Published: 10:00, 09 October 2014
A Faversham vet made a rare discovery when he treated one of the world’s only hermaphrodite dogs.
The dog’s owner was told their six-month-old pooch – ironically named Missy – has both female and male genitalia.
Owner Josie Munday, from Teynham, took her French bulldog to Toachim House Vets in Shunters Close to be spayed – a standard procedure where the ovaries are removed.
But in 30 years as a vet, surgeon and practice owner Andrew Wills has never come across a hermaphrodite dog where it has both ovaries and testicles.
Practice manager Stacey van Gent said: “She came in to be spayed using the keyhole surgery using a tiny little camera.
“When we were examining her, the vet and nurses could tell that something did not look right.
“Andrew has never seen a hermaphrodite dog for all his years of practice and most vets will never get to see anything like it in their lifetime.
“I, similarly, have been in practice for 20 years and have never come across anything like it.”
Stacey explained that if Missy had not been spayed, she may have started to cock her leg like a male dog and have other manly characteristics.
The lack of cases means that there is very little research about hermaphrodite dogs and the long-term effects on their health.
“Most vets will never get to see anything like it in their lifetime" - Stacey van Gent
The condition is so rare that there are no known statistics.
Mr Wills said that while studying to be a vet, there were never many lessons on how to treat hermaphrodite dogs because most vets would never come across one.
Mrs Munday says that Missy is still her “special girl”. She said: “We knew we were not going to breed her but it was a total shock to hear.
“We didn’t even really know what it was until the vet explained. We won’t be changing her name or treating her any differently.”
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