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What are Getting Swollen Testicles?

Testicles (also called testes or gonads) on a dog are the male sex glands which are located behind the penis.  When they are swollen, they are enlarged, more firm, sometimes discolored and frequently very painful. This condition in dogs is called orchitis (or epididymitis) and there are several reasons for it:

  • Trauma
  • Infection
  • Testicular torsion
  • Testicular neoplasia
  • Canine brucellosis
  • Scrotal hernia

Why Getting Swollen Testicles Occurs in Dogs

Swollen testicles can be a very painful experience for your male canine and, if left untreated, this condition can be dangerous for him.   Here is why:

Trauma

This can be any blunt or penetrating injury to the testicles or scrotum. The penetrating wound can open up an opportunity for infections to develop. It is possible for trauma to cause an immune-mediated inflammation (or orchitis) and the body’s own immune system then turns on itself and causes inflammation and testicular damage.

Infection

This can include bacterial organisms, fungal organisms or viral organisms which find their way into the testicles.  These infections can come up from the urinary system or from the prostate.

Testicular Torsion

This is a twisting of the testicle on its spermatic cord.  This is relatively uncommon in dogs but, when it does occur, it is very painful.

Testicular Neoplasia

Testicular neoplasia is a common malady in male dogs as they age. There are three which normally are found: Sertoli cell tumor, Seminoma, and Leydig (interstitial) cell tumor. Metastasis is not common.

Canine Brucellosis

Brucellosis is a systemic bacterial infection which shows up in your male dog as epididymitis, orchitis, prostatitis, testicular atrophy and infertility. It is very hard to treat successfully.

Scrotal Hernia

A scrotal hernia is a condition in which part of the abdomen moves into the scrotum. This inguinal hernia is treatable by surgery.

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What to do if your Dog is Getting Swollen Testicles

If you notice that your male dog’s testicles appear to be enlarged or discolored, an examination is in order.  If you are able to examine him, you need to look for any obvious wounds on either or both of the testicles of your pet. 

Veterinary medical assistance is necessary as soon as possible for any of the possible reasons for the occurrence of swollen testicles in your dog.  Infections will need to be treated, masses will need to be investigated and potentially removed or repaired and castrations may be required to assure the safety of your pet. All of the potential causes for swollen testicles are serious enough that your pet needs medical assistance sooner rather than later to avoid permanent injury.

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Prevention of Getting Swollen Testicles

When it comes to prevention of swollen testicles, there really aren’t many things a pet owner can do to prevent some of the causes from afflicting their pet.  

The statistics report that about half of unneutered dogs contract testicular cancer.  The only true way to prevent testicular cancer in your dog is to have him neutered, taking away the testicles where the cancer can develop. At the very least, if your pet is not neutered, be sure avail him of regular examinations of the testicles by your veterinarian at every opportunity that you can. If cancer develops, castration is the only treatment.

Infections in the urinary tract and prostate can be difficult to prevent, since the prostate goes through some changes of its own as it ages and urinary tract infections will occur due to bacterial infections of the bladder.  

Protecting your dog from injury to the best of your ability when he is playing or exercising will help to prevent any complications from trauma and any immune-mediated inflammation which will result from them.

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Cost of Getting Swollen Testicles

Treating the causes of swollen testicles will be required to avoid more serious health concerns for your pet.  Here are some of the costs for this treatment:

  • Testicular swelling treatment costs can range from $200 to $1,500
  • Testicular neoplasia treatments costs can run from $400 to $1,200 (for Sertoli cell tumor, Leydig Cell Tumor and Seminoma)
  • Testicular Torsion treatment can cost $500 to $2,000
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Getting Swollen Testicles Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Maltese

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Seven Years

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Unknown severity

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Has Symptoms

Redness

My dog recently had a hair cut. The next day his testicle area was swollen and red-so I put a cone on him to prevent him from licking it. It’s still red and I’m worried about it.

Aug. 30, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. It is difficult to say, without seeing the area, if it will get better. It may have gotten a little irritated from the grooming, and if so, keeping his cone on for a day or two should help. If it hasn't gotten better after that points, he may need some medication, and then it would be best to have your veterinarian take a look at it. I hope that everything goes well and he feels better soon.

Aug. 30, 2020

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Terrier Mix (Boston and Cairn)

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3 years 4 months

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Slightly Swollen Testicles

Hi, my dog just yesterday was licking at his genitals and when I looked to see what was wrong, it was like the scrotum was slightly puffy/swelled. His testicles are always darker in color, but with the puffed scrotum they now have little bumps. I do not have a set vet because I was going to a Vet Clinic to get him checked up on every so often and for his shots. I was just wondering if this is something that needs to be handled immediately, like tomorrow, or if it can wait a few days or even a week. Many places right now are impossible to get appointments with everything going on.

Aug. 9, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. If you are able to keep him from licking at his scrotum, the inflammation or 'puffiness' may go away. If he continues to lick at it, there may be a bacterial infection or disease that needs attention, and making an appointment would be a good idea. At this point it does not sound like an emergency, although if he becomes painful, or the swelling is worsening dramatically, then having him seen at an ER would be a good idea. I hope that all goes well for him!

Aug. 11, 2020

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Pitbull black lab mix

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Seven Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Balls, Butthole Wet,

Forehead cold, nose real cold and wet

Aug. 4, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Dogs can get infections or cancer of the testicles, prostate disease, or torsions. If you are noticing that your dogs scrotum is swollen, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian right away. they will be able to examine him, see what might be going on, and get any treatment needed so that he feels better. I hope that he is okay.

Aug. 4, 2020

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Aidi

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Two Years

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Redness

My dog is acting different a.m. checking him out I see his testicles have a couple little scabs on them Any appear to be a little red

July 26, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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Hello- Thank you for your question. I do see the irritation that you are describing from the picture. He may have allergies, a skin infection, or occasionally they do have issues with a testicular torsion. It would be best to have the skin examined by your veterinarian, and they can test for infection, palpate the testicles to make sure all feels normal and get him medication to help with his discomfort. I hope feels better soon.

July 26, 2020

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Doberman Pinscher

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Five Years

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Unknown severity

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Blood Intermittently Coming From Penis (Not Neutered)

Two days ago we noticed blood coming from an unknown source after a fall injury on the steps. Urination is fine...yellow and nothing out of the ordinary as far as amt or frequency. Noticed yesterday drops of blood again coming from penis. It doesnt do this all the time just occassionally. We are 3 days out from injury and still happening. Vet is closed and wondering what treatment we are looking at for a testicular injury and if there is anything we can do at home until vet opens. Doesnt seem to be in pain...at the most walking with back legs a little stiffer than normal. Appetite unaffected.

July 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. While he does need to be seen by a veterinarian, if he is dripping small amounts of blood and acting normally otherwise and eating well, this does not need to be seen as an emergency at this point. He may have a testicular problem, a problem with his prepuce, or a prostate issue. If he continues the same, you should be able to wait until your veterinarian can see him on Monday. Without knowing what the actual cause of bleeding is, there isn't anything that you can do at home other than monitor closely for any increased bleeding. I hope that all goes well for him and he is better soon!

July 25, 2020

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Duke

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Golden Retriever

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2 Years

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Serious severity

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Swollen Testicles

Our 2 3/3 yr old Duke (golden retriever) can barely walk was fine 24 hrs ago, his testicles are swollen and he is very touchy. Noticed white fluid from his penis also. Tried to help him onto his bed and he snarled when touchy his back to help lift him

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Floyd

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Border Collie

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4 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Testicular Swelling
Tired
Loss Of Energy
Testicular Blister

Started off with one testicle swelling to be a little larger than the other and progressed to be almost double the size of the other (lengthways). Testicles are quite dry and wrinkled and a small scab has formed on the swollen one. He seems to be a bit more tired than usual and a bit more mellow with less energy.

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