Experience: my dog underwent gender reassignment surgery

Molly seemed like a perfectly normal female pup at first. It was only when she started taking walks outside that we noticed unusual behaviour

T he death of our collie Bonnie in 2006 hit my husband Frank and me so hard that it was almost a decade before we considered taking on another dog. But , late in 2015, my daughter mentioned that a friend of hers had a jack russell that was about to have pups. Familiar with female dogs, all of us decided that if there were any bitches in the litter we would take one. Thats how we ended up with Molly.

Picking her up involved a round trip of about 200 miles, but it was love at first sight. She was a tiny wee doggy, only 11in long and 6in high, and she weighed about a kilo and a half. She had delicate features very feminine-looking.

We registered Molly at the local vet and made sure she experienced all her jabs. It had been only when the girl started walking outside at about three months old that we noticed peculiarities in her behaviour.

Indoors, when Molly needed to pee, she would squat on her training mat as the lady had been taught, but when Frank took her out this individual noticed that your woman cocked the girl leg like a boy dog. We had spotted before that she a new tiny appendage between the woman back legs, but we all thought little of it until we noticed that it sometimes seemed to cause her discomfort when the woman tried to sit down.

We took Molly to the veterinarian to get it looked at. After examining your ex, the veterinary said: Im going to have a senior colleague look at this, and took Molly into a back room. I was reminded associated with Bonnies diagnosis with stomach cancer plus feared the worst. When the vet came back and said she thought Molly could be a hermaphrodite, I didnt realise what this lady meant; We started crying, assuming she was referring to another form of cancer. But she said: No, it means Molly has male and female genitalia. I had been flabbergasted; I had never heard anything like it. Yet we were assured that Mollys condition could be fixed, although we would have to wait until the girl was older and stronger.

In the meantime, Molly started to behave more like a male dog, mounting cushions and soft toys, even though this often left the sore in addition to unhappy. When she has been six months old, we took your girlfriend back to the particular vet, where a senior practitioner, Ross Allan , examined her. X-rays and other tests confirmed his suspicions Molly was an intersex canine. In fact , the lady was most likely genetically male, meaning your woman was the male pseudohermaphrodite . She had a small vestigial penis within what looked like a female vulva and even testicles inside her abdomen that hadnt descended.

Mollys condition had been very rare. About one in 6, 800 dogs born are pseudohermaphrodites. In 15 years of practice, Ross had never encountered another case, nor had any of his more senior colleagues. Sometimes no operation is needed, but Ross explained that Mollys complications were likely to increase as she aged. Well-meaning friends had already suggested it might be kinder to have her put down, because she was often visibly distressed. The thought horrified us. However , Ross reassured us that an operation would make her life much easier.

The day she went into theatre seemed to be very stressful. Ross stated: Call me in the morning. I actually didnt sleep a wink that night, thinking about Molly together with fearing typically the worst. Nevertheless we were able to take their home the next day. Ross got removed this partly formed penis and additionally testicles, which were at risk of becoming cancerous, not to mention created an opening for Mollys urethra so she could pee comfortably. She was initially exhausted the first day back and lay at the end of our bed, crying. When we spotted blood, many of us rushed him / her back to often the vet, where she ended up spending a few more days being treated with drugs and antibiotics.

Twenty months on, shes a cheeky little doggy, full of character. Shes still unmistakably our own Molly, whatever her genetic makeup. Whenever our grandchildren visit, this girl jumps all over them and also licks their ears; shes clearly much happier than she was before the operation. She still loves the woman’s soft toys, too just not in the same way.

As told to Chris Broughton

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jul/28/my-dog-molly-underwent-gender-reassignment-surgery

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