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Dr. Melissa
Dr. Melissa, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 29
Experience:  Registered Veterinary Technician with 6 years experience, Veterinarian with 3 months experience
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My dogs penis is out of the outer skin and looks red and irritated.

Customer Question

My dog's penis is out of the outer skin and looks red and irritated. Almost like there was a cut and it got infected. It looks swollen and I tried to touch it with a tissue to look at it and he squirmed a little. What is this? Could it be a urinary tract or bacterial infection?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Melissa replied 9 years ago.

When the penis is extruded from the prepuce (the overlying skin), and will not go back in at all, it is considered a medical emergency. This condition is known as paraphimosis. If the penis is allowed to remain out, it can continue to become swollen, and permanent damage may result.

Paraphimosis can occur in dogs after they have just mated, or if an injury has occurred on the penis, which it sounds like you have found. At any rate, you should have him seen by a vet on an emergeny basis in order to have the penis returned to its normal position. Sedation or anesthesia is usually required for this. They will also need to antiseptically clean the penis, and possibly suture the cut before replacing it. In some cases it is also necessary to place a urinary catheter and keep the patient hospitalized. He will also probably need oral antibiotics if an infection is suspected.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Dr. Melissa
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
My dog is fixed and he has not mated, perhaps there was an injury. My female and him always play so perhaps she bit him by mistake. Can a urinary tract infection cause the swelling as well.
Expert:  Dr. Melissa replied 9 years ago.
A urinary tract infection should not cause that to happen. The only way I can see a UTI leading to the paraphimosis would be if he were straining to urinate from a UTI (although this is usually more common with bladder stones), which would cause his penis to be out for an extended period of time, therefore making it more susceptible to injury.

My guess is that he injured it it some way, either while playing, or while he was urinating. Any kind of trauma, even mild, can make the penis exteriorize and cause some swelling. Another common cause in longer haired dogs is getting hair wrapped around the shaft of the penis while it is out. It acts similar to a rubber band causing constriction of the penis where the hair is wrapped around, which causes swelling further down the shaft. I know it sounds unbelieveable, but I have seen it several times.

Has his penis gone back in since you first asked the question?

Dr. Melissa