Paraphimosis in Dogs

Paraphimosis in male dogs is a condition that causes the inability of a dog's distended penis to retract properly, such as during the mating process. This may appear to be an extended erection, or the flaccid penis may not slide properly back into the sheath. The condition can affect any male dog of any age, and can create additional problems and a significant amount of pain. Paraphimosis is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.

Causes of Paraphimosis

Paraphimosis can be caused by several factors, genetic or otherwise. If a dog's penis has a narrowed preputial opening or there is an injury or fracture to the organ, this can lead to paraphimosis. A common cause of this condition is the tangling of hair around the base of the penis. This may cause a restrictive band that tightens and prevents the penis from retracting naturally. Certain tumors, cancer or conditions relating to erectile dysfunction may lead to paraphimosis. Likewise, intrusion of a foreign object or infection inside the penis can cause symptoms to occur.

Signs and Symptoms

The most obvious sign of paraphimosis is the visual condition of the dog's penis. Other symptoms may include inflammation, dribbling or complete obstruction of urine and excessive licking of the area. Because secondary infections can rapidly develop and pain is often associated with the condition, proper treatment options should be sought as soon as the condition is discovered. You may not notice any of these symptoms, but an otherwise healthy dog appears unable to copulate. If this is the case, further inspection and examination may reveal other symptoms of the condition.


Especially when you own a dog for breeding purposes, there are several things you can do to prevent paraphimosis from becoming an issue. Try to keep the dog's penis clean while in the mating phase. Using water for cleaning purposes should be sufficient, and make sure to clean after every mating attempt. For long-haired dogs or dogs with curly hair, clipping the hair from around the base of the penis can prevent any matting or knots from restricting normal movement. Always be sure to frequently inspect the area for any problems. After a male dog has mated, be sure to keep an eye on the area until the penis completely retracts into the prepuce.


If your dog is experiencing signs of paraphimosis, the dog will first be examined to discover the probable cause of the condition. Necessary measures will be taken to correct the problem, such as trimming of hair and treating of any bacterial infections. Your dog may need to be sedated for this procedure, and if urination has been restricted, a catheter may be inserted for relief. Cold-water compresses or a dextrose solution may be applied to the area. The condition can often be cleared up and healed, however, some severe cases may result in amputation. At-home treatment methods are not recommended beyond taking preventative measures.