Paraphimosis in dogs.

Those of us who have male dogs in our homes are often familiar with the infamous red rocket. Normally your dog’s penis is neatly hidden inside his prepuce and only makes an appearance when it is needed. Sometimes, though, a dog’s penis can become stuck out for an abnormally long time. This can become a pet emergency, and Animal Medical Hospital & Urgent Care wants our pet owners to know how to recognize paraphimosis in dogs and when it is a cause for worry. 

The Normal Functioning of Your Dog’s Business

In order to recognize when something is wrong with your dog’s genital area, it is important to understand how everything functions when things are going smoothly. 

The doggy lipstick part of the male anatomy, more properly called the glans penis, mostly resides inside the foreskin-like external sheath called the prepuce. When excited or aroused, though, the glans penis emerges, ready for action. 

Male dogs have two glands located on either side of the base of the penis called the bulbous glandis. Sometimes you might notice them to be swollen even in a neutered male. When ejaculation occurs, though, the job of the bulbous glandis is to swell and keep the glans penis extruded for a short period. This is what causes a male and female dog to tie temporarily after a successful breeding

The glans penis is not meant to stay out of the prepuce very long, but it can do so relatively safely for about 20-30 minutes, as might occur after breeding. Beyond this timeframe, though, trouble can ensue. 

Paraphimosis in Dogs

When the glans of the penis remains exposed for much longer than 20-30 minutes, it is referred to as paraphimosis. Paraphimosis in dogs can be quite serious and potentially even qualify as an emergency

Over time, the delicate surface of the glans penis becomes dried out and irritated. This can result in pain, swelling, infection, and potentially even necrosis of the normal tissue. Urination may also be compromised. 

When paraphimosis in dogs occurs, it is important to call us right away. Our expert team of veterinarians will assess the situation and begin by trying to correct the issue. Anti-inflammatory medications and lubricants are often used to aid replacement into the sheath. Surgery is sometimes indicated to help keep the glans in place.

They will also want to try to determine the underlying cause of the problem. Inciting factors may include:

  • An abnormality or deformity in the development of the genitalia
  • Some type of traumatic injury
  • Neurological problems
  • Tumors
  • A physical obstruction such as hair around the base of the glans penis

Seeing your dog’s glans pop out to say hello periodically is nothing out of the realm of normal. If you notice that it is not returning to its home in a short amount of time, or if you notice the surface to appear or be irritated, it may be time to come see us, though. Paraphimosis in dogs is nothing to ignore. It can be a downright painful and serious condition.