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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 13964
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 18 years.
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My dog has started rubbing his penis into the carpet, this

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My dog has started rubbing his penis into the carpet, this started about a week ago but he has now caused bleeding - what could this be and how can I treat it - I have been trying to keep it clean with salt water
Welcome! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your questions.
I am so sorry Barney has this irritation!
There are a few different causes for his irritation and unfortunately both require a veterinary exam and first morning urine sample evaluation.
- Urine crystals can be shed in the hair around the prepuce with urination and is similar to having glass shards or insulation in the hair and is very uncomfortable. Wish his breed, he is at high risk for this condition and if diagnosed with a urine sample then appropriate diet changes need to be prescribed by your veterinarian to resolve the itch. I do see this several times a year and they are quite painful! Often your veterinarian will also want to x-ray the bladder if crystals are found to rule out bladder stones as well
- Urinary tract infection. Some dogs will urinate within the prepuce and not extrude their penis as they are getting older. So urine sits within the prepuce and the acidity is an irritant and very uncomfortable resulting in him licking and rubbing to the point of bleeding in some dogs. In these situations an examination of the penis itself, the prepuce tip, and a urine sample will assist in diagnosing this and antibiotics will be warranted.
For now
- using a baby wipe after each urination because if he has a localized infection from the irritation the acidity of the urine will scald and irritate further so wiping after urination will prevent further urine irritation
- no licking! The tongue can be an irritant in and of itself and full of bacteria so if there isn't already an infection it can cause one
- oatmeal-based dog shampoo on the area with ten minutes contact time twice daily and rinse well before drying to reduce irritation, debris, and redness
- increase urination to reduce the acidity of the urine but also progression of a urinary tract infection if there is one. You can do this by adding water to his meals which "flushes" the bladder with increased frequency of urination thereby reducing the ability of bacteria to attach to the bladder wall
- benadryl (diphenhydratmine) 1 mg/ pound every 8 hours to help with the itch. May cause mild sedation
- cool compresses to the area to help numb and reduce pain
But as soon as you are able to get him seen by your veterinarian please do so to rule out the top causes of his symptoms. Collecting a fresh urine sample as the first sample of the day is ideal because it is the most telling, using a tupperware container if able and having it evaluated soon after to ensure there are no false positives for crystals with the urine sitting too long (if more than an hour please refrigerate)
Please let me know if you have any additional questions today. I truly hope Barney is feeling better soon!
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your prompt reply, Barney was diagnosed as having gone blind a few months ago - cause unknown could these be connected?
I have a difficult time putting those two issues together... if he has high blood pressure that can cause blindness and kidney issues but otherwise there is nothing else that comes to mind that would insight both issues...
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