Contributors: Elisa Mazzaferro

 Species: Canine   |   Classification: Diseases

Introduction Pathogenesis Diagnosis Treatment Outcomes Further Reading


  • Uncommon.
  • Cause: road traffic accident/hit by car (RTA/HBC), ballistic impacts, bite wounds, malicious intervention (occasionally).
  • Signs: severe hemorrhage, urethral obstruction, dysuria, fractured os penis.
  • Diagnosis: history, clinical signs, radiography.
  • Treatment: simple repair with sutures to penile amputation depending on severity.
  • Prognosis: depends on extent of trauma.

Presenting Signs

  • Severe hemorrhage - lacerations involving cavernous tissue.
  • Urethral obstruction/dysuria - more chronic cases.
  • Fracture of os penis - crush injuries.

Cost Considerations

  • Usually managed conservatively at minimal cost but severe cases may require surgical intervention.

Special Risks



  • RTA (HBC).
  • Ballistic impacts.
  • Bite wounds.
  • Malicious intervention (occasionally).
  • Blunt trauma.

Predisposing Factors

  • Over sexed dog where excessive masturbation → trauma.


  • Penile trauma and lacerations involving cavernous tissue result in severe hemorrhage.
  • More chronic injuries may cause urethral obstruction and dysuria.
  • Crush injuries may result in fracture of os penis with further laceration of cavernous tissue.
  • Fractures of os penis may result in dysuria.


  • Acute signs following injury.


Presenting Problems

  • Penile hemorrhage.
  • Dysuria.

Client History

  • Penile hemorrhage.
  • Dysuria (more chronic injuries).
  • Licking prepuce.

Clinical Signs

  • Fracture of os penis (crush injuries).

Diagnostic Investigation

  • Radiographs to provide definitive diagnosis of os penis fracture.
Contrast Radiography

Definitive diagnostic features

  • Signs.

Differential Diagnosis


Standard Treatment

Simple lacerations of mucosa
  • Digital pressure/repair with fine sutures.
Fractures of os penis
  • EitherOrthopedic intervention.
    OrStent with urethral catheter.
Gross disruption of cavernous tissue


  • Ensure animal able to urinate normally.
    May be necessary to place cystotomy tube Cystostomy: tube for a time.

Subsequent Management


  • For development of urethral stricture.



  • Generally good.
  • Severe trauma may require penile amputation.

Expected Response to Treatment

Reasons for Treatment Failure

Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Erne J B & McNicholas W T (2009) What is your diagnosis? Urethral obstruction and fracture of the os penis. JAVMA 234 (2), 201-202 PubMed.
  • Mahler S P & Wint C E (2004) What is your diagnosis? Urethral trauma. JAVMA 225 (6), 839-840 PubMed.

Other Sources of Information