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Saturday, August 13, 2016

He's Neutered, So Why Is My Dog's Penis Swollen?

Many times over my career I've had clients come in with their neutered dog, worried because they thought he still had testicles.  Or they may have thought that there was a tumor growing.  Thankfully most of the time this is a simple issue because people don't know canine anatomy.

Dogs have a structure at the base of the penis called the bulbus glandis.  This is a knot of tissue that surrounds the penis and becomes enlarged during erection.  In intact (un-neutered) males this is the "knot" that locks them into a female during intercourse.  






So why does this structure enlarge in a neutered dog?

Growth of the bulbus glandis does not happen in a neutered male due to sexual activity.  With a lack of significant testosterone levels they don't feel sexual attraction or excitement.  However, "excitement" can be due to non-sexual reasons.  When a male dog gets happy and excited due to play, the bulbus glandis can become swollen.  Typically when I see this it's in a very energetic, happy-go-lucky young dog that loves attention and play.  Having this happen is normal and nothing to worry about.

The key to recognizing the bulbus glandis is that it comes and goes.  When your dog is resting or asleep it shouldn't be enlarged.  If the swelling is persistent under any circumstances, or if you're simply not sure what it is, have your vet take a look.

14 comments:

  1. Should I be concerned if my dog's bulbous glandis is only enlarged in the morning when I first let him out of his crate? It's gone in less than five minutes after letting him out and he's been like this for over a year...

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    1. He's probably just excited and happy to see you and be let out of his crate. If you're concerned, have your vet look at him.

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    2. Thanks! I'm not concerned, but just wondered if I should be because of the last couple lines of your blog post. :)

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  2. For Louis, our Dachshund, it's only when he needs to pee. Normal? We call them his pee-nuts as he's also suffering from undesended testicles @ 7mos.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that's normal. However, his testicles won't descend if they haven't already by this age, and he needs surgery to find and remove them.

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  3. Thank you for this! I was playing with my 2 yr old boxer and this happened. It subsided once I stopped playing with the dog. You saved me a trip to the vet! Thanks again!!!

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  4. This is happening to my dog, except it happens when he's napping when he's sleeping. It doesn't seem to be brought on by any excitement it's usually when he's very calm

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  5. I have just become aware of these glands...and it freaked me out...I wondered how my dog can have testicles when he's been neutered. Anyhow, I noticed them one day when he was relaxed and lying on his back...then they seemed to just go away. I do see them exposed after he has just finished romping with his teddy bear (sorry if this is TMI) but never gave it another thought. I'm a little worried that I can feel them now. I'm wondering how I can differentiate normal vs not normal...and if he is swollen.

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  6. My 8 month old chihuahua is doing the same. It only happens when he's been asleep and 1st wakes up on his back. I figured maybe it was morning wood for dogs lol. So glad it's normal I wanted to be able to breed him.

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  7. I have a 7 year old dashmund Yorkie mix. He got arroused about 2 weeks ago but one of his bulbous glands never went all the way down. When he rolls over for us to pet his belly you can still see it's there. Should I be worried?!

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    Replies
    1. If you're worried have your vet take a look at him in person.

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  8. My chiwawa is constantly licking his penis which is swollen, will this behavior cause the gland to remain swollen?

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  9. My neutered male chihuahua has been preoccupied with licking his penis constantly for the past week I do have a picture I hope I can get to you so that you could see it is warm to the touch when you send the house and stop playing but it's not because he's like acting sick but very preoccupied with licking his penis is there anything I can do to help him feel more comfortable and possibly bring down the swelling thank you for your reply in advance

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  10. My golden retriever is eight and a half years old he's been neutered when he is a puppy. But I just noticed there is one solid hard Mass there which seems to be these glands but it's painful to my dog. And it never goes away.

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