DEAR DR. FOX: My husband and I are desperately looking for a specialist who can help our new puppy. She is 10 weeks old and we just got her. She is beyond sweet and affectionate; she's playful and has an adorable personality. A little buster for sure, but so lovable.
We took her to the vet to make sure she was healthy, and our vet informed us that our little female pug, who we are madly in love with, is really a boy. We love him/her, whatever sex he or she is, but we are scared for the dog and don't know what to do.
Our vet said in his 40 years of practicing, he has personally never seen this before. I have been looking for a doctor who may have dealt with this before. I have searched high and low on the internet and have come up with nothing. I came across you, and am hoping you can help me or provide any guidance or recommendations. -- L.A.T., New York City
DEAR L.A.T.: This condition is indeed extremely rare in dogs, but you should not have any reason to worry, provided your dog can urinate normally. And it will not affect your dog psychologically because, in a few months, you will be having him/her neutered. This is advisable since an undescended testicle in the abdomen, or retained uterus, could cause health problems later in life.
You should contact the breeder/supplier, who should have been able to see that the puppy did not have normal external genitalia. Inform them that they should pay for any veterinary services that may be needed -- or at least refund you some of what you paid for this pug in a poke!
I would be more worried about other inherited problems in your beloved pug associated with the deformed, pushed-in face (brachycephaly) and bulging eyes. Your veterinarian can help you on this front. Above all, after neutering, be sure your dog does not start to gain weight -- for brachycephalic dogs, this can quickly lower their quality of life, already compromised by this deformity.
ADVANCES IN GENE THERAPY RESTORE DOGS' VISION
A gene therapy restored some vision to dogs with congenital stationary night blindness, and the treatment might be able to help people with a similar genetic condition, researchers reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A single dose restored dogs' ability to express healthy LRIT3 protein in the retina, and the effects lasted at least a year, the researchers reported. (Full story: University of Pennsylvania's Penn Today, March 22)
BOOKS FOR MUSLIMS CONCERNED ABOUT ANIMALS AND NATURE
I was honored to contribute to a book being released this fall entitled, "Animals in Islam: Masri's Book and Scholarly Reflections on His Work," which the publisher describes as "an authorized and authoritative republication of B.A. Masri's seminal book and reflections on his work by important scholars and experts."
Further description from the publisher: "The uniqueness of this book, 'Animals in Islam,' is that it is possibly the only truly authoritative work on Islamic concern for animals. The author, Al-Hafiz B.A. Masri, was the first Sunni Imam of the Shah Jehan mosque in England and is widely respected for the depth of his scholarship in this field. The observations he makes are supported by a wealth of quotes from the Qur'an and Hadith. 'Animals in Islam' is a republication of this iconic text for the world to enjoy, edited by his grandson, Nadeem Haque. True to Islamic tradition, Al-Hafiz Masri welcomes readers -- particularly theologians and scholars -- to write to him, giving their opinions on what must be one of the most relevant and thought-provoking pieces of literature on animals within Islam to be released for several centuries."
See also "Ecolibrium: The Sacred Balance in Islam" by Nadeem Haque, Al-Hafiz B.A. Masri and Mehran Banaei, for which I wrote the foreword.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxOneHealth.com.)