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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16265
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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The left side of my males private area is very swollen. What

Customer Question

The left side of my males private area is very swollen. What could this be? I can send a photo.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
It's hard to see in the photo. He doesn't seem very bothered by it but it concerns me bc of his age.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

How long has it been swollen?

When you press on the region, is it soft, firm, fluidy, or sore to the touch?

Has he been having any issues passing urine?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I just noticed it yesterday. It's soft, when I touch it be dosent whine. He is just a happy dog that it's hard to tell if he is in pain or not. He has been using the restroom regularly.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am very glad to hear that this isn't causing Captain any issues passing urine. This is always a concern for lumps in this area since they can compress the urethra if they do run deeper. With that aside and considering what we can see, we do have a few concerns with this swelling. If it is new, then it could be an abscess, soft tissue inflammation, hematoma (blood blister like lesions), or an insect sting induced allergic reactions. That said, if it has been present longer and only just noticed, lipomas (fatty lumps), cysts, benign and some slow growing cancerous lumps would also be a consideration.

Now with these in mind, we can start some supportive care to try and rule out some of these. To start, if there is any chance of a bee/spider/wasp sting or bite, then we can reduce allergic type swelling using antihistamines. Commonly we will use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine). A low dose (ie. 0.5mg per pound of body weight twice daily) is often enough to reduce these signs over a few days. We do usually like to keep the dose low, as they can have drowsiness with this medication (just like people). As well, of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Furthermore, to reduce swelling with any of these sudden appearing concerns, you can also start warm compressing this lump. This can reduce inflammation as well as encourage hematomas and allergic reactions to settle. Just to note, you can make a safe warmer for use as a warm compress by filling a clean sock 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Before use, do make sure to shake to allow the heat to distribute before using as a compress. (If it cools, you can re-warm as required).

Now if you use the above, but the lump doesn't settle within 24 hours, then it does mean that we need to consider those other issues. In that case, the best way to approach an abnormal lump like this is to have your vet evaluate the lump via fine needle aspiration (FNA). This is where the vet uses a needle to harvest cells from the lump. If the remove pus, then this tells us that there is infection present and antibiotics can be dispensed. If blood or blood stained fluid is removed, then trauma was most likely and pain relief/pet-safe anti-inflammatories can be used to settle the swelling. Or if fat (sign of a lipoma) or clear fluid from a cyst is found, these tend to be something we can monitor and remove if causing bother. Otherwise, if the above are not found, then the cells they harvest can be stained and the identity of the nature of the lump can be determined and whether it is something that is concerning or needs more serious treatment.

Overall, if this lump is sudden in appearance, we would consider those initial sudden onset concerns. Therefore, as long as it’s not painful for Captain or obviously draining pus, then you can try the above to rule out those aforementioned concerns. Otherwise, if this doesn’t settle or may have been present for longer then a day; then we’d want to have your vet sample this lump to identify its cause so that appropriate treatment can be initiated to address it for him.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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