Ask a vet online-‘ My chinese crested wanted to stay outside, saw today his penis is hanging and the end skin colour pink’
Question from Samantha Mihlo Grobler:
Hi. Hope you are well? My chinese crested wanted to stay outside for a week now which are very uncommen for him as he lies inside the whole day. Think somewhere in the block were a female in heat. Saw today his penis are hanging and the end skin colour pink. Could he have broken it or something??? Will send photo on request. Thank you
Answer by Shanika Winters:
Hi Samantha and thank you for your question regarding your male Chinese crested dog. What you are describing sounds like a condition called Paraphimosis, this is where the penis cannot be retracted back into the prepuce (the skin in which it is normally found). This condition is an emergency and your dog should be taken to your vet straight away.
There is a bone in the penis of the dog called the os penis, this can break but is very unusual. However the resulting pain and swelling if the os penis was to break could cause paraphimosis.
Normally the penis is able to move in and out of the opening of the prepuce freely, this can however go wrong and the penis can be prevented from coming out Phimosis or from going back in paraphimosis.
If the penis becomes stuck outside of the prepuce then the tissue can become damaged, infected, cause trouble with urination and be very painful to your dog.
Why has my dog got paraphimosis?
In order for your dog to be unable to retract its penis then either the opening of the prepuce is too small, the tissue of the penis has become excessively swollen or there may be nerve damage preventing retraction.
In some cases we may not be able to identify a cause for the problem but your vet should be able to help relieve your dog’s discomfort and correct the position of the penis.
How will the vet treat my dog?
Firstly your vet will ask a detailed history on your pet’s general health including when he last ate, drank and went to the toilet. As this is an emergency situation your vet will also be physically examining your pet. It is quite likely that your dog may need sedation or anaesthesia in order for your vet to be able to deal with the paraphimosis.
As the condition is painful your dog will be given pain relief, usually in the form of an injection so that it will be quickly absorbed and start to help your pet feel more comfortable.
In some cases the penis can be lubricated and gently eased back into the prepuce, as the condition may reoccur your vet might ask for your dog to be admitted to the practice for observation.
If the penis cannot be replaced easily then sedation or anaesthesia may be required to allow a urinary catheter (thin flexible tube) to be passed to allow urine to be flow out, followed by decompression (reducing any swelling) of the penis, lubrication and then replacement into the prepuce with or without the need for surgery to enlarge the opening of the prepuce.
It is likely the vet will send your dog home with antibiotics to treat/prevent infection, further pain relief, instructions on closely observing the penis for any further discharge/swelling and to closely observe that your dog can pass urine as normal.
Can I prevent paraphimosis happening to my dog?
Unfortunately there really is no way of preventing paraphimosis from occurring, the most important thing is to know what to look out for and to get your dog treated as soon as possible to minimise pain, distress and long term complications. If the penis tissue remains outside of the prepuce and swells then its circulation may be affected and some of the tissue may become necrotic (die), which would then need surgically removing. If your dog cannot pass urine for a long amount of time then this can lead to a backing up of urine from the bladder through the tubes (ureters) to the kidneys which can lead to kidney damage.
What should I look out for?
If your pet is paying extra attention to its penis, licking it, rubbing at it or there is any visible abnormal swelling, difficulty passing urine and or the presence of any unusual discharges then take a closer look. If you are in doubt then make an urgent appointment to see your vet.
I really hope that your dog is well and comfortable and that the condition does not re occur.
Shanika Winters MRCVS (online vet)
If you have any worries about your pet, please make an appointment with your vet, or try our Symptom Guide.