So… back in December, Sampson had…um…a little ‘incident’.
I noticed when I got up in the morning that Sampson was licking himself. I mean, going to town, licking himself.
It was dark, and I was preoccupied getting ready for our walk, so I told him to “leave it” and went about my business.
After I had my pre-walk chores done, I grabbed Sampson’s harness and when I approached him, I noticed he was once again licking himself. I turned on the light to see what had his attention.
Can a neutered dog have an erection?
Speaking of attention…his little ‘soldier’ was at attention, and as I turned on the light, a drop of blood fell from the tip of his penis onto the floor.
“Oh my God!” I exclaimed to Hubby, “He’s bleeding from his penis!”
I called the emergency vet and explained the situation.She asked me a couple of questions, and as I was answering them, I noticed that the area in question appeared to be very red and….hem, hem,… bigger than normal.
Well you know how I roll, SO…
I reached down and gave it a gentle squeeze.
I was startled to discover, it was quite hard.
I mentioned this to the young woman on the phone, and asked what I should do. To her credit, she didn’t laugh, or give me any lewd suggestions.
Now, I don’t mean to be indelicate here, and I don’t mean to blow my own horn, but if the situation included a male person, I’d definitely have ideas on how to handle it.
But this is my dog, and I’m not going there, because that’s just gross. (And if you came here for that, this post isn’t for you, so please move along).
The vet’s office mentioned I could give it a few minutes and see if it went away, or I could try icing it.
I’m just going to let you picture that for a minute. Me, sitting in the dark crying, while holding a bag of peas to my dog’s bleeding penis.
As luck would have it, I didn’t have any peas.
So, I told the girl I’d much rather bring him in and could be there in less than 20 minutes.
I hung up and said to Hubby, “I’m going to get the car ready!”
At which point, Sampson jumped up ready for his walk.
I took a breath then, (well, if he can jump and walk, it can’t be THAT uncomfortable, am I right?) Let’s see how he pees…it’s only hearsay to me, but from what I understand, peeing in that condition isn’t very easy.
So I said to Hubby, “Let me try a walk and see if I can get a urine sample.” I grabbed my urine collecting tools and out the door we went.
Sampson didn’t seem to have any issues walking, nor did he struggle to urinate, or pee more than he usually does on a walk.
I called the emergency vet back, and told her I felt like we could wait the hour until I could reach my own vet. (My vet’s office has a vet who checks phone calls beginning at 7:00, even though they don’t open until 8:30).
When I spoke to my vet, she said someone should definitely look at him. When I asked her about the stiffy he was sporting, she suggested he may have found the licking…enjoyable.
I hung up the phone and said, “Great, my dog has morning wood.”
I have to say it, you know I do.
“Why does a dog lick himself?” and the answer is, “Because he can.”
When the vet’s office opened, I scheduled an appointment and brought him in. While they ran the urine sample, Dr. Dupre gave him a physical exam and then she performed a Prostate exam.
To say this wasn’t well received is an understatement. I almost had to lay on Sampson to keep him still. If his eyes could have spun in his head, they would have.
Dr. Dupre couldn’t feel anything abnormal during the exam, so we did an x-ray.
The x-ray showed Sampson had a bit of stool in his system, so the Prostate wasn’t fully visible but there was nothing alarming. There was a slight shadow under his spine that could have been a lymph node, but again, nothing alarming.
After all of this, it was determined that Sampson had injured his prepuce (the skin sheath that covers the penis when it’s not peeping out) and with whatever licking he had done, he’d gotten an infection.
I had to think about it to figure out HOW he injured himself, but then I remembered the week before he’d seen his friend Mrs. Whinnem at her front door, and he was so excited, he tried to climb her steps, but they were steep and his back legs let go and he slid a bit on the cement. That had to have been when it happened.
We went home with some ointment that had to be squeezed into the prepuce and some antibiotics.
Ointment that had to be squeezed into his penis. Twice a day. I was afraid he’d start getting ideas…
As we were leaving, Dr. Allen was coming back from lunch. She stopped to say hello, and I told her what was going on, so while I was getting Sampson’s ramp ready, Dr. Allen was observing Sampson. She watched him pee, and then she took a quick look at his junk when he got into the car. Basically, we had two exams. 🙂 Dr. Allen agreed with Dr. Dupre’s assessment.
So we had an answer for the blood, but no idea why he was having an erection.
Conversations with my vet were…interesting, and I will admit, we did get a few good jokes about it, especially as she was asking around on forums only available to veterinarians.
What reasons are there for a neutered dog to have an erection?
There were a few theories about what could have caused the chubby, (besides the enjoyable bit).
One theory was that little nodule on his adrenal gland, (that we discovered in February of last year), had begun secreting some type of hormones.
The second theory was sex glands. Apparently there are two sets of sex glands in male dogs. The testicles (which most vets remove when neutering), and there are another set at the base of the penis shaft. Sometimes when Sampson is super happy, that second set pops up like two little marbles. And then I always ask him if he’s happy to see me. 🙂
A third theory, which is the one we all seem to be leaning towards, at least with Sampson is, when he really has to urinate, he gets an erection, because yes, it has also happened in the afternoons, and it continued to happen after the infection was cleared up. Each time, I would take a urine sample in, and with the exception of once, he didn’t have a UTI.
The final theory of course, is the Urinary tract infection, which Sampson initially had. But once it was cleared up, the erections continued.
I think a lot of Sampson’s issues could have been when he scraped his penis, as the further we’ve gotten away from December, the less frequently these erections occur. But you can bet your boots if he’s really paying attention to that area, I’m going to watch it, and possibly get a urine sample.
Author’s note: I tried bringing some humor to a somewhat delicate topic, I can find the humor after the situation, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t and I don’t take this seriously, because I do.