Balanoposthitis in dogs: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment


Balanoposthitis is the medical term used to describe inflammation of the penis and foreskin. The causes of this condition are multiple, including injuries, bacterial infections, phimosis (narrowing of the opening of the foreskin) and tumors.

Balanoposthitis occurs more frequently in whole male dogs, i.e. not under sterilization.


The symptoms listed below refer to the genital area:

  • Yellow or yellow-green secretion (pus)
  • Sometimes it is possible to observe a secretion with the presence of blood
  • Swelling and inflammation possible
  • In some cases, if a serious infection is present, the dog may experience lethargy, fever and loss of appetite



Thorough inspection and an examination of the entire genital area are extremely important and often diagnostic. The vet will examine the affected area for lesions, foreign bodies and tumors. A thorough examination may require sedation or anesthesia, especially if the dog experiences pain in the area under examination.

Basic tests (such as blood count, biochemical profile and urine analysis) generally reveal values ​​within normal limits, unless there is an infection of the urinary bladder, prostate or systemic bladder. The urine that will be analyzed is usually taken from the bladder, so that the secretions due to balanoposthitis do not contaminate the sample.

In some cases, bacterial culture and cytological analysis (microscopic examination) of secretions are useful.


In the case of balanoposthitis is mild, the treatment consists in keeping the penis and foreskin clean and avoiding that the dog licks the affected area and can obtain self-traumas by using an Elizabethan collar.

In severe, chronic or recurrent cases, treatment options can include:

  • Resolution of the underlying cause, if it is identified as tumors, adhesions or abnormal tissue
  • Daily irrigation of the preputial sheath through the use of an antiseptic solution
  • Infusion of an antibiotic ointment directly into the preputial sheath

What to do at home and prevention

It is of paramount importance to scrupulously follow the veterinarian’s recommendations. Therapy must be continued for the entire recommended period of time.

Relapses are common, despite therapy, especially if a predisposing factor cannot be identified. It is believed that intermittent washing of the foreskin and sterilization of the dog may be of use in minimizing future infections, although there are no sure and guaranteed ways to prevent the onset of the condition.

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