If you’re the proud owner of a male dog, you may occasionally catch a glimpse of his fully exposed private parts and it will likely be when you’re trying to make a great first impression on a new friend! Most of the time, these situations are temporary, if a tad awkward. But when a dog’s penis is permanently stuck in the outward position, this is a condition called paraphimosis, and it is a veterinary emergency that requires immediate attention.

At All Pet Animal Hospital, we want dog owners to understand the reasons why a dog’s penis might protrude, and how to know when it’s time to call the doctor.

Causes of Protruding Penises

1. He’s Excited

When a dog’s penis temporarily protrudes because he’s excited to see his favorite human, it’s nothing to be concerned about as long as it retracts within a short period of time.

2. He’s Playfully Humping Another Dog

When a dog humps another dog (either male or female) or heaven forbid your neighbor’s leg, it’s innocent behavior and usually means he’s overly excited or nervous. If your dog does this frequently, some training sessions can help!

3. He Has Paraphimosis

When your dog’s penis is visible for no apparent reason and stays that way for an extended period of time, he may have paraphimosis, and an immediate call to the veterinarian is needed.

What Exactly is Dog Paraphimosis?

Your dog’s penis is covered and protected by the furry, oblong-shaped sheath that visibly hangs from your dog’s underside. This protective covering is called his prepuce.

Paraphimosis occurs when his penis (which is pink) sticks out from the fur-covered prepuce and fails to retract. If you’re wondering, is paraphimosis in dogs an emergency? The answer is yes. Left untreated, paraphimosis can permanently damage the urethra and impact your dog’s ability to urinate.

Paraphimosis in Dogs: How Long Does It Last
A dog’s penis can usually safely remain outside of the prepuce for about 20 to 30 minutes, but anything longer than that can cause the surface of his penis to become dry and irritated. Swelling and even necrosis (death) of the tissue can occur. If your dog’s penis remains outside of the prepuce beyond 20 to 30 minutes, seek medical assistance immediately.

Paraphimosis in Dogs: Treatment

Your All Pet Animal Hospital veterinarian will perform a thorough examination to determine the cause of your dog’s paraphimosis. The course of treatment will depend upon the diagnosis. If your dog’s paraphimosis stems from a foreign object or hair, cleaning and lubricating the penis may be all that is needed. In other instances, surgery may be required to adjust the size of the preputial cavity. In rarer cases, a cancerous tumor or injury can restrict the movement of a dog’s penis.

Please contact us immediately if your dog experiences paraphimosis. We’re here to help.