Testicular or Scrotal Swelling View In Dogs
A pet's testicles may become inflamed and swell from trauma like a bite, scratch wound, or a bruise from a fall. More often, the scrotum (the sac of tissue that contains the testicles) swells from an injury.
Orchitis - testicular inflammation, in which one or both of the testicles become hard and swollen, always needs immediate medical attention. Most of the time, however, scrotal swelling happens after castration surgery. The discomfort of the surgery prompts the pet to lick, which bruises the tissue and makes the inflammation worse. As a result, the scrotum swells up, sometimes to enormous proportions. The poor dog may walk straddle-legged with his belly tucked up, or he may sit a lot on cool surfaces to relieve the pain.
Diagnosis can be made by physical examination.
Most of the time, first aid is all that is needed to bring relief.
- Muzzle your pet - Your pet won't want you handling this area of the body, and when it is swollen and sore, he will readily snap or bite if you hurt him when you are trying to treat the area. To muzzle a long nosed dog, use a necktie or a standard flat leash. Loop it around his nose and tie it, then bring the ends down and around and tie them beneath the jaw. Finally, bring both ends of the fabric or lead back behind your pet's ears and tie them in a knot or bow.
For short-faced dogs (like a pug), you can put a pillowcase over his head. Restrain your cat with one hand on the scruff - the loose fur at the back of the neck - and your other hand grasping both rear legs. Gently hold him on is side on a tabletop while a second person examines and treats the swollen area.
- Wash scratches - When there is a scratch or abrasion of the tissue, wash off the area with sterile saline contact lens solution or plain water. The best way to do this is with a sink sprayer or plant sprayer. That way, your hands never touch the tender area, and the cool liquid is also soothing for your pet.
- Apply antibiotic ointment - For minor scrapes or abrasions on the scrotum, apply an antibiotic ointment to the area. This helps prevent infection.
- Wrap an ice pack - Usually, an ice pack would bring down the swelling and also relieve the pain by numbing the tissues. However, testicular welling can be so sensitive that the pressure of an icepack against the area may make the pain worse. Instead of using an ice pack, gently place a gauze pad over the area, then use a spray bottle filled with ice water to keep the pad soaked and cold. Put a towel under your pet to catch the dripping water. Apply it for 10 - 30 minutes several times a day.
- Ask about aspirin - You may be able to give your DOG buffered aspirin like Bufferin to relieve the pain on a temporary basis. However, if there is bleeding into the scrotum, aspirin may make it worse - ask your veterinarian. The usual dose is 10 - 25mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight 2 - 3 times a day. DO NOT GIVE ASPIRIN TO CATS.
- Use a collar restraint - Since you can't watch your pet constantly to be sure they are not licking and irritating the area, use a cone shaped Elizabethan collar.
Testicular Cancer - Cancer of the testicles is quite common in dogs. It usually develops in middle aged dogs (10 years or older), and a common sign is enlargement of the affected testicle. The tissue can be soft or hard, but it usually isn't painful.
Other signs include bloody urine, difficulty urinating, or constipation when the tumor interferes with elimination. Some dogs show signs of feminization when these tumors produce estrogen, the female sex hormone. Their breasts may enlarge, for example, and they may squat to urinate like female dogs, or become attractive to other intact male dogs. If you see any of these signs, or if you can feel a mass in your pet's testicles, take him to the veterinarian the next day.
Diagnosis requires laboratory examination of the affected tissue. The tumor is usually removed, and if the cancer has spread beyond the testicles, chemotherapy or radiation therapy is performed. Testicular cancer can be prevented by neutering your dog at an early age.
Swelling from excessive licking usually goes away when your pet is prevented from bothering the area with a cone collar.
Apply an antibiotic ointment a few times a day, as long as your dog is not licking it off.
Your vet may prescribe pain medication or an anti-inflammatory to relieve the discomfort until the inflammation goes away. For dogs, you can usually hide pills in a tasty treat. For cats, you can try crushing the pill with the back of a spoon and mixing it into strong smelling cat food.
In cases where swelling is caused by infection, you will need to give antibiotics for up to 2 weeks as prescribed by your veterinarian after diagnosis. Signs of infection include fever, discharge of pus, loss of appetite, lethargy or hiding behavior, and constant licking of the area. The area may be red or discolored and painful to the touch. If you suspect that the infection has turned into an abscess, and there is an open wound with a red discharge of pus, have the vet re-examine your pet.
In rare cases, the swelling after neutering becomes so severe that it leads to damage of the scrotum. In these cases, a repeat of the surgery or the insertion of a drain may be needed. Clean the incision and drain area as needed with sterile saline contact lens solution on a gauze pad.
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