Balanoposthitis in dogs is much more common than most owners realize, and although it generally is not serious, if it becomes severe, it can be a life threatening situation.
If you see signs of yellow or yellow-green discharge at the tip of your dog’s penis or their prepuce, there is a very strong chance they have developed this condition.
There is a misconception about this condition; it does not just affect older dogs. It can occur in dogs of all ages, including puppies, and it also affects all breeds of dogs.
Balanoposthitis in dogs is the inflammation of a dog’s penis as well as their prepuce.
The prepuce in your dog is the sheath of skin, or the loose fold of skin, that is located on their belly and covers the penis.
Mild forms of this condition are most common in sexually mature dogs and will resolve spontaneously and are no real threat to your dog other than some slight discomfort.
However, if the actual cause of Balanoposthitis in dogs is the result of an infection, it can become quite severe.
If it reaches this point, your dog will not only be in severe discomfort, they can easily become quite ill.
In this stage, if it is not immediately treated, it can easily turn into a life threatening situation.
Balanoposthitis in dogs is usually the result of some type of an injury that has occurred, or the result of a slight bacterial infection.
However, there are also several other potential causes that will lead to a much more serious form of this condition.
It may be the result of a foreign body that has become lodged or stuck in the base of the penis or some type of a laceration that has occurred.
It may also be the result of a tumor that has developed in the immediate area.
However, there is still one other potential cause; Phimosis.
Phimosis is often confused with another condition which is known as Paraphimosis, but they are two separate conditions and have completely different causes.
Paraphimosis is a situation where your dog’s penis becomes engorged or distended and cannot retract itself back to its normal position.
Phimosis, on the other hand, is a situation where the orifice of the prepuce cannot be drawn back over the glands.
If the cause is the result of Phimosis, it is more threatening.
Phimosis has several potential causes, with the first being a congenital condition referred to as preputial stenosis.
This congenital condition occurs almost exclusively in German shepherds and Golden retrievers.
The next cause is generally from edema, which is an accumulation of fluid in the penis, cancer, or scar tissue that has developed.
It may also be the result of an infection of the frenulum, which is the thin band of tissue that actually joins the penis and the prepuce.
Balanoposthitis in dogs has a wide range of symptoms and signs, and they will be very definitive.
The first sign is almost always a yellow or a yellow-green like discharge that will appear as pus like in nature.
will be very easy to spot this sign in your dog, as it always forms at the tip of the penis or on the prepuce.
The next sign may be a bloody discharge from either the penis or the prepuce, although this occurs in less than fifty percent of the cases.
Perhaps the most telling of all the symptoms is the next sign you will see; excessive licking by your dog of both their penis as well as their prepuce.
If you see this sign and it is indeed becoming excessive, examine the area very close. In both mild and severe cases, you will see signs of inflammation.
The more inflamed it is, the more serious it is.
Dogs with this condition will also show absolutely no interest in breeding for the obvious reasons.
Diagnosis of Balanoposthitis in dogs is always best left to your veterinarian to ensure that it is not developing into a serious form.
There is a very effective way to treat mild forms on your own, but before you attempt that, you should still consult with a professional.
Your veterinarian will carefully examine both your dog’s prepuce and penis in detail.
They will look for any type of an injury or laceration that might have occurred, as well as foreign bodies that have become attached.
They will also look for something that most owners will have no idea of how to identify; tumors.
For the examination to be done correctly, your dog will most likely be sedated or placed under anesthesia, especially if the affected area has become inflamed and is painful to touch.
Your veterinarian will also do complete blood tests, biochemical profiles, as well as a urine analysis. Bacterial cultures are also done in most all cases.
Treatment for mild forms of Balanoposthitis in dogs can be done quite easily, and in most cases is very effective.
However, if you do this you should still consult with your veterinarian.
The process is quite simple; you will need to flush out and clean the sheath for several days.
You can gently flush the sheath twice a day by using hydrogen peroxide solution for a least a week, but keep in mind you dog has no idea what you are doing and will naturally resist.
Your veterinarian can advise you on the correct solution to use, and once discussed, buy a rubber syringe that is used for human ears.
Insert the peroxide, and then insert the peroxide into the sheath opening.
When preforming this task, you will have to pull the sheath opening very gently toward the syringe. It is extremely important not to have the tip touch you dogs penis.
Once this has been completed, you need to remove the syringe, making sure to keep the prepuce closed.
Then, gently massage the fluid back and forth for several minutes.
Once this has been completed, release the opening and let the fluid naturally drain out.
It is very important that once this has been completed, you thoroughly clean up the area where the fluid has drained.
Regardless of whether you do this or your veterinarian does it, you will need to prevent you dog from licking their penis and prepuce area.
The only effective way to do this is with an Elizabethan collar.
If the Balanoposthitis becomes chronic or severe, there are other very effective forms of treatments, but they must be done by a professional.
The first is to remove the underlying cause of Balanoposthitis in dogs if it can be found. This would include tumors, adhesion's, or abnormal tissue of any kind.
Next, your dog would have to undergo a daily irrigation of the sheath but with a much stronger antiseptic solution.
In these severe cases, your dog is also given an infusion of an antibiotic ointment that is directly applied into their preputial sheath.
Finally, as a last resort if it remains chronic, your dog will be neutered.
Recurrence of Balanoposthitis in dogs is very common, even with the best of therapy, especially in cases where the actual cause is not found.
Intermittent flushing may have to be done for several months in some cases, and if it does reach this state of condition, your dog’s situation is than considered to be guarded.
However, in the majority of cases, the initial treatments are very effective.