Paraphimosis and Phimosis in Dogs

Paraphimosis and Phimosis in Dogs

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Overview of Canine Paraphimosis and Phimosis 

Paraphimosis and phimosis are abnormalities that occur involving the penis and its ability to retract or extrude from the prepuce. Paraphimosis refers to the presence of an engorged (distended) penis that cannot be retracted into it’s normal position because of constriction of the preputial orifice. Phimosis in constriction of the orifice of the prepuce so that it cannot be drawn back over the glans. The causes of each are different.

Causes of Paraphimosis in Dogs

  • Usually associated with erection or copulation (the mating process). Hair surrounds the preputial orifice and can become entangled around the base of the penis, forming a restrictive band, which then prevents retraction of the penis.
  • A stenotic or narrowed preputial opening
  • Acquired secondary to injury, penis fracture, a foreign body (i.e. rubber band), persistent abnormal erection (priapism), neoplasia (cancer), and inflammation of the penis and prepuce (chronic balanoposthitis).

    Causes of Phimosis in Dogs

  • Congenital preputial stenosis in the dog. It is possibly genetic in the German shepherd and golden retriever.
  • Secondary to inflammation, edema (accumulation of fluid within the penis), neoplasia (cancer), or scar tissue.
  • Persistent penile/preputial frenulum (thin band of tissue joining the penis and prepuce).
  • What to Watch For

    Signs of Paraphimosis and Phimosis in Dogs may include: 

  • Unsuccessful attempts to copulate
  • Inability to urinate with pooling of urine in the preputial cavity
  • Dribbling urine
  • Excessive licking of an exteriorized penis
  • Necrosis/trauma of the penis and obstruction of urine flow
  • Diagnosis of Paraphimosis and Phimosis in Dogs

  • Examination of the penis and prepuce
  • A flaccid (soft) penis that cannot be extruded from the prepuce
  • Treatment of Paraphimosis and Phimosis in Dogs


  • Requires immediate treatment. Sedation is sometimes required to provide therapy.
  • The penis is examined and any restricting hairs are removed. Swelling is minimized with cool water soaks and or “dextrose” solutions. The penis is cleaned and lubricated and replaced in the prepuce. The goal is replacement of the penis to normal position.
  • A urinary catheter may be necessary to ensure the passage of urine.
  • Amputation may be required in certain cases.


    Surgical enlargement of the preputial orifice, or removal of the penile frenulum.

  • Home Care and Prevention

  • Maintain any recommended therapy by your veterinarian.
  • Precautions taken prior to and following coitus can help prevent paraphimosis.
  • Hairs around the preputial orifice should be clipped prior to breeding.
  • After coitus the penis and prepuce should be inspected frequently until the penis has completely retracted into the prepuce.
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