Bleeding from Penis - German Shepherd
Question: Dear Dr. Michael,
I am having a problem with my GSD "K-9". He is 3 years old and for about 4 months ago he was used as a stud. Now for abut 2 1/2 weeks ago he started to bleed, red fresh blood drops from his penis. I took him to the vet and I got some antibiotic and she gave him anti-inflammatory injection. He stopped bleeding after 3 days while taking the antibiotic. 2 days after the 7 days couse was finished he started again and with more blood droppes than before. Took him again to the vet same antibiotic and anti-inflammatory tablets. The vet wanted to check K-9 with some instruments (don;t know the name) but they don;t have it here. The vet said since it is red blood it must come from the end not further in, which makes sense. The vet is not able to do any
further tests that's is the reasons for why I contact you. What could it be? What should I look for? (He dose not have pain when he is urinating and there is no blood in the urine).
Please note I do like my vet she has helped me in many situations but this time I'm a little worried since it dose not seam to clear up and she has not got the facilities needed.
Looking forward to your advise. Thanks, Maggie
There are two things to think about when bleeding occurs from the penis. The first is an injury to the penis or some other part of the urinary tract leading to the hemorrhage. The second is a bleeding disorder that is affecting the entire dog but showing up as bleeding from the penis. It is important to note that occasional instances of small amounts of bleeding from the penis (several drops but enough to be noticeable) are not highly unusual in intact male dogs and often do not seem to cause any significant
problems. This is especially true when they are aware of a female in heat but not able to breed with her. It sounds like you are seeing more bleeding than this, though.
The most common problem leading to bleeding in intact male dogs is almost
certainly prostate disease. The prostate can be palpated in dogs by rectal palpation and if the prostate is greatly enlarged it would increase the likelihood of prostatic problems as the cause of the observed bleeding. The antibiotics are a good choice in this case. Prostate infections are often poorly responsive to antibiotics and they must be used for long periods of time in some dogs to get control of the infections --- it is not unusual to have to use antibiotics for 6 to 8 weeks. Prostate hypertrophy in the
absence of infection also occurs and can lead to bleeding from the penis. I think that this is probably the major reason that we see occasional bleeding episodes in some male dogs who never really seem to be ill from the problem. This is especially true of young male dogs who are sexually frustrated by the presence of a female in heat.
Injuries to the penis are not too unusual in dogs that have learned to masturbate in response to sexual frustration. It is a good idea to examine the penis for signs of injury whenever bleeding is seen. We have also seen injuries to the prepuce that were difficult to locate, including one dog who had managed to fun over a stick in just the right path to push it several inches into his sheath, where it caused a great deal of hemorrhage but was not visible.
Bleeding disorders are not especially common in dogs but German shepherds are one of the breeds that is prone to these problems, since there is a higher than usual rate of hemophilia in GSDs. Checking for a bleeding disorder with a coagulation profile or bleeding time tests would be reasonable.
It does help to have access to an ultrasound machine when the prostate is suspected to be the problem but it is reasonable to just treat for the problems that can be treated for and hope for the best when access to this type of testing is limited.
Good luck with this.
Mike Richards, DVM