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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 is a cause for alarm. Many things can cause this inflammation, such as bites, injuries, infections and foreign bodies trapped inside the foreskin. 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 foreskin, accompanied by a mucopurulent discharge. Common in sexually mature male dogs, it is usually mild and recovers on its own without much damage. 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 foreskin, 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 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 foreskin areas. Antibiotic ointments are applied to areas for 2 to 4 weeks. Any abscesses present will 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. This is especially true when 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 will 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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Inflammation of the Penis and Prepuce Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Miniature Schnauzer

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13.5 Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Has Symptoms

Irritated, Red, Itchy Penis

His penis has a yellowish discharge and seems to be inflamed and itching him incessantly. He licks constantly and is panting a lot. I think he may have gotten a bite from a fire ant but not certain. I have Zymox from a hotspot he had had on his shoulder. What can I do for him? He is very miserable.

Sept. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Kate D. MA VetMB MRCVS

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0 Recommendations

Hello, Thanks for contacting us about your dog. I’m sorry to hear he’s unwell. From what you are describing, it certainly sounds like he has some irritation around his penis. A little discharge can be normal but if there is more than is normal for him or it is accompanied with itching or pain, it can be a sign of an infection. I would recommend getting a vet appointment as soon as possible so that you can get the right medications on board. In the meantime, gently washing the area with warm salt water may help soothe it. Zymox may also help relieve the itching and inflammation for him but please check the recommendations on the packet for how long it can be used once opened. I hope he feels better soon.

Sept. 6, 2020

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Chihuahua

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

My chihuahua is one year old. He was recently diagnosed with auto immune disease. I noticed his tip of private part is a little swollen and red.

Aug. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I'm sorry that your dog is having problems. The tip of his penis being swollen is not a common side effect from steroids, and I think a recheck with your veterinarian would be a good idea, or at least a phone call to them so that you can give them more details. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 28, 2020

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Labrador Retriever

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Eleven Years

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Unknown severity

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4 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Red Inflammed Sheath At The Tip

my dogs sheath at the tip is all red and inflammed. He keeps licking it but doesn't seem to show any other signs or symptoms of discomfort.

Aug. 7, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. It is possible that he has a growth or an infection that is causing this, or his licking may be making it worse. It would probably be a good idea since he is not leaving it alone, to have him seen by a veterinarian. They will be able to look at the area, see what might be causing this, and get medication for him so that he is comfortable. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 7, 2020

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French Bulldog

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Green Stuff Coming Out Of Wiener And Looks Swollen

Just noticed my dog had green stuff coming out and looks kind of swollen

Aug. 7, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. There is a discharge that un-neutered male dogs have that is normal, and that appears to be what is going on. If he is urinating more frequently, or licking at himself more frequently, it would be best to have a veterinarian examine him, but what you are seeing looks normal, from your picture. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 8, 2020

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English Springer Spaniel

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Fifteen Weeks

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

Hi my puppy has a red lump (about the size of a pea) at the base of his penis It’s just one and it’s right in the middle is this a serious cause for alarm or could it just be a bug bite or something?

Aug. 7, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. It is difficult to see what is going on from a picture, without being able to examine him, but that does look like it may be a bug bite at the base of his prepuce. I don't think that I would be alarmed at this point, but I would watch it closely and see if it resolves or not. If it is getting bigger, or not going away, then it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine him and see what might be causing the problem. I hope that all goes well for him!

Aug. 8, 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

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

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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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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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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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

dog-age-icon

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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