Male dogs and their "special" problem

(or I think its broken)

It never fails.  The phone will ring and one of your puppy buyers is on the line.  They have one of your males and they think his "uh, his uh, weinie" is broken.  They've been rubbing his belly and suddenly his "equipment" is swollen.  He has two large bumps around the base of the shaft which is inside the sheath or prepuce. How did he break his penis?  Are those his testicles?

Most of the time we're able to hold back the laughter.  We're not laughing at you, the puppy owner.  Really.  It's not like it's the first time it's been wondered about.  More than likely, anyone who has owned a male dog has wondered the same thing.

Relax.  Trust me, it's not broken.  Dogs have two glands at the base of their penis that swell when they get excited or sometimes when they have to urinate.  These glands are responsible for the "tie" that occurs during a dog breeding. 

Just so you know, this is totally different from an appearance of the tip of the penis that always seems to happen when non-doggy folks are visiting.  We call that his "lipstick" or "Mr. Peepers".

These glands are called the bulbus glandis.

I'm assuming you're still with me and haven't either fainted at my use of the word penis or died from laughing or embarrassment.

JP, a fellow Lab breeder from the UK, put it best when she said in explanation:

"The dog is one of the rare animals to possess a penile bone, called an os penis. It is this bone that produces the partial erection required for penetration during any mating. Real erection is stimulated as entry to the vagina pushes the penile sheath back and full erection is completed only after penetration has taken place. So, that little bone plays a very important role in reproduction.

In some breeds, it can even be the source of problems. As the os penis surrounds the urethra for part of its length, the diameter of that tube narrows as it passes through the os. Stones can get lodged in this region. In some breeds, the os penis is often the anatomic site of the dreaded urinary obstruction - a large stone dammed up where the urethra narrows. As it cannot find an exit, the urine starts to back up. Urine reflux can quickly lead to death. It is thought that the growth of this bone in youngsters is regulated by testosterone and reaches maturity at around fifty (50) weeks. In breeds prone to urinary stones, early castration should be avoided to allow the bone to grow to its full size."

Okay, cover your eyes if you're modest.

This is how a dog looks that has enlargement of the bulbus glandis.  He was enjoying carrying bath towels around the house.

No, sometimes it doesn't take much does it?

A little visual help in case you missed it.

See the swelling there?

You'll notice the head of the prepuce there on the left and his testicles on the far right. 

So the next time your boy swells, I hope this article will help you realize it's not broken.  It's just him being a normal male.


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