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Balanoposthitis In Your Older Dog
Certain disorders are rather
occurrences in many older dogs and are potentially life threatening. In
the female dog, conditions such as mammary gland tumors and pyometra,
as well as the less serious false pregnancy and mis-mating, can be
prevented to varying degrees by ovariohysterectomy. If your mature dog
has already had such surgery you have removed the sources of several
major threats to her continuing good health.
Although castration of the male will similarly prevent at least two
reproductive disorders related to aging, side effects are more
extensive and such surgery is rarely recommended for preventive
reasons. The treatment of existing reproductive disease may, however,
require such an operation.
Balanoposthitis: This inflammation of the penis and prepuce (sheath) is
seen with variable frequency in dogs of all ages, even young puppies,
but is more common in aging males. Small amounts of yellow or grayish
discharge at the opening of the prepuce are apparent although the dog's
licking at the area may clean most of it away.
In several cases, the
amount of discharge is quite large and will be greenish and pus-like,
often matting the surrounding abdominal hair in long-coated dogs.
surface of the penis and the lining of the prepuce develop multiple
little bumps, called lymphoid follicles, and bacteria actively begin to
grow in the secretions. Should your dog have this problem, you will
often find some of the discharge on the various surfaces that he lies
on for any length of time.
You can usually clear up mild cases yourself by gently flushing out the
sheath twice daily with hydrogen peroxide solution for a week or ten
days. Using a rubber human ear syringe to hold the peroxide, insert its
tip into the sheath opening, at the same time pulling the sheath gently
toward the syringe. This will avoid the syringe tip touching the penis.
Holding the sheath opening firmly around the syringe tip, slowly
instill the peroxide until the prepuce distends slightly. Remove the
syringe, keeping the prepuce opening closed, and gently massage the
fluid back and forth within the sheath. Release the opening, let the
fluid drain out, and carefully clean the surrounding area.
More severe cases should be treated by your veterinarian and may
require the application of irritating medications to these delicate
tissues. This would, of course, be done under anesthesia and probably
followed with soothing antibiotic ointments which you would continue at
home as instructed.
Your older dog may be recurrently bothered by this condition. Regular
flushing with peroxide or the application of an antibiotic ointment or
both, done once or twice weekly should keep the discharge under control
and avoid the more serious problems.
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Balanoposthitis In Your Older Dog