DEAR DR. DONOHUE: We have a first granddaughter, who is very special in a family of all sons and grandsons. She is 13 months and started walking at 11 months. Her little legs seem bowed. Is this normal for a baby at that age, or should it concern us? - C.H.

ANSWER: Infants are almost always bowlegged, a consequence of the position of the legs during prenatal development. Somewhere between 1 and 2 years of age the legs straighten out.Since you probably are using your experience with several other babies in the past by which to judge, I presume this is really an exaggerated bowing. Nevertheless, an experienced family physician or pediatrician can tell if it is outside of normal ranges. If it is, X-rays will tell what is going on. If I was a gambling man, I would bet that this is in the usual category of expected bowing.

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My Pap test showed abnormal cells, called "atypia." I was given a suppository to use and must have a repeat Pap test. What information can you give me on this? - H.B.

ANSWER: Atypia means not exactly normal. But it does not mean cancer. The cells are a bit peculiar, and often that means a vaginal infection, one that can be silent so far as symptoms are concerned. After treating the infection, the Pap test is repeated to be certain the atypical cells are gone. This is the safe way to follow any woman who has anything but a 100 percent normal Pap test. Vaginal infections are discussed in the report on that. To order, write Dr. Donohue/No. 33, Box 19660, Irvine, CA 92713-0660, enclosing a long, stamped, self-addressed envelope and $2.

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am fast approaching the "old goat" stage of life, but please suggest what I can eat besides grass and wheat straw. I'm causing my doctors to pull out their hair. My cholesterol is 278, my triglycerides 285. Also, I am either six inches too short or 15 pounds overweight. All help appreciated. - G.A.

ANSWER: I know what you mean. We're urged to adopt an insipid diet or face tragic consequences. But diets don't have to be that way. We don't need to become vegetarian or bovine unless we want that.

Quite simply, all one need do unless specifically advised otherwise is limit fat intake to 30 percent of calories. Just cutting back on whole milk or whole milk products, like cheese, and substituting low fat products is a big step. Meat's OK too, so long as you cut the fat away and don't prepare it in a sea of fat juices.

Round out this dietary program by using eggs sparingly, which almost fill a daily cholesterol level by themselves (one egg has more than 200 mg). Add a lot of complex carbohydrates - pastas, breads, veggies.

If you haven't budged the fat readings after six months, it is time to consider medicines. I don't think you need to start shopping the feed and grain elevators yet.

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I'm a 23-year-old male. I have a varicocele, enlargement of veins in the scrotum. I don't plan to have children yet, but wonder about sterility. Knowing more would give me peace of mind. What are my options? Are there medicines for this? Would scrotal support help? Can you give me any information? - J.B.

ANSWER: Varicocele (VAR-ih-co-seal) is, as you say, enlargement of veins in the scrotal sac. About 15 percent of all males have this, usually on one side, most often the left.

Varicocele can cause infertility. In fact, a fairly large percentage of infertile males have the condition. The problem arises from elevation of scrotal temperature from the blood engorgement of the tangled, enlarged veins. Sperm production requires a scrotal temperature slightly lower than that of the internal body, which explains testicle placement in this sac.

We have no medicines to correct varicocele. Scrotal support won't help, and in fact would only elevate the temperature more. Surgery is the answer. Fully 70 percent of men operated on to remove a varicocele have increased sperm production afterward.

Varicocele surgery is an advancing art. You can have this done in one day, returning home shortly after the procedure. Besides the conventional surgery, doctors are now experimenting with a procedure in which a tiny balloon is threaded into the dilated veins, then inflated in place to cause clotting. This obliterates the offending veins. NOTE: Readers should not confuse this with hydrocele, a different kind of scrotal swelling from fluid accumulation.

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am on a salt-restricted diet to keep my blood pressure down without medication. Do I have to restrict only my intake of salt, or do I have to beware of other sodium foods, baking soda, etc.? - M.P.

ANSWER: You've got to be able to read small print to adhere to a salt-restricted diet. Salt itself is sodium chloride, but there are other forms of sodium. You have to watch labels for them also. Most today do tell the amount of sodium in milligrams. You can add up the amounts in servings to see if you are exceeding your limits.

Interestingly, researchers are now wondering if the chloride part of salt is not also involved in blood pressure elevation. But until that issue is cleared up, just stick to the sodium watching.