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Out-of-place Urethral Lining in Dogs

Urethral Prolapse in Dogs

Urethral prolapse is a condition in which the mucosal lining of the urethra, responsible for producing mucus in the canal that expels urine from the bladder, becomes dislodged, often protruding outward at the urethral, vaginal, or penile openings, thereby becoming visible.

This condition can impact various parts of a dog’s anatomy, including the urinary bladder, the conduit for storing urine, the urinary tract, reproductive organs, and the immune system.

In most cases, specific treatment is unnecessary unless there exists a more severe underlying medical issue or an accompanying infection.

Urethral prolapse is a condition that can affect both dogs and cats.

Symptoms and Types

A prolapsed urethra typically resembles a pea-sized mass and may appear red or purple in color. It is commonly noticed as a small tissue mass at the tip of the penis (or, in females, protruding from the urethral tract).

Excessive licking of the mass by the dog can lead to enlargement or inflammation. In certain instances, the protrusion may bleed in or around the urethral opening. Dogs experiencing urethral prolapse often encounter difficulties while urinating.


The development of the mass may be triggered by sexual excitement or inner abdominal pressure. Additional potential causes comprise:

  • Testicular disease
  • Urethral diseases
  • Penile fractures
  • Abnormal anatomical development
  • Irritation from sexual activity

While it can manifest in any breed, Boston Terriers and Bulldogs appear to be particularly susceptible to this medical condition.


X-rays and various diagnostic imaging methods like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized axial tomography scans (CAT) are frequently employed to exclude any potential underlying problems with the prostate or bladder. During the examination, your veterinarian will also need to eliminate other common underlying causes, such as fractures of the penis and diseases of the urethra and testicles.

Your veterinarian may find it beneficial to observe ejaculation, as certain issues may only be evident during this process, aiding in the examination of genital function.


When inflammation or the risk of infection is present, antibiotics are commonly prescribed preventively. Surgery is typically recommended in cases of significant bleeding or pain; however, treatment may not be necessary in many instances. Often, simply reducing your dog’s physical activity to provide time for rest and healing is sufficient for the condition to resolve.

Recovery and Management

Due to the relatively high risk of recurrence, it is essential for you to monitor any physical alterations in your dog’s genital area.


Regrettably, there are no preventive measures for urethral prolapse. Neutering the animal may be the best option if a dog demonstrates a high likelihood of recurrence.

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