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What is Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce?

Normal penile discharge is clear. When you notice pus like or bloody discharge, and the penile area becomes inflamed, this needs medical attention. Many things can cause this inflammation, such as bites, injuries, infections and foreign bodies trapped inside the prepuce. While treatment is simple and often effective, the underlying cause needs to be identified and treated, or the condition is likely to recur.

Balanoposthitis is an inflammation of the penis or prepuce, accompanied by a mucopurulent discharge. Common in sexually mature male dogs, it is usually mild and tends to resolve on its' own. However, in more persistent and severe cases, serious health issues can develop, such as infection, pain, urogenital and copulation problems, fevers, and even necrosis of penile tissues.

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Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce Average Cost

From 565 quotes ranging from $400 - $1,800

Average Cost

$850

Symptoms of Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce in Dogs

Symptoms of penile and foreskin inflammation include:

  • Discharge from the penis or foreskin that is mucopurulent (mucus mixed with pus), purulent (pus), or bloody
  • Excessively licking or biting the foreskin or genital area
  • Inflammation and swelling of penis and foreskin
  • Ulcers present in foreskin and penile mucosa, or the skin inside the foreskin
  • Blisters on penis and foreskin
  • Bleeding from penis or foreskin
  • Cuts or tears on the penis and foreskin
  • Pain in foreskin and penile area
  • Abnormal tissue growth on penis
  • Incontinence
  • Trouble urinating
  • Discharge from urethra
  • Urine dribbling
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Kidney stones
  • Dry, scaly patches on penis and foreskin, indicative of atopic dermatitis 
  • Raised follicles on penis in cases of hyperemia

If the condition is left untreated, these signs of a more serious infection may develop:

  • Abscess on penis or foreskin
  • Stenosis, or when the foreskin cannot fully retract and can restrict or close the opening of the penis
  • Phimosis, or the inability to extrude the penis
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Penis and foreskin scarring
  • Pain during copulation
  • Reduced libido
  • Necrosis of tissues
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Causes of Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce in Dogs

Causes of balanoposthitis in your dog may include:

  • Trauma
  • Snake or insect bite
  • Foreign body, such as hair, string, cords, grass, sand or other small objects
  • Bacterial infection, such as Mycoplasma and Staphylococcus
  • Viral infection, such as canine herpesvirus and calicivirus
  • Fungal infection, such as Malassezia
  • Protozoal infection
  • Self-trauma, such as excessive licking
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Poor hygiene
  • Hyperemia of the penis, or an excess of blood flow
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Diagnosis of Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce in Dogs

Based on the symptoms present, your veterinarian may suspect balanoposthitis. A full exam of the penis and prepuce will be conducted to determine why your dog has become inflamed in these areas. Things your veterinarian will look for are foreign bodies lodged in the prepuce, lacerations, masses, abscesses, blisters, ulcerations, and other signs of certain infections. Any changes in appetite, behavior or elimination can be important for a correct diagnosis, so be prepared to tell your veterinarian if these have occurred.

Analysis of preputial smears, infected tissues, bacterial cultures, biopsy, and papules or blisters can aid in correcting identifying the cause.

If urinary issues are present, your veterinarian may order X-rays or ultrasound of the bladder, prostate, and genital areas to check for any masses, infections or blockages that may be causing the issue.

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Treatment of Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce in Dogs

Depending on the severity of the balanoposthitis, treatment can vary.

In cases of mild balanoposthitis, which is slightly mucopurulent and is common in sexually mature dogs, treatment is generally not required as the condition resolves on its own. If needed, antiseptic flushes and topical antibiotics can be applied. 

In more severe cases, treatment begins with removal of any foreign bodies if present, then an antiseptic cleanse of the penis and prepuce areas. Antibiotic ointments may be prescribed. Any abscesses present may need to be lanced, drained and cleaned. Surgery may be needed in rare cases to remove any abnormal tissue growth.

If the underlying cause has been identified, it will need to be treated as well. Your veterinarian will discuss a treatment plan appropriate to the condition. Even with treatment, recurrence of the condition is common if the underlying cause is not correctly identified and treated.

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Recovery of Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce in Dogs

With treatment, recovery of balanoposthitis is good, though reoccurrence is common. You may be sent home with antiseptic washes for the genital area, or antibiotics to administer at home. Treatment of any underlying issues may require home care and your veterinarian will discuss this with you on a case by case basis.

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Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce Average Cost

From 565 quotes ranging from $400 - $1,800

Average Cost

$850

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Written by a lover Michele K.

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Published: 10/17/2016, edited: 02/24/2021

Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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morkie

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Licking At Genitals

It’s yellowish skin, swollen, and he is licking it every now and then. Please help! I’m not sure if I should put antibiotics (neomycin) on it. I won’t do it until a vet says it’s safe.

Feb. 19, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Hello, This does look like he may have it infected. You can use Neosporin or any other topical antibiotic cream. Just try to keep him from licking this area.

Feb. 19, 2021

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Labrador Retriever

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Eighteen Months

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Unknown severity

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8 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

I just noticed what looks like welts or a ring on his penis. It’s red and raised. Is this a fungal infection?

Jan. 23, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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8 Recommendations

Hello this looks like a small infection. You can clean this area and apply Neosporin to it. If it does it heal or gets worse, you would need to see you vet for some oral antibiotics.

Jan. 25, 2021

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Great Pyrenees

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Five Months

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Unknown severity

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

My dog has bumps or lesions on his genital area. Do I need to take him to the veterinarian?

Dec. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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3 Recommendations

This looks like it could be a fungal or bacterial infection. A vet visit is best. They may swab the lesion and can then prescribe the most appropriate treatment which may be e.g. antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. If he is licking at the area, use a buster collar to prevent this as this will delay healing. You can bathe the region with cotton wool and salt water. I do hope this helps.

Dec. 27, 2020

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Yorkshire Terrier

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Thirteen Years

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Genital Licking

My Yorkie is constantly licking his penis all the sudden. He also will jump up for no apparent reason and run like he is startled or something jabbed him but without actual cause.

Dec. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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3 Recommendations

Hello, he may have a urinary tract infection causing him to lick constantly and be mildly painful. It would be best for him to see your vet. They will check a sample of his urine to see if there is an infection and start him on the correct treatment for his issue.

Dec. 26, 2020

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bitchon

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Three Years

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Unknown severity

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4 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Painful Urination

Cries when penis touch

Dec. 22, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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4 Recommendations

Hello, so sorry to hear about your dog. He could have a urinary tract infection, bladder stone or something physically wrong with his penis. If the penis is not a nice pink color he needs to see your vet right away.

Dec. 22, 2020

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Changu

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Malshi

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3 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Penis

Today my 3 year old malshi was humping the pillow but it was unusual to see the his penis was double the size of normal and had excessive swelling (dark red color) though it went inside immediately as I took away the pillow and since then she he normal and active. Is there something to worry about?

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Munchkin

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Pug

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11 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Blood Drops

My pug is not neuter. He is 11 years old. He likes to wrestle with our other dog who is a 8yr old miniature schnauzer.who also is not neuter. They both wrestle to where they both get excited and start to take turns humping each other.even though they both don't do anything or their penis enter in their rectum. Well last night my pug came in the house and his penis was dripping blood. I check the outside of the penis and where the hole is where he pee it had blood. But he began to drip blood. I clean the pee opening with a warm towel and it stop. Then this morning it started to bleed again.im thinking he got excited to where his penis came out and he was rubbing it on the back of the other dog. Because the other dog fur on his back was wet. And had dry blood. He must of rub it so hard that he ejaculated on the other dog fur and when the penis went back into the skin it was worn out. I don't know but I'm worried. Will it get better on its own

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Ike

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Chesapeake Bay Retriever

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10 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Penis,

I noticed my dog had a swollen penis and area where his testes would be (if he had them). I took him to the vet and was told it might be PLE (protein losing entropy due to IBD/IBS/colitis/chronic large bowel diarrhea). But, the odd thing is, only his penis and groin is swollen (it's not red or irritated looking, just enlarged by fluid it seems). Otherwise his abdomen tucked and not swollen. Does this make sense for PLE? Can you think of any other reasons this might this be happening?

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T-Bone

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Chihuahua

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6 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Vomiting

My dog keep on I've been shaking it up with his wife teacup for few days it was really hard to keep them apart this time. I noticed after he was over the tip of his penis was red and had a blister on the tip. He had been looking more than normal that seemed to be okay. Blister quickly went away within a day and he seemed fine. The next day he had vomited and have been sleeping a lot. Now he's been sleeping a lot which isn't too strange cuz he does sleep a lot normally. But he's been vomiting once to twice a day and seems to have a little bit of a fever. He plays like normal for part of the day but the other half he does not. I'm a low income family and would like to avoid going to the vet if possible so if you have any advice for me or feel I should take him in please let me know thank

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Cosmo

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Siberian Husky

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5 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Penis

My Siberian Husky is having his second episode in recent months where his penis becomes swollen, what looks to be a normal erection. It seems to last quite awhile before returning to normal and he seems to be in obvious pain. He’s tried to keep me from inspecting the area but th area seems clean and normal. No abnormal discharge. He is nursing it by walking with his butt low. Seems to be going away (like it did the first time) but this time has lasting longer it seems. Any thoughts anyone? Thank you.

Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce Average Cost

From 565 quotes ranging from $400 - $1,800

Average Cost

$850

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