Bear the dog started chewing on his penis a few weeks ago. We noticed that he seemed to be grooming the area excessively, and within a few days, he seemed very lethargic and I noticed that there was puss on the tip of his penis (which we now know is the "prepuce"). Took him to an emergency vet who put him in a cone and gave us antibiotics. That helped, but the area was still inflamed, so our regular vet gave us higher dose antibiotics, an anti fungal, and topical antibacterial drops.

With all those drugs, he was throwing up a lot, so the vet took him off of the antibiotics. But not the antifungal or the drops. The vet is pretty clear that he doesn't know what is wrong.

At no point have we noticed a change in urination.

It's now been three weeks and Bear is still super lethargic and he seems uncomfortable. His behavior is hard to describe but he is moping. He is barely willing to eat. He'll eat chicken, and hardcore treats (liver, bacon) but he's not interested in his usual food.

His prepuce is now a fairly healthy shade of pink, no puss, and no intense redness, but it is definitely swollen.

So my question is: are there other things we can do to make him more comfortable? And do you have any ideas about what might be going on? Spider bites? Cancer? STDs?

We're planning to take him to a new vet, but I'd like to come prepared to ask better questions. What should we be researching or asking the vet about?

  • 1
    How about taking him to another vet to get a second opinion?
    – papakias
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 12:10
  • Yeah. That is also on our list. I guess I'd like to go to Vet #2 with a list of questions.
    – Amanda
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 15:52
  • 1
    I concur--different vet. I would look online --check yelp reviews and check out specialist-vets. It sounds like your current vet is dropping the ball.
    – M.Mat
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 2:01

1 Answer 1


Just to give this some closure ...

He finished his anti-fungal meds and his lethargy is thoroughly resolved. We don't know what caused the swelling, but it is no longer infected and doesn't appear to bother him.

We'll get a new vet next time he needs a vet, but for now he seems fine.

UPDATE: It came back, we went to a new vet, he's had us monitoring it and sending photos. It came and went a couple of times over a month but when it appeared we cleaned it with Preparation H wipes (which are just hitch hazel--who knew?) for a few days and it cleared up. It has been a few months now and the whole thing remains a mystery, but my phone is now full of a lot of canine prepuce creepshots. 📸 The new vet was pretty mystified but at least he seemed thoughtful and his approach (dialing back the meds that weren't doing anything, instead of just adding more and more drugs to his cocktail) is definitely more re-assuring.

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