with dog and cat vaccinations? Until recently the universal protocol of giving dogs and cats annual ‘booster ’injections of multivalent live and genetically engineered vaccines met resistance when ever questioned.

    Corporate sector partnering in academia even includes chairs and professorships named after the donating company at many veterinary colleges. What role such partnering may play in contributing to the grave consequences of poor diets, over-medication, and hyperimmunization in companion animals by deferring to vested interests and by claiming lack of scientific proof of harm from such practices, is an open question. Academia should not be exploited to garner public credibility, nor should the market place become the final arbiter of what is acceptable.

    Examining possible conflicts of interest may be difficult, considering the partnership of the American Veterinary Medical Association with Fort Dodge and Merial pharmaceutical companies, and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, who together have pledged $4.5 million in support of AVMA programs and services over the next four years (4). But this difficulty could become a confluence of interests once the health and well-being of companion animals are first and foremost on the agenda. The content of both the JAVMA, and its equivalent with the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) Veterinary Record, increasingly addresses issues concerning animal health and welfare, including nutrition and vaccinations.

    In the UK, the government and the BVA have chosen to focus on the health and welfare problems of a genetic origin, primarily in pedigree dogs. Some critics believe that this is a massive displacement, since it is the genetic susceptibilities to dietary diseases and vaccinoses (adverse vaccination reactions) in specific breeds make them the canaries for the canine population at large (5). The appropriate use of vaccines, (6), various ‘preventive’ veterinary drugs, prescription diets, and the adequacies of manufactured cat and dog foods, also need to be considered if the mandate of the British government is to protect the health and welfare of companion and other animals, not just better regulate breeding practices. British dog breeders feel they are the scapegoats and are taking all the blame for the myriad and costly health problems in today’s canine population. The same can be said for the major ailments in the feline population, where poor diets and adverse drug and vaccine reactions similarly take their toll according to Hill’s former Director of Technical Affairs, veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins Esq.(7)

    Of course there are confluences of interest that can benefit all and this would be forthcoming I believe when there is a more integrated approach to animal health and welfare. This could be developed from a bioethical basis (8) by veterinary teachers, researchers and practitioners, a Council for Veterinary Bioethics being one response to the call for an examination of possible conflicts of interest within the profession.

    (1) Sternbrook R. Controlling Conflict of Interest—Proposals from the Institute of Medicine. Published at http://www.nejm.org, April 29th 2009 (10. 1056/NEJMp0810200).

    (2) Fox MW, Elizabeth Hodgkins and Marion E. Smart. Not fit for a dog: the truth about manufactured dog and cat food. Fresno, CA, Quill Driver Books, 2009.

    (3) AVMA News. Topical flea and tick products come under EPA scrutiny. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2009; 234: 1228.

    (4) AVMA News. AVMA enters into multimillion-dollar partnership with companies. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2008; 233: 219.

    (5) Dodds WJ. Vaccination protocols for dogs predisposed to vaccine reactions. J Am Animal Hosp Assoc 2001; 38: 1-4.

    (6) Schultz RD, Ford RB, Olsen J. and Scott F. Titer testing and vaccination: a new look at traditional practices. Vet Med, 2002, 97: 1-13 (insert).

    (7) Hodgkins EM, Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life,
    New York, Thomas Dunne Books, 2007.

    (8) Fox MW. Veterinary bioethics, pp 673-678, in Complementary and alternative medicine, Schoen AM and Wynn SG., eds., St Louis, MO, Mosby, 1998.

    Michael W. Fox, BVetMed, PhD, DSc, MRCVS
    Fox’s Pen Inc.
    2135 Indiana Ave N., Golden Valley, Minnesota


  29. littlesister

    why would you spend six years studying if you didn’t feel passionate and care about animals?? i have never met a vet that wasn’t kind and caring. i am thinking about becoming a vet myself, if i can handle the studyload.

    poor puppy, she’ll be right though. glad it was finally discovered and she shall soon pee properly again and be without pain.

    also ironical is too a word! har har

  30. slownews

    Irony of the week? week?! year is more like it.

  31. yttik

    “this is why i can’t have pets – if i had a dog who needed this surgery, I would have to give the dog away..”

    This gave me a laugh because I feel exactly the same way. I don’t do post surgical care, I faint at the sight of stitches, and if a dog throws up, I show them how it’s really done. Just the same I now have five cats and two dogs.

    I think the concern we hear from Sis is simply a well justified fear of the patriarchy, the medical establishment, and being female. They have a long history of messing with our lady parts, telling us we are diseased, and using us as guinea pigs. It’s always good to have a healthy suspicion and do some research.

  32. Amnesiac

    Ha! Oh, I choked on my muesli! But poor pooch: I hope it’s painless and swift.

  33. Amnesiac

    Ha! Oh, I choked on my muesli! But poor pooch: I hope it’s painless and swift.

  34. schatze

    My best to that little cutie. My now 3 year old golden came from a reputable breeder with a new puppy UTI. She had traveled to me in a crate over a couple of days time and didn’t ever soil the crate. My vet talked about the possible need for a surgical solution. I can’t remember if she didn’t think it was a pressing issue or if she wanted to wait to see if the dog physically changed enough as she matured. Knowing how miserable a UTI is,if she were getting no relief,I’d have been signing her up for surgery in a heartbeat.

    Franny looks worried but maybe she’s just not feelin the pants.

  35. minervaK

    What?!? Plastic labia? Wuffor?

  36. Mel

    Does she really need vulvoplasty or just a perineoplasty? The latter would be a much more common procedure, and to those who are asking, yes, it is a conformational defect that causes health problems and it is better for the dog if it’s corrected.

  37. larkspur

    yttik: “…I think the concern we hear from Sis is simply a well justified fear of the patriarchy, the medical establishment, and being female. They have a long history of messing with our lady parts, telling us we are diseased, and using us as guinea pigs. It’s always good to have a healthy suspicion and do some research.”

    Yup. Healthy suspicion is good. In general, I’m pro-choice, even if I wouldn’t make the choice myself. It gets tricky, and we have to be wary, but if your breasts are so big and heavy that it hurts you a lot, or if your labia hurt you, I’m gonna trust you to do what you have to do.

    I hope to Franny that I never get breast cancer, but if I did, and a mastectomy was necessary, I doubt I’d get any kind of cosmetic reconstruction. But I’m pretty old, and kinda poor, and I’d prefer to avoid the additional recovery time that’s usually required for reconstruction. Your choice might be different.

    It gets dicey, though, when purely cosmetic stuff is medicalized. The medical industry has no goddamn business inventing the term “micromastia” to encourage breast implants. If a friend of mine told me she was going to get breast implants, I’d hardly stop her, but I sure as hell hope she understands that she’s simply altering her appearance, and not “curing” her micromastia. Genital plastic surgery strikes me as similar: undergoing it to make you feel less disgusted about your gross icky female parts is a horrible idea. Would I stop someone? How could I? But I will resist how such attitudes are used to change what’s considered normal.

    I have to go back to being pro-choice. If a friend of mine said she was going to abort her fetus because the sonogram revealed it wasn’t the gender she wanted, her choice might threaten our friendship. But I would never stop her.

    Gah. It depends on the situation, and that makes everything hard work, work, work. But life is hard work. Nothing ever gets decided once and for all, for certain, forever and ever, unless we’re really willing to abandon our own agency.

    But I have to say that if somebody’s trying to persuade me about something on the basis of it being “empowering”, expect alarms bells and sirens and flashing lights and me yelling all kinds of shit.

    Meanwhile: Jill, please snorgle Franny for me, okay? Look at that beautiful little baby Lab face.

  38. thebewilderness

    Poor sweet puppy.
    Asshat breeder, I hope you give them an ear full.
    Love the pants!

  39. Pinko Punko

    We’ve experienced or have had friends experience shady vets, including one that was somehow unable to diagnose vaginitis in our friend’s puppy, nor a common mite infection, however, the majority of vets we’ve had we’ve really liked and have trusted. I’ll admit the worst we’ve had is a passel of scratched corneas and an umbilical hernia.

    I’ll be thinking of Fran- I do wish her the best.

  40. sonia

    are those bondage pants? juuuuust kidding, they’re cool.

    Frances is the cutest thing ever.

  41. katrina

    “Ironical” is a word in the way that “functionality” is a word. That is, someone thought “function” didn’t sound grand enough, they repeated “functionality” a great many times and now almost everyone accepts that the extra syllables are necessary.
    In any case, it’s not ironic that someone who rails against the horrors of labioplasty should have to get labioplasty done on her dog. It’s incongruous. Or, if you are feel uncomfortable around little-used words, it’s funny.

  42. speedbudget

    katrina: Why isn’t this situation ironic?

    Irony revolves around the perceived incongruity between an understanding of reality and what actually happens. Seems that’s what’s going on here.

  43. Shelly

    Poor Fran! I hope the surgery goes well and solves the underlying problem.

    Your male cat had PU surgery (perineal urethrostomy). Basically, they remove all or most of the penis and widen the urethra, which theoretically allows stones/crystals to pass more easily. It’s really not a sex change, unless you think male = penis.

  44. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Poor puppy! Still, she’s lucky to live with someone who cares enough for her and has the resources to deal with it.

    Puppy-armpit-scritches and get-well wishes to Franny. Hugs all around to the other denizens of the Bunkhouse. Except the scorpions and the centipedes.

  45. larkspur

    I am never sure of the ironicaliosity of anything any more, so I usually just say something like “OMG, that’s weird”, or “Noir much?” or (most often) “Huh.”, which is the default.

    Apropos of not much, I think that from now on, whenever I see plaid and cannot escape, I will see Franny’s beautiful face, and it’ll be okay.

  46. Alex

    I, for one, am confident that Jill has looked into her options with Frances and has determined that the surgery is medically indicated. I mean, this is an advanced patriarchy-blamer we’re talking about–she’s not going to have heard the vet say “labiaplasty” and just nodded like a bobblehead doll. So, best of luck to little Frances–I hope she feels better soon!

    After my Daisy had a mass removed from her back end, we avoided the scary cone collar by putting some shorts on her–I had to sew some ribbon to the waistband, sort of like suspenders, and tie it to her collar. As I recall, they were plaid flannel boxer shorts. Sadly, I did not take pictures. Perhaps this information will help you.

  47. Sis

    This is just one example of the many vets who say puppy vaginitis is normal.

    Puppy Vaginitis

    Vaginitis is normally (sic) in puppy bitches from 4 – 10+ months of age (until their first season) and although it is often treated as an infection, which it is not, it is simply a condition caused by the normal sloughing off of cells and part of hormonal and developmental changes. I will not use any antibiotics internally for this problem – this is only a temporary condition and will pass as she matures. Here is part of a discussion with Dr. Hutchinson, one of the top reproduction specialist in this country. He is the Veterinarian we use for all our breedings.

    Dr. Hutchinson -what is the treatment for puppy vaginitis & does it lead to problems later in breeding

    DrHutch: Puppy vaginitis is a NORMAL mucous production in young bitches before their first heat cycle, the total treatment is warm water on a cotton ball and wipe these bitches DO NOT need to be on antibiotics it does NOT lead to infertility and it does NOT make them prone to pyometritis it is not an infection at all usually it’s worse when the humidity is high.

    To lean her up use: 1/2 teaspoon of OxEdrops in 1/2 cup of warm water, using a soaked cotton pad. You can do this 2 times a day.”

  48. Laughingrat

    why would you spend six years studying if you didn’t feel passionate and care about animals??

    By that logic, we shouldn’t question human doctors either, because they work so hard to get their degree. Therefore, only the best and most caring persons would make it all the way to the end of the education and training required. Surely the jerks would be weeded out!

    Of course, we know by now that’s not the case–there’s even been a few hair-raising examples brought up on this very blog of doctors who really failed it in the compassion and humanity department, especially where women are concerned.

    As far as predatory vets go, I’ve had mostly great experiences with vets, but have also run into a couple who were truly in it for the money. Oh, they probably liked animals well enough–but not enough to give my pets attentive care, to make sure that dosages were marked correctly so that we were dispensed the correct amount of meds (I was still charged for the full amount, of course), or to actually listen to me when I explained my animals’ symptoms. Fortunately, in both situations I was able to locate a better vet in time to help my pets, but surely in some remote or rural areas there’s a limited number of options.

  49. chicago dyke

    what the hell? this blog is alive again, yeah! i am so glad. is Twisty OK? i wish her all the best.

  50. pheeno

    Oh wait. Were you guys calling me out for ableist hate speech?”

    If that was to me for asking why the surgery: No. I just couldn’t figure out what a malformed vulva would get in the way of if she wasn’t going to be bred. I figured she could potty fine, but wasn’t sure. Hadn’t thought of infections.

  51. Orange

    Katrina, you really can’t give Jill shit for using “ironical.” (1) It’s in numerous dictionaries as an accepted variant of “ironic,” so the lexicographers recognize its wide use. Language changes over time, and the English language is not a static thing. Shakespeare’s coinages were new concoctions in his day, after all, and now they’re 400-year-old words. (2) Criminy, you think Jill wasn’t using the word to be funny? The woman who uses words like “empowerful” and “taqueau”?

  52. Laura

    Maybe you can have them insert a pair of “neuticles” while they’re at it. And thanks for giving me an opportunity to use that word today. http://www.neuticles.com/

  53. Tata

    Jill, when you wear those pants Fran Q. needs feelyboppers.

  54. Sis

    Alix: I’m not.

    But even if she had, if you ask a vet who does surgery if surgery is what is recommended, I’d lay odds you’ll hear in the affirmtive. Tt’s how they earn their living. Do we ask Mr. Toyota if Toyotas are the best cars?

  55. birkwearingblamer

    I usually want to steal Jill’s styling fashion, but I’ll pass on the plaid pants. LOL!

    I’m glad that Fran is in good hands now. She is soooo cute!

  56. birkwearingblamer

    I usually want to steal Jill’s styling fashion, but I’ll pass on the plaid pants. LOL!

    I’m glad that Fran is in good hands now. She is soooo cute!

  57. Jezebella

    The only reason I clicked on comments was to say “Hey, nice pants.” I also detect a whiff of excellent boots, but it’s hard to be sure. Y’all plaid haters can go suck a lemon, mang.

  58. Valerie M

    I can’t speak for the USA but I can assure you that here in Britain ‘ironical’ is most certainly a word – an oft-used one as well. Both the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries confirm its legitimacy.

  59. iiii

    I believe those are what _The Official Preppy Handbook_ called a “go-to-hell pair of pants.”

    Hope the pup recovers quickly.

  60. Jill

    “To lean her up use: 1/2 teaspoon of OxEdrops in 1/2 cup of warm water, using a soaked cotton pad. You can do this 2 times a day.”

    The author of that website sells these vaunted “OxEDrops”, which turns out to be a 5% solution of sodium chlorite, a.k.a. bleach, the shit they use to make paper white. She suggests that OxEDrops are excellent for human consumption, too.

    Don’t worry about Fran, folks. If I can keep her vadge sludge-free with mere hygiene, she won’t be going under the knife. But I won’t be bleaching her weewee.

    Also, you plaid hatas? I pity you, and the chuckleless days your social circle must endure for lack of an acquaintance in humorous plaid pants.

  61. larkspur

    “…I pity you, and the chuckleless days your social circle must endure for lack of an acquaintance in humorous plaid pants.”

    But wait. I have you. Babe. In your very fine and witty plaid pants.

    I suspect my fear of plaid is congenital, having skipped a few generations, and taken a cultural side-street. Family lore has it that my great-grandma on my mom’s side fled Aberdeen, Scotland because she couldn’t abide the sound of bagpipes.

    I don’t really hate plaid, but Jill, I think I may feel the same thing you feel when you hear the phrase “a nice tailored suit”, which is basically, uh-oh.

  62. Ron Sullivan

    Not so much a plaid hata; it’s just that I really was a Catholic schoolgirl for 16 years and got my lifetime lethal dose way back then.

  63. B. Dagger Lee

    Plaids and paisleys, yes; bagpipes, no.

  64. blondie

    What rotten luck. Hope she has a speedy and easy recovery.

  65. preying mantis

    Poor Frances.

    “But even if she had, if you ask a vet who does surgery if surgery is what is recommended, I’d lay odds you’ll hear in the affirmtive. Tt’s how they earn their living.”

    …are there actually vets out there who don’t do surgery? I mean, spaying and neutering is about as bread-and-butter as it gets.

  66. slade

    So just a wipe twice/day with these OxEdrops and she’ll be OK? That’s cool. So if she gets an infection, can she use Betadine like I had to?

    Jill, you don’t think there was any abuse by some pervert on Frances? This is really something she was born with? Is this Breeder on the up and up? Other customers have problems with female pups? I only ask because men can be sadistic. Just asking.

  67. Sis

    “To (c)lean her up use: 1/2 teaspoon of OxEdrops in 1/2 cup of warm water, using a soaked cotton pad. You can do this 2 times a day.”

    The author of that website sells these vaunted “OxEDrops”, which turns out to be a 5% solution of sodium chlorite, a.k.a. bleach, the shit they use to make paper white. She suggests that OxEDrops are excellent for human consumption, too.

    Don’t worry about Fran, folks. If I can keep her vadge sludge-free with mere hygiene, she won’t be going under the knife. But I won’t be bleaching her weewee.


    Whatever. The point I was trying to highlight was it’s NORMAL, generally resolves upon first heat followed by spaying, happens with Great Danes, Labrador Retrievers, Bull Mastiffs, and other largish breed dogs. I guess they grow into their vages about the same time they grow into their paws.

  68. birkwearingblamer

    I need to invent a new cocktail and call it “plaid hatas.” I’m feeling inspired!

  69. Pinko Punko

    That is the same time they stop chewing on the house.

  70. littlesister

    Laughingrat; good point re my statement.

  71. iam legs (nee Angela)

    The best part about the Neuticals website is the product page.

    Hey, wear some fake cat balls on your ears!! That’ll really attract them down at the local!


  72. speedbudget

    Re neuticles: ARE THEY SERIOUS? I mean, I’ve heard of men getting all wispy and emotional over their dog getting neutered (which, come on. If that’s the ONLY THING a man is allowed, nee required to get emotional over, that is really a sad state of affairs), but to go so far as to buy your dog, whose only concept of reality is in real time, in other words, dogs live in the present and can’t imagine the world different than it currently is, a fake set of balls to make the dog feel better around his friends is just…pathetic.

    I think these men have issues. And when my girlfriends go on about how cute it is that their husband/boyfriend is upset about getting the dog/cat neutered and doesn’t want them to do it, I tell them to get real and tell their husband/boyfriend to quit being a ninny and why does he have castration issues?

  73. Helen

    How did you know she had a UTI?
    Did she have a Lab test?!!

  74. Helen

    …Or perhaps a cat scan?…

  75. jael

    neuticles? oh wow. poor bruno the low riding dachshund.

  76. Tata

    I don’t hate plaid. I love feelyboppers.

  77. larkspur

    Good work Helen!

    I have heard about neuticals, but I thought it was a borderline “Onion” pet rock phenomenon, but now I see from the link that it’s for real, and that the veterinarians who are endorsing it (mostly with faint praise) are doing so because at least it gets the boy doggies in to be neutered.

    But it’s not just as easy to slap a few balls on the dog while he’s being neutered as it is to neuter the feller, period, and on that basis, I object on the grounds that it is burdensome, irrelevant, and only funny if it’s never really done.

    Now: to people who know dogs way better than I do: is it common practice among dog lovin’ folk to let female pups have a first heat before spaying? Or is this more important if she’s going to be a working dog of some sort? That is, is it unnecessary for most companion dogs?

    Lastly, and only barely within shoutin’ distance of topicality: I have never understood why male humans are so fond of sitting with their legs all sprawled out. I get it that it’s a dominance thing, an owning of space, and a symbolic display of what must surely be the most impressive cojones ever placed in evidence. But it doesn’t seem like a behavior that is consistent with survival, because, I mean, it’s all right there, and you never know when I am carrying my phaser (which I sometimes do even though I can vaporize stuff using only my brain). Or even when somebody’s notebook will suddenly fall at a painful angle. Maybe the danger is part of it. “These cojones are so manly that I can risk anything, because I has them.”

    Oof. Oh, wait. I said “lastly”, but I lied. I have goats across the road! They are on the job! They have been deployed to eat everything on the steep hillside (but especially the noxious invasive broom plants). They are happily chewing away, enclosed by a movable fence and watched by a human and a workin’ dog, and OMG, they are all different kinds of goats, and so adorable.

  78. Narya

    Larkspur, when I encounter such males sprawling around, particularly in the seat next to me on public transit, I make sure to take up my full seat of room. It amuses me no end to see whether they give up and stay in their own space (which a surprising number do).

  79. Cottonpants

    Your male cat had PU surgery (perineal urethrostomy). Basically, they remove all or most of the penis and widen the urethra, which theoretically allows stones/crystals to pass more easily. It’s really not a sex change, unless you think male = penis.” — Shelley

    Thanks for the info. Like I said, I was just a little kid, and all they told me was “sex change”. I would, however, like to assure you that I don’t believe male = penis. If I did, I doubt I’d be bothering to transition (since I could never be a “real man” anyway).

    And now I better post this, before I start waxing poetical about the nature of gender, and what exactly constitutes a “real man” if not anatomy.

  80. Urban

    It’s probably wrong that I laughed at the irony. But I did it anyway, and I’m sorry.

    Fran is completely, utterly, bowl-over adorable. I hope that she has a fulsome recovery within the blink of an eye.

    Also, when I was but thirteen or fourteen and a regular horse-rider, my most fervent desire was to own a pair of plaid jodhpurs with almost exactly that pattern. All the cool kids had them, but I had plain navy and my parents laughed in the face of my request for new ones. In rural England in the 1990s, your trousers were all the rage.

  81. Uppity

    Poor Franny’s fanny! Better you than me, I won’t be wiping any canine behinds, no thank you.

    As much as I’m a fan of the labia, I’ll make a quick mention that foreskins are hunted down with much more gusto. I see it as a feminist issue myself, as mothers are most often their child’s genital protectors, while proud fathers are quick to hack off the neonate’s delicates and bully women into silence over the issue. Makes me sick.

    For the record, a mild solution of chlorine bleach is a-ok on living skin. Makes a good cheap anti-bacterial/microbial cleanser for all sorts of things.

  82. Gayle

    Frumious B.,

    I’ll raise you one. I have a cat who gives herself brazilians. Oh, yes, she does. She plucks her own fur clean up to her chest area. I’ve taken her to the vet. The vet shrugs and says she probably did it for “whatever” reason long ago and keeps up with it as it’s a behavioral pattern now.

    Anyway, she’s got a cleanly “shaved” tummy and “down there” area now. One which she seems determined to keep that way.

    I try not to judge.

  83. Frumious B.

    Dang, if I could give myself a Brazilian with your cat’s technique, I might sport one myself.

  84. Gayle


    All you need is twenty four hours a day, seven days a week to pluck yourself clean with your teeth! ‘Tis easy!

  85. Jezebella

    Gayle! I have a male cat who does the same thing! He looks like he has a monkey butt. I can’t get him to stop. He looks all scrawny and weird and people think he’s got mange or something, but, he just wants to lick the damn fur off. I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear that he’s not the only cat in the world that does this.

  86. preying mantis

    “I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear that he’s not the only cat in the world that does this.”

    A friend of mine’s got a cat who’s been sporting the shorn-alpaca look for over a year on account of overzealous self-grooming. She’s had some success in lessening the behavior–poor kitty use to have a full-body mohawk–by giving the cat occasional hormone injections.

  87. pyramus

    Not having any pets (and I am not a dog person really but if I could have a dog as spectacularly adorable as Fran I would probably do it, UTIs and all), I’m not in a position to comment on those, but I would like to note that not only is “ironical” not some sort of coinage designed to make “ironic” sound more important, it is actually OLDER than “ironic” by some fifty years. Most words in English that end in “-ic” also have a form that ends in “-ical” and vice versa, such as “magic/magical” and “politic/political”, one notable exception, ironically, being “surgical”.

  88. Ugly In Pink

    I had a cat once that would lick off her hair in patches. She looked piebald. Vet said it was anxiety and we gave her mild tranqs for two weeks. She never did it again.

  89. Gertrude Strine

    Oh the irony indeed:
    Pup gets fairly common poor hygiene/developmental infection that will very likely improve and resolve with time and diligent hygiene.
    Blogger exploits fatty skinfolds for good self-referential ironic copy.
    Ensuing set of home-baked recipes (dog “breeding” appears to be an especially fecund source of internet regurgitated tripe)throws up a single undisputed (in this blog, that’s the irony) assumption; that oestrus is an essential part of a bitch’s development and with the whiff in that assumption that it cures a lot of things.
    Fact: A bitch spayed (this is complete removal of ovaries and uterus, same as Twisty/Jill experienced) before her first oestrus has her risk of developing breast cancer in later life reduced almost to nothing.
    Fact: Breast cancer is the most common malignant cancer in bitches (around half of them – the cancers that is, not dog deaths in total) It is also as nasty to treat as it is in humans.
    Fact: A bitch spayed after her first oestrus has her risk of developing breast cancer later in life increased 7-fold from that of the bitch who is spayed before first oestrus.
    Fact: A bitch spayed after her second oestrus joins all those who are never spayed in her lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. Their risk is not small, increases between ages 2 and 5-ish and isn’t the point of these figures. It is around 25 percent of all unspayed bitches after 6 years of life who will develop mammary neoplasms and around half of those cancers will be vicious and malignant.

    Take home point: Spaying before oestrus reduces the finite risk of developing breast cancer (whatever the cause and whatever the environment) by more than 24 percent; it almost reduces the risk to negligible. It’s the best thing you can do for your bitch.
    Waiting for even a single oestrus changes that risk to only a roughly 16 percent better one. You feeling lucky, dog owner?

    Anecdotal evidence is that pups with conscientious mothers (clean their pups a lot and supervise pup’s own cleaning habits as they develop), and those whose early days are spent in well-cleaned kennels with good contact with their mothers, aren’t prone to juvenile genital and urinary infections.
    Jill appears to be that ideal conscientious mother to make up for a poor start.
    The rough road of cleaning up after widdling female pups? Better to be a little slack about bitches widdling inside until they are ready to train themselves. They come to it quite a bit later, infections or not, than little dog pups. Old newspaper makes an excellent carpet ;-)

    Disclaimer: I have a veterinary nursing qualification and have worked as one in a teaching clinic and in small animal practices. Dogs, cats and assorted uncaged birds live with us.

  90. pheeno

    It’s the same with pups. Getting my male dogs fixed as soon as possible cut down his chances of prostate cancer considerably.

    Alas, my stinky old weinie dog has prostate *issues*, but at least cancer ain’t one of em.

    His stinky issue would clear up if he’d stop eating cat poop.

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