What is Urethral Prolapse?
Urethral prolapse occurs when a small part of the urethra, or the tip, comes out from the opening of the dog’s penis. This protrusion of the urethra through the penis looks similar to a growth, such as a tumor, and typically occurs in younger dogs or dogs that are middle-aged. This condition also typically occurs in Boston Terriers and English Bulldogs.
The urethra is the small tube opening in which urine comes out of the body. The muscle of the bladder, the sphincter muscle, is at the top of the urethra and keeps the bladder intact and closed. The urethra is connected to the bladder and goes down into the penis. Sometimes the urethra can become inflamed, due to infection (urethritis) and can expose itself outside of the penis tip.
When prolapsed urethra occurs, the exposed urethra outside of the penis head may be swollen, reddish or purplish in color, and be quite painful to the dog. It may only occur during an erection, or may be present all the time.
Urethral prolapse is a condition in which the urethra extends outside of the tip of the penis in male dogs. This condition can be caused by a variety of conditions or may be hereditary.
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Symptoms of Urethral Prolapse in Dogs
- Red or purple inflamed mass at the tip of penis
- Licking of the genital area
- Straining when urinating
The urethra can be the affected area for many types of conditions. Besides urethral prolapse, other types of conditions that may occur in male dogs are:
- Urinary tract infection
- Mineral build-up or stones
- Prostate disorders
- Infections around the penis
- Undescended testicle
Causes of Urethral Prolapse in Dogs
Urethral prolapse may be caused by several different factors. Once your veterinarian tests your dog and comes to a definitive diagnosis, he will alert you to the possible cause of his condition. Causes can include:
- Abnormality in the urethra development
- Increased pressure in the intra-abdominal area
- Prolonged sexual arousal or erection
- The return flow of blood causing engorgement around the urethra
Diagnosis of Urethral Prolapse in Dogs
If your dog is showing signs of a growth outside of his penis, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Once you visit the veterinarian, he will assess the dog’s penis, ask you questions about the symptoms and when they first began, and any other questions he feels are necessary for his diagnosis. He will then do a complete physical examination of your dog, which will include blood testing, a urinalysis, and biochemistry profile to rule out any other underlying conditions, such as cancer, or neoplasia.
The inspection of the tip of the penis and the growth will alone give the veterinarian much information. The medical professional will also order a radiograph of the abdomen, an ultrasound of the abdomen, and a culture of the urine sample. These tests will allow the veterinarian to have the information he needs to make the diagnosis of urethral prolapse.
Once the diagnosis is made, the veterinarian will assess the urination sensitivity your dog is having to have complete knowledge of the extremity of the condition.
Treatment of Urethral Prolapse in Dogs
Once a diagnosis is made, your veterinarian will give you specific treatment options to help your dog heal. The treatment depends on the severity of his condition, such as if the urethral prolapse only occurs sporadically (only during an erection) or is apparent all of the time. Treatment methods may include:
Surgery may be the best option for your dog, especially if he bleeds from the opening or around the urethra. Surgery may also help the pain your dog is experiencing. The surgical procedure will also help if the tissue that is prolapsed is dead tissue or becomes raw and inflamed.
Castration may be considered if your dog only has the prolapse during an erection. Castration involves removing the testicles from your dog.
If an infection happens as a result of this condition, your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics. The particular antibiotic and the dosage will be determined by the medical professional after careful observation and testing of the infection. The veterinarian may also prescribe estrogen to be given regularly to reduce the times the penis becomes erect, if your dog has not been neutered.
Recovery of Urethral Prolapse in Dogs
Once treatment is complete, your dog will be able to come home with you, and resume a healthy life. Your veterinarian will give you advice on how to properly monitor and care for your companion after treatment.
If your companion is to take antibiotics, be sure to follow the instructions on the prescription and finish the bottle. Your veterinarian will give you instructions on how to administer the medication at home and may recommend he take it with or without food. If you see any side-effects from any medication your dog is taking, please call your veterinarian and he will instruct you as what you should do. He may choose to prescribe an alternate medication.
Follow-up visits will be scheduled so your medical professional can take a look at the penile area and confirm if he is recovering from any surgery or procedure. He will also conduct another physical examination of your dog and compare it with the baseline data of the previous examination. This will once again check his overall health and check for any new underlying conditions post-surgery.
Urethral Prolapse Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My dog is experiencing intermittent redness at the tip of his penis when he has an erection. It looks like the urethra prolapse pictures. The vet prescribed antibiotics and it is happening less often. He is peeing normally and does not seem to be in pain. There is no puss or discharge.
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Can my dog still breed after surgery from a ptolapsed urethra? Hes 10 months old and is my stud. Can my dog still breed after surgery from a ptolapsed urethra? Hes 10 months old and is my stud.
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Would this cause a hunched back as well? Would it cause him to have accidents in the house or dribble? I believe my 2.5 year old jack Russel has this problem because he often tries to hump my other male who is neutured. He also has a mass along the shaft of his penis. Will having him neutured fix this problem and can it wait until they can schedule him in?
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