What is Preputial Discharge?
Disorders of the prepuce and accompanying reproductive organs, infection, trauma, or disease could all be underlying conditions causing the preputial discharge. The feline may lick himself excessively, which moves bacteria from the mouth to the inside of the penis, placing the cat at high risk of developing a urinary tract infection. Apart from excessive licking, preputial discharge can be accompanied by a great deal of swelling and inflammation, which is rather painful for the feline. Cat owners may notice inactivity, a decrease in appetite, and an overall discomfort in their feline’s behavior. In many cases, the preputial discharge resolves itself and is not a health issue. However, preputial discharge can be linked to an underlying health condition and is often reoccurring, which requires the aid of a veterinarian.
Preputial discharge in cats is the presence of any flowing substance from the prepuce. In male felines, especially intact males, a small amount of yellow to white smegma visible at the preputial opening in normal. The prepuce, which is the skin cover surrounding the penis, is naturally cleaning, removing sweat and skins cells entrapped in the skin folds. However, an excessive amount of discharge or discolored discharge indicating the presence of blood, pus or urine, is a clinical sign of a greater problem.
Symptoms of Preputial Discharge in Cats
Male felines often have a small amount of yellow to white smegma visible at the preputial opening, with no accompanying symptoms. However, excessive licking, pain, and swelling of the prepuce area is not normal, as these are clinical signs of a problem. The discharge may have a variable amount of pus, blood, or urine, which is not normal for a feline to excrete. Symptoms of preputial discharge in cats to watch for include:
- An excessive amount of preputial discharge
- Excessive licking of the prepuce
- Blood, pus or urine in the preputial discharge
- Swelling and inflammation of the prepuce
- Reddened skin surrounding the prepuce
- Signs of an infection (straining to urinate, fever, vocalizing upon urination)
- Lack of appetite
- Decreased physical activity
Causes of Preputial Discharge in Cats
Discharge from the prepuce is often normal in males, as it is the body’s way of naturally self-cleaning. However, abnormally colored discharge and other significant irregularities in the male reproductive area can be caused by a number of underlying conditions such as:
- Infection (bladder infection, kidney infection, ureter infection)
- Foreign body entrapment
- Urinary incontinence (inability to control urine flow due to abnormality or weakening of the sphincter muscles)
- Ectopic ureter (abnormally placed tubes that carry the urine)
- Ingestion of a toxin (rat position)
- Snake bite
- Bleeding disorder (thrombocytopenia, coagulopathies)
- Prostate disorders (abscess, cyst, hyperplasia, neoplasia, prostatitis)
- Urinary bladder disorders (neoplasia, inflammation, calculi, infection)
- Urethra disorders (calculi, trauma, neoplasia)
- Prepuce disorders (prepuce and/or penis inflammation, trauma, cancer)
Diagnosis of Preputial Discharge in Cats
The veterinarian will examine the prepuce and penis thoroughly, noting any abnormalities upon physical examination. He or she may cleanse the prepuce with a saline solution in order to examine the reproductive organ more closely through the use of a rigid endoscope (a tool used to view areas of the body more closely). Inflammation, trapped foreign bodies and other visible malformations may be revealed in an endoscope examination. A cytology, or examination of the cells, of the prepuce may prove efficient in identifying underlying possible cellular disease, such as cancer. The veterinarian may request a bacterial culture of the preputial discharge in order to identify the presence of infection, however, the presence of naturally occurring bacteria may compromise the test.
Treatment of Preputial Discharge in Cats
The preputial discharge in the feline may resolve without the interference of treatment, but the cat should be kept from licking the prepuce through the use of an Elizabethan collar until the discharge has ceased. The veterinarian may clip away long hair around the reproductive organ, as hair could be irritating the area or trapping bacteria close to the opening of the penis (posing a risk for infection). He or she is likely to flush the preputial cavity with a mild antiseptic or sterile solution to cleanse the area, speeding up the discharge process. If the results from the bacterial culture came back positive, the veterinarian will prescribe an antibiotic either in the form of a pill or ointment.
Recovery of Preputial Discharge in Cats
Prescribed drug therapies for preputial discharge in cats usually last approximately one to two weeks, resulting in a full recovery. Reoccurrence of preputial discharge, both mild and infectious, in not uncommon. Your veterinarian may suggest the feline be neutered to diminish the amount of discharge eliminated and lessen the frequency in which it occurs.
Preputial Discharge Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My cat is healthy and active.he eats dry food and drink sufficiently amount of water daily.he pee and poo once in a day without any difficulty.but I saw some discharge near his penis which is dark brown in colour.is it normal or do I seek vet advice?
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