What are Retract Penis?
While paraphimosis can be a medical emergency that needs immediate attention, phimosis doesn't normally pose a medical problem unless breeding is desired.
Paraphimosis and phimosis are medical conditions that can affect a male cat’s ability to retract or protrude the penis. Paraphimosis is the inability for a cat to retract its penis back into its sheath. The condition typically occurs following an erection. Phimosis is a medical condition that occurs when the cat isn't able to protrude its penis from its sheath, which can cause problems with urination and breeding.
Symptoms of Retract Penis in Cats
Paraphimosis typically occurs immediately or soon after breeding or semen collection. The symptoms of paraphimosis include:
- Frequent licking of genitals
- Fluid accumulation (swelling) in genitals
- Excessive hair around the penis
- Trauma to the penis
- Pain in genital area
- Dry skin in genital area
The symptoms of phimosis may not be noticeable until the cat attempts to copulate with a female cat. These symptoms include:
- Inability to extrude the penis
- Urine that seeps out in drops from the genital area
- Excessive licking of genitals
- Failed breeding attempts
Causes of Retract Penis in Cats
Paraphimosis most often occurs when hair becomes entangled around the penis. The hair may become entangled during breeding or when a long hair rolls under the penis. The entanglement causes the penis to lose circulation and swell, preventing it from retracting. The condition may also be caused by cancer, foreign bodies, trauma, a small preputial opening (the skin that covers the penis), or inflammation.
Phimosis is caused by a preputial opening that is abnormally small. Though the small opening is normally the result of a birth defect, in rare cases, it can result from a bacterial infection, scar tissue, cancer, inflammation, or trauma.
Diagnosis of Retract Penis in Cats
The veterinarian will diagnose the cat with either paraphimosis or phimosis after physically examining the cat. During the exam, the veterinarian will examine the cat's penis and prepuce areas. The veterinarian will easily be able to diagnose either phimosis or paraphimosis during this exam. The veterinarian will then diagnose why the condition occurred. If no trauma, small opening or hair entanglement is present, tests may need to be run to determine if the condition was caused by cancer or a bacterial infection. These tests may include blood tests, X-rays and/or ultrasounds. If the paraphimosis or phimosis has caused a block in the flow of urine, a urinalysis may be performed in order to determine if a urinary tract infection is present.
Treatment of Retract Penis in Cats
If phimosis is due to a birth defect, breeding isn't desired and urination isn't affected, cats with phimosis should be neutered. This will prevent future arousal from occurring.
If the phimosis has occurred due to scar tissue or cancer and urination is affected or breeding is desired, surgery may be performed to enlarge the opening and remove the scar tissue or tumor. Surgery poses risks of infection and may not be successful in all cases, so it should only be attempted in extreme cases.
Removal of Hair Entanglement
When caught early, paraphimosis is treated by removing the entangled hair that is causing the difficulty in retraction. The cat may be given a mild sedative during the hair removal in order to keep it relaxed. The veterinarian will carefully remove the hair around the prepuce with trimmers. The vet will then gently cleanse and lubricate the penis before carefully replacing it inside of the prepuce. The swelling should resolve itself once circulation to the penis is restored.
If the paraphimosis isn't caught early and extreme swelling occurs due to loss of circulation, the loss of circulation may cause penile necrosis, which occurs when the skin dies due to lack of oxygen. If this occurs, a partial or total penile amputation will need to occur.
Antibiotic ointments may be prescribed after the entangled hair has been removed in cases of paraphimosis in order to reduce inflammation and prevent infection from occurring. The ointment will need to be placed on the shaft of the penis twice a day or as recommended by the veterinarian.
If phimosis has occurred due to an infection, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications will be prescribed in order to clear the infection and reduce the inflammation.
Recovery of Retract Penis in Cats
If surgery or amputation occurred, the cat will need to wear an Elizabethan collar to prevent biting and licking of the sutures. The cat will need to follow up with the veterinarian in order to ensure that post-surgical infection hasn't occurred.
When paraphimosis is caught early, the prognosis for a complete recovery is good. It's important to always keep the cat's hair around its prepuce cut short in order to prevent paraphimosis from recurring.