Episioplasty, the surgical excision of excessive perivulvar skin folds, is recommended as the treatment of choice for perivulvar dermatitis or chronic or recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI) believed to be secondary to excessive perivulvar skin folds.
Perivulvar dermatitis has been reported to develop in female dogs with congenital or conformational abnormalities such as hypoplastic, infantile, or atretic vulvas. Recessed vulvas allow urine to pool in the valley around the vulva and the resulting bacteria can be the cause of chronic urinary tract infections (UTI). Excessive weight can add to the amount of extra skin around the vulvar region, creating an environment conducive to bacterial overgrowth and inflammation, leading to perivulvar dermatitis.
Clinical signs include excessive licking of the vulvar area, urine staining of the hind limbs, scooting of the perineal area along the floor, and malodor.
The episioplasty procedure entails making two crescent shaped incisions in the perivulvar skin just dorsal to thevulva. The skin and associated subcutaneous tissues are excised and sutured together, eliminating recession of the vulva and redundant skin folds. Owners are instructed to restrict their pets from rubbing or scooting on the incision line and an Elizabethan collar is placed until suture removal.
Author: Michelle Tichenor, DVM