What are Inability to Protrude or Retract Penis?
The inability to completely protrude the penis is called phimosis. The inability to completely retract the penis, alternatively, is called paraphimosis. The causes of each of these conditions can vary, and veterinary intervention may be required if the problem persists. These conditions may be more likely in small dogs, though it can be seen in all breed types. While this can occur at any age, it typically occurs in dogs that are younger than 1 year of age. Paraphimosis usually occurs after the dog has an erection, when the skin at the preputial orifice (the space between the prepuce and glans penis) becomes inverted and traps the penis, keeping it from retracting.
Phimosis (the inability to protrude the penis) and paraphimosis (the inability to retract the penis) are conditions sometimes seen in male dogs. Symptoms may include trouble when trying to copulate, trouble urinating, and swelling around the penis.
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Symptoms of Inability to Protrude or Retract Penis in Dogs
- Posthitis (swelling of the foreskin of the penis)
- Smelly discharge
- Trouble urinating
- Excessive licking of the area
- Trouble when trying to copulate
- Phimosis is typically unnoticed in dogs until they try to copulate and are unable to protrude the penis. Treatment may not be required if the dog is not used for breeding, though castration may be considered to prevent arousal. In breeding dogs, surgical widening of the preputial orifice may be required.
- Paraphimosis typically occurs after an erection, usually following semen collection or coitus. If the problem persists, veterinarian treatment should be sought. If the problem isn’t addressed, complications including severe edema and pain could develop.
Causes of Inability to Protrude or Retract Penis in Dogs
- Inverted skin at preputial orifice
- Small preputial opening
- Priapism (persistent erection, typically painful)
- Foreign objects around the penis
- Band of hair at the preputial orifice that constricts the penis
- Congenital causes
- Neoplasia (formation of a new, abnormal growth)
- Edema (excess of watery fluid collecting in cavities/tissues of the body)
- Fibrosis after trauma (thickening and scarring of connective tissue)
Diagnosis of Inability to Protrude or Retract Penis in Dogs
If there are no other symptoms or problems, a physical exam may be the only required diagnostic test. In the event of other symptoms, additional tests may be required, including:
- Complete blood count
- Serum chemistry profile
- Stress leukogram
Treatment of Inability to Protrude or Retract Penis in Dogs
In cases of phimosis, treatment is only important if the dog is used for breeding, though castration may be considered. Paraphimosis treatments typically require lubrication or other techniques to return the penis to its sheath. Prognosis is good in most cases.
Treatment depends largely on the cause of the paraphimosis. Possible treatments include:
- Cleaning and lubrication of exposed penis
- Hypertonic solutions
- Sedation or general anesthesia may be required, depending on cause and/or duration
- Exploratory surgery of the preputial cavity may be necessary
- If the urethra is damaged, temporary placement of a catheter may be necessary
- Removal of any foreign objects
- Cutting of any constricting hairs
- Analgesics (drugs to relieve pain)
- IV may be used for rapid medication administration or fluid therapy
- Penile amputation may be performed if the penis is necrotic (the cells of the penis are dying)
- If the dog isn’t used for breeding, treatment usually isn’t necessary.
- In breeding dogs, surgical enlargement of the preputial orifice may be used to treat the condition
- Castration may be considered in dogs not used for breeding to avoid any future problems.
Recovery of Inability to Protrude or Retract Penis in Dogs
Recovery and management will vary slightly based on the underlying causes and severity, but typically treatment is fairly simple and a full recovery is possible. In most cases, the recovery period is quick, though this can vary if surgical intervention is required.