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Dog licking at penis.

Species: Dog
Breed: Papillon/chihuahua
Age: 2-5 years
Hi doc-
Little background- Austin is 4- very active, outgoing. He has Addison's disease which is treated with DOCP every 25 days( next shot this coming Tuesday ). Anyway!, he has been licking his winkie( silly word I know- his penis) for about a day or so, fairly often! He will even stop mid walk, lay down and go for it! He is fixed, doesent hump anything either. It's all inflamed too. It looks like he's urinating ok- what could it be? Allergy? Also he has a condition where the foreskin dosent entirely cover his winkie, but I've never had an issue with that- and I've had him 2 yrs. sorry I rambled!!

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Dr. Marie replied:

Poor boy...I would imagine it does not feel good to have an uncomfortable winkie. :)

There are a few things that can cause a dog to lick his penis obsessively. The first possibility is if he has some type of wound on the penis. (The wound could be inside of the sheath so you may not be able to see it.) If this is the case, it will eventually heal, but would heal faster with some anti-inflammatory medication.

It's also possible that he has an infection either on his penis or inside of the penile sheath. The could have started with a wound, but often we don't know why. If he has a problem with his sheath not completely protecting the penis, then infection is definitely possible. If this is the case then he's going to need some oral antibiotics.

The biggest concern, however, is if he has a stone (or a bunch of small stones) inside of his urethra. Some stones can be small enough that a dog can urinate around it, but still cause pain and inflammation. Stones can be a very serious problem. If you do notice that he develops trouble urinating at all then he needs to see a vet immediately. I have seen some dogs that get along ok with a tiny stone and then suddenly they can get a blockage. If a dog's urethra is blocked then this is a life threatening emergency.

Another possibility is if there is a tumor on the penis but this is very unlikely at his age.

I don't think this issue is connected to his Addison's at all.

No matter what the cause is, if it's been going on for more than 24 hours then he likely should see his vet. The vet will be able to extrude the penis and see if there is a wound. They should be able to tell if there is infection as well. If there is no obvious wound or infection then they will likely want to take an xray to look for a stone.

Most likely he can wait till the morning to be seen. The only reason I would want to have him in at emergency tonight is if he was struggling to urinate at all.

I hope he does ok!

I'll be online for about 10 minutes more. If you have more questions and I miss you I'll be back online early in the morning.

Dr. Marie



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Customer reply:

Thanks for your prompt reply! I'll keep an eye on that winkie :) and if it's still an issue in the morning I'll take him in- he just peed and it seemed ok, but I'll keep watching. Thanks again- Rachel


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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