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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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Presa Canario

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Two Months

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Redness

My puppy has a swollen penis/testicles with some redness. I haven’t seen it before so I just want some advice.

March 7, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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2 Recommendations

Hi there. This is actually quite unusual. It is not in the right spot for testicles (which are under the tail) but may be an abscess (infection) or hernia. As it is red and swollen , I would want him to see the vet ASAP. They may scan the area and he will likely be given some medicine such as antibiotics and anti inflammatories.

March 7, 2021

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Chihuahua

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Four Months

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6 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Swollen Genitals, Hair Lose, And Sores

Well he started getting sores and then loosing hair. I thought it was hotspots but i think it might be maines. I kinda got it unser control and now his private area is swollwn ans it is getting worse.

Nov. 23, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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6 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I'm not sure what medication you are giving your dog, and I'm a little bit confused as to what might be going on with him. Since I cannot see him, there are many things that might be going on, including a bacterial or fungal infection, parasites, or another skin disease. Since it doesn't seem to be getting better, the best thing to do would probably be to have him seen by a veterinarian. They will be able to look at him, see what might be going on, and get the best treatment for him.

Nov. 23, 2020

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Maltese

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Four Years

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Swollen Testicles

My dog Chewie is neutered, so I’m not sure what’s going on when this happens, but every now and then I’ll notice what appears to be his testicles will get hard. It’s only for a little bit and goes away. It doesn’t seem to bother him in anyway and often times when this happens, he’s playing and being active. I’m just worried because I’ve never heard of this sort of thing happening especially in a neutered dog. Any advice? Thanks in advance

Sept. 30, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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3 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. There are glands beside the prepuce, on either side, called bulbourethral glands, and those can become firm, even in a neutered dog, if the dog is excited. They can become hard, then soft and disappear. They are not anything to worry about! I suspect that is what you are seeing, if he is neutered. I hope that all goes well for him!

Oct. 7, 2020

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American Bully

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Two Years

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0 found helpful

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Swollen Testicles

yesterday my dog went outside to do his business. a few minutes later he came back inside and his testicles were red and swollen. I had some prednisone and antibiotices left from his last visit for allergies and gave him some. today the redness is gone and the swelling seems to be going down. Should i bring him to the vet still?

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in response, there is a delay in receiving these emails sometimes. I think that if things are improving, you should be okay to monitor the area and see if things continue to get better. If the problem persists, then having him seen by a veterinarian would be a good idea. I hope that all goes well for him!

Oct. 6, 2020

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Pit Bull

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Eight Years

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Eating Grass To Throw Up For The Past 2 Days, Testicles Are Swollen And He Has Bold Spots All Through His Body

I was wondering if there was a diagnosis or anything you would know about my dogs symptoms. I just bought him from Facebook and he hasn’t been to a vet. I was curious if this is a treatable condition or if he’s dying or what. Any information would help out so much! Thanks

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 22, 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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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

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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