Causes of Dog Penis Irritation

by Diane Jagonase
(New York)

Reader Question: Causes of Dog Penis Irritation or Dryness

Hi Jennifer,

I have a year old french poodle. He was already neutered when we got him. We would always see him run in a corner looking uncomfortable and then lick himself. This will go on until someone sees him and tells him to stop. There will be time when he would run away with his tail in between his legs and hide from us away were we can see him lick himself. We've tried so many things to alleviate his discomforts like KY Jelly, cleaning his penis with water and anti-septic and put an ointment that the vet gave us the last time. (Triamcinolone) Nothing seems to help him...

Any suggestions?

Suggestions from our Veterinarian on Dog Penis Irritation and Discomfort

Hi Diane,

I’m afraid I can’t make any suggestions regarding your dog’s care without first having the chance to diagnose what is going on. Has your veterinarian given you an idea as to what might be causing your dog’s irritated penis?

Possibilities include a sheath that does not fully cover the penis, a persistent erection, infection, foreign material within the sheath, or even a behavioral problem. It sounds as if the symptomatic care you’ve been trying isn’t working so it’s time to try and figure out what the underlying cause might be and address it directly.

I tend to handle problems like these by performing a complete physical exam with the dog awake, and then I sedate the dog so I can fully examine the penis and sheath and take any samples needed to diagnose infections, etc.

If your current veterinarian isn’t able to diagnose the problem, ask if he or she can refer you to a specialist.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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