Clitoridectomy and Urethrostomy in a Pseudohermaphrodite Dog
Background: Hermaphroditism is a rare congenital disease that causes ambiguous sexual features. True hermaphrodites have testicular and ovarian tissue, whereas pseudohermaphrodites have only one type of gonadal tissue, genitalia, but secondary characteristics of the opposite sex. Pseudohermaphrodites are classified as male or female according to their gonads. Treatment of pseudohermaphroditism consists of surgical removal of the gonads including reconstruction of abnormal genitalia, especially if the urethra is involved. Therefore, the objective of this report is to describe a case of a male pseudohermaphrodite in a dog treated with clitoridectomy with urethrostomy.
Case: A 7-month-old, mixed-breed dog was referred due to the presence of a flaccid structure similar to a small penis, containing an os clitoris, bulbourethral glands, and urethra protruding from the vulva. Physical examination, complete blood count and serum biochemistry were within normal ranges. Hormonal levels of estradiol, testosterone, and progesterone were 56.39 pg/mL, 127.9 ng/mL, and 0.892 ng/mL, respectively. The abdominal ultrasound and posteriorly the exploratory celiotomy found a normal size prostate and two round organs resembling testicles connected to a uterus-like tubular structure. The patient underwent surgical abdominal exploration that confirmed the ultrasonographic findings and led to gonadohysterectomy. Also, clitoridectomy and urethrostomy were performed to excise the protruded structure and maintain normal urethral patency. The histopathological examination of the clitoris and penis confirmed it was a male genital organ, however, the abdominal structures were compatible with the testicles, epididymis, uterus, and even a broad ligament. These organs are normally found in cases of male pseudohermaphroditism. The testicles were histologically composed of regular seminiferous tubules, single layer Sertoli cells but there were no spermatogenic cells. After ten months of follow-up, the patient was alive, without urination impairment or any other clinical signs.
Discussion: The animal presented the protrusion of the penile structure as the sole clinical sign. The reproductive system had a female origin, been possible its masculinization due to high testosterone concentration that induced the development of Wolff ducts, resulting in the formation of the epididymis, deferent ducts, and seminal vesicles. In these cases, it led to an enlarged clitoris. The patient described had hormonal levels compatible with a neutered male/female or a female in anestrus. The clinical signs become evident as the clitoris gets hypertrophied increasing the sensibility, resulting in constant licking of the mucosa, chronic inflammation, and mucopurulent discharge. This patient was diagnosed with male pseudohermaphroditism as it had cryptorchid male gonads along with the uterus and external genitalia of a female dog but containing traces of male genitals such as the os clitoris. Surgery is indicated when there are clinical signs or when the clitoris had an os clitoris or urethra due to an intersex abnormality. The surgical resection of the external male genitalia associated with the excision of the internal reproductive tract treated while preserving the urethra in this animal. Clitorectomy is a simple technique and creates a normal female anatomy ending the clinical signs of the exposed clitoris and improving the quality of life.
Clitoridectomy and Urethrostomy in a Pseudohermaphrodite Dog
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