Written by Rebecca L. Gounaris, DVM of Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston
Some of you may remember Linda, the cute little Pekin duckling with a pink cape that we treated a while back after being attacked by a dog. Well, imagine our surprise when Linda was brought in for a prolapsed phallus...turns out Linda is actually a male!!
Linda as a duckling (left photo) and Linda the adult male duck (right photo)
Male ducks have a phallus that exists for reproductive copulation and is contained inside of the body when not in use. The phallus can prolapse due to trauma, venereal disease, or can simply be due to overexposure of an exuberant male to other female ducks (we think this is why Linda developed this problem). If left untreated, the phallus can become infected, swollen, ulcerated, and eventually necrotic, so this is usually an issue an avian veterinarian needs to address.
The first time we saw Linda for this problem, the phallus was healthy, so we simply reduced the prolapse and placed temporary sutures across the cloaca, or vent, to reduce the size of the opening to help to contain the phallus. We also prescribed Linda some anti-inflammatories to reduce the swelling, as well as rest.
Linda’s prolapsed phallus (left photo) and after it was sutured (right photo)
This worked well for a little while, but about a month later, Linda developed another prolapse, and this time the phallus was mostly necrotic. We decided that a phallectomy, or amputation of the phallus, was the best solution for this situation.
Linda’s necrotic phallus (left photo) and after it was amputated (right photo)
Amputation of the phallus is fairly straightforward, because luckily, in birds, the phallus is simply a copulatory organ and does not serve any other purpose or have any associated “plumbing.” We were able to successfully amputate Linda’s phallus without complication and he recovered incredibly well, drinking and strutting around the clinic as if nothing ever happened!
He continues to do great and will luckily never need to worry about this problem ever again! We guess Linda really wanted to continue being “Linda”
Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston, located in Fallston, Maryland, is a family-owned, full-service hospital that provides veterinary services for dogs, cats and birds. Their expertise in the field now spans over three family generations, and they are very proud of this unique heritage. The hospital has an in-house laboratory, allowing for rapid diagnostic testing for critical care patients, digital radiography (xrays), surgical suite, and an on-site pharmacy. Dr. Scott Gounaris has been practicing veterinary medicine for 35 years and founded Pleasantville Animal Hospital in 2002. His daughter, Dr. Rebecca Gounaris, now works alongside him, and they approach each case as a team.
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About Dr. Rebecca Gounaris
Dr. Rebecca L. Gounaris is a 2016 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and is Dr. Scott Gounaris's oldest child. In addition to her lifetime love for cats and dogs, she has a deep passion for birds and participated in externships at several exotic veterinary clinics during her senior year. She has also worked for many years at Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research in Newark, DE, starting while she was earning her undergraduate degree at University of Delaware, and continues to provide veterinary care there to wild birds in need. After spending much time away from home for her education, she is thrilled to be practicing medicine back in her hometown and alongside her family members. She is a member of the Avian Association of Veterinarians, American Veterinary Medical Association, and Maryland Veterinary Medical Association. She also competes in synchronized ice skating and has two cats, Arwen and Pippin, a Sun Conure, Nino, and a Green-cheek Conure, Dutch.
About Dr. Scott Gounaris
Dr. Scott Gounaris graduated from the University of Florida Veterinary School in 1982. His lifetime love for animals drove him to choose veterinary medicine as he wanted to help animals that could not help themselves. Dr. Scott Gounaris enjoys the teamwork that we and the pet owners employ to work together for the welfare of their pets. The greatest reward for him is a positive outcome for his patient and their owners. With over 40 years of experience in the veterinary field, Dr. Scott Gounaris has seen it all. Prior to opening Pleasantville Animal Hospital of Fallston, he worked for his father, who was also a veterinarian. Now the father of a recent veterinary school graduate, a current veterinary school student, and a college undergraduate, he has shared his love of the profession with the next generation of Gounaris doctors.