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Paraphimosis In Dogs – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Paraphimosis In Dogs

What Is Paraphimosis In Dogs?

As a pet owner, you might be embarrassed to deal with a few gross things associated with your dog — and seeing your dog’s penis protrude from their fur at the most inopportune moments is one of them.

Dog erections happen. An erect dog penis can poke out when it is excited, anxious, or every now and then and it is normal, however, long-term erections or a history of excessive protrusion could be a red flag for a more serious problem. When the third eye / red rocket (Dog penis in polite code terms) is spending over-time outer the prepuce, then it might be experiencing canine paraphimosis.

Paraphimosis is the inability of a dog to retract an erect penis/glans back into the storage position within the preputial sheath, the protective covering that keeps the slimy red thing under wraps.

Paraphimosis can quickly turn into an emergency situation; skin at the preputial orifice becomes inverted leading to constriction of blood flow, necrosis (resulting from the disruption of membrane homeostasis), and potential damage to the urethra.

While not so common, Paraphimosis in dogs accounts for approximately 5 percent of penile problems and can cause distress to dogs (and their owners). If left untreated or if it becomes a recurring issue, this can have more serious consequences.

Symptoms Of Paraphimosis In Dogs

  • The penis is stuck out for a prolonged period.
  • Posthitis (swelling of the foreskin of the penis).
  • Anxious, licking, and paying a lot of attention to the penis.

Treatment Options For Paraphimosis In Dogs

  • Analgesics (drugs to relieve pain).
  • IV may be used for rapid medication administration or fluid therapy.
  • Use a dilute antiseptic solution ((eg, chlorhexidine or dilute povidone-iodine) to irrigate the preputial sheath.
  • Neutering the dog.
  • Exploratory surgery of the preputial cavity may be necessary.
  • Removal of any foreign objects.
  • Cutting off any constricting hairs.
  • In the most serious cases, when there are lacerations or penile necrosis (tissue death), penectomy (surgically removing the penis) may be performed.

Home Remedies For Paraphimosis In Dogs

Below are some things you can do in the home (this is not for the squeamish!):

  • First, clean the exposed penis thoroughly and check for any foreign material “strangulating” the tissues of the penis such as long fur or foxtails.
  • Use ordinary white sugar and enough water to make a thick slurry of “sugar paste”. Apply this mixture abundantly to the erect dog penis. Working as a hyperosmotic agent, sugar paste “pulls out” fluid from the tissues and shrinks the penis by reducing the swelling.
  • Take a light towel and wrap up a bag of frozen peas. Place the packaged peas over the affected area for some time, which also helps to decrease swelling of the tissues.
  • Lubricant (personal, sterile surgical, moisturizing lotion, or K-Y jelly) should be applied, and softly try to slide the prepuce forward over the glans (or push it back inside the prepuce). Lubrication helps retract the penis once again to the sheath.
  • If the penis does not stay retracted into the prepuce or if the bump does not drop within 30 minutes despite these interventions, then look for immediate veterinary assistance.
  • It's best that a trained vet performs the above treatments as it is beyond the owner’s ability.

How To Prevent Paraphimosis In Dogs?

  • Keeping the hair at the tip of the prepuce short reduces the likelihood of hair sticking to the penis. Use electric trimmers to carefully trim away the hair from the prepuce that is sticking to the glans.
  • Certain type of haircuts or frond of hair artistically styled at the tip of the prepuce (like a Merkin cut) contributes to penile issues and infection.
  • Hygiene: Usually dogs self-clean their genitals, but there will be times you may need to clean those using non-scented wipes or just give a quick rinse in running water. Dogs might need a grooming every so often to avoid infections.
  • Use an Elizabethan collar to prevent the dog from excessive licking and self-trauma.

Affected Dog Breeds Of Paraphimosis

Male Dogs.

There is no breed disposition, however, most represented in -

Causes And Prognosis For Paraphimosis In Dogs

  1. Causes:
  • Sexual excitement and humping.
  • Chronic Licking
  • A congenital deformity of the glans penis or prepuce.
  • Hair wrapped at the base of the glans.
  • Foreign bodies get up under the skin.
  • Neurological Problems (penis fractures, herniation of a disc in the spinal cord).
  • Trauma
  • Tumors
  1. Morbidity:

Phimosis vs Paraphimosis:

Phimosis and Paraphimosis are abnormalities that occur involving the penis and its ability to protrude or retract from the prepuce. Paraphimosis refers to the presence of a distended (engorged) penis that cannot return to its storage position (preputial sheath ). Phimosis is caused due to the Stenosis of the orifice of the prepuce so that it cannot protrude its penis from its outer orifice. The causes of both are different.

Paraphimosis vs Priapism:

Priapism is a persistent erection of the penis, usually due to a neurological problem. priapism can subsequently lead to Paraphimosis.

  1. Mortality:

If left untreated, paraphimosis becomes a urologic emergency and can result in infection, necrosis, and potential damage to the urethra.

  1. Diagnosis:
  • Routine Hematology, Urinalysis
  • Serum Chemistry Profile
  • Stress Leukogram
  • Neutrophilia
  1. Prognosis:

As paraphimosis is not a disease in itself and it is a symptom, treatment will depend on the predisposing cause (mostly idiopathic).

Mild paraphimosis may not even require treatment but will be able to resolve in due time.

In more acute cases of doubtful or difficult conditions, always consult a veterinarian.

When To See A Vet For Paraphimosis In Dogs?

Time to visit the vet clinic for an examination, if you notice any of the following:

  • The penis is stuck out for a prolonged period.

Untreated condition results in more serious infections:

  • Penis and foreskin scarring.
  • Abscess on penis or foreskin.
  • Phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin or prepuce).
  • Pain during copulation.
  • Reduced Libido.
  • Necrosis of penile tissues.

Food Suggestions For Paraphimosis In Dogs

  • Nutritionally balanced, wholesome diet.
  • Avoid DRY FOOD and go for a fresh diet.
  • When opting for Commercial foods, they should have high-quality, natural ingredients, with no artificial additives.
  • The raw diet, Semi-Homemade Food (commercial homemade diet with a dehydrated formula), or home-cooked meals.
  • Protein (required levels of bioavailable protein).
  • Fiber-rich foods: Apples, pears, oatmeal, and other foods.


If you suspect that your dog’s penis is trapped outer the prepuce for a longer duration, do not wait to seek treatment. The longer the penis remains outside the body; the chances are higher of severe damage.

May be neutering the dog offers some help in minimizing subsequent incidences, although there are no definite ways to prevent the condition.

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