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Volume 22 | Issue 2 Article 5


Surgical Problems of the Penis and Prepuce of Bulls,

Part I
Fred C. Neal
Iowa State University

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Part of the Large or Food Animal and Equine Medicine Commons, and the Veterinary Anatomy

Recommended Citation
Neal, Fred C. (1960) "Surgical Problems of the Penis and Prepuce of Bulls, Part I," Iowa State University Veterinarian: Vol. 22 : Iss. 2 ,
Article 5.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/iowastate_veterinarian/vol22/iss2/5

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Surgical Problems
of the
Penis and Prepuce of Bulls
Fred C. Neal, D.V.M., M.S.

Part I
quilizers, the penis can be withdrawn
ties of the penis and prepuce of from the sheath, and after the neces-
sary examination or treatment, the penis
bulls present perplexing problems to the
veterinarian. While a few of these condi- can be replaced in the sheath and will
tions may be considered "uniformly" be retained. Still another advantage of
amenable to treatment, the percentage of the tranquilizers is appreciated in the
bulls returned to normal service follow- treatment of conditions where adhesions
ing surgery for the correction of the more between the penis and other structures
serious conditions is less than is desired. are a problem, and it is necessary to
Recent studies of the innervation!,2 and break down the adhesions by manual
circulation3 have added important con- withdrawal of the penis each day. The
tributions to the knowledge of the anat- apparent innocuous effect of the tran-
omy of the genitalia of the bull, and quilizers following daily administrations
should aid the veterinarian in improving is preferable to the reactions that may
surgical techniques whereby a larger per- follow the injections of the local anes-
centage of bulls can be reclaimed for thetics at similar intervals.
breeding purposes. Tumors of the Penis
The use of tranquilizers has greatly fa-
cilitated examination and the treatment Fibropapillomata are .common tumors
of some conditions involving the penis
and prepuce. In addition to obvious ad-
vantages such as the quieting effect on
the bull, the ease of administration, and
its rapid action following intravenous ad-
ministration, the tranquilizing agents
have other important advantages over
caudal epidural or pudendal nerve anes-
thesia for withdrawing the penis from the
sheath. Following the use of the nerve
blocks, the penis dangles from the sheath
and is vulnerable to trauma or swelling,
unless it is replaced and restrained in
the sheath by temporary sutures narrow-
ing the preputial orifice. Following the
administration of proper dosages of tran-
Dr. Neal is an assistant professor in the Large
Animal Clinic, College of Veterinary Medicine,
Iowa State University. Fibropapilloma of the penis

Issue 2, 1960 85
affecting the glans penis of bulls be- through the skin around the preputial ori-
tween one and three years of age. These fice should be employed to retain the
tumors may be single or multiple, and prolapse, and should be left in place sev-
may attain sufficient size to interfere eral days. Parenteral antibiotic therapy,
with copulation. On cursory examh1ation along with twice daily flushing of the
it may appear that a large area of the sheath with BIPP may be indicated if se-
glans penis is involved, but on closer vere lesions are present.
inspection the mushroom like growths The surgical shortening of the re-
are generally found to have a small pe- tractor penis muscles has proven bene-
dunculated attachment. Surgical excision ficial in recurrent cases. It is thought that
flush with the surface of the pe11is, fol- this operation might prove beneficial in
lowed by electrocauterization to mini- the prevention of preputial prolapse
mize the danger of erectile hemorrhage, where predisposing tendencies are ob-
generally will bring about uncomplicated served.
recovery. The bull should be withheld The prognosis as to the continued
from service for three weeks, or until breeding ability of the bull should be
healing is complete. The administration guarded if contractions or adhesions be-
of wart vaccine has been recommended tween folds of the prepuce have resulted
where numerous small tumors are en- in phimosis. The surgery necessary for
countered, but the critical evaluation of the correction of this condition consists
this treatment has not been reported. of the removal of the diseased portion
of the prepuce. Strict asepsis and hemo-
Phimosis and Prolapse of the Prepuce
stasis are necessary if this operation is
Phimosis - the inability to protrude to be successful. A triangular portion of
the penis from the sheatl1 - is generally skin is removed from the ventral side of
considered to be the result of stricture the sheath, with the base of the triangle
of the prepuce. While balanoposthitis, including the n1argins of the original
congenital adhesions or papillon1ata l11.ay orifice. The apex of the triangle is pos-
cause phimosis, this condition is more terior to the orifice and lies on the mid-
commonly associated with prolapse of the line of the bull. The incision is carried
prepuce as a predisposing factor. The through the preputial membrane, and
two conditions will be considered to- the prepuce is joi11ed to the margin. of
gether. the skin by interrupted nylon sutures.
Prolapse of the prepuce is generally the Care should be exercised to anchor the
result of injury to the prepuce. The high prepuce to the skin in several places be-
incidence of this condition in certain fore the diseased portion is removed to
breeds (Brahman, Angus, and Polled prevent the bull from drawing the penis
Hereford) can be explained by the tend- and free edge of the prepuce deep into
ency of these bulls to allow a portion of the sheath. Post-operative strictures of the
the prepuce to hang free of the sheath orifice may redevelop, despite generous
and become traumatized by brushing V-shaped incisions and careful tech-
against objects, or by freezing of this niques. If the portion of the prepuce in-
part during cold weather. Unless proper volved in the prolapse is extensive, there
medical attention is given the prolapsed is little hope of returning the bull to
prepuce, it invariably results in phimosis. natural service, since the length of the
The prognosis is favorable only in penis that can be extended will be short-
those cases where the prepuce is pliable ened by the section of prepuce that is
and reduction of the prolapse is possible. removed.
Treatment consists of thorough cleansing
of the affected parts, the application of Paraphimosis
an antiseptic such as BIPP (Bismuth Sub- Paraphimosis - the inability to with-
nitrate, Iodoform, Petrolatum Paste), and draw the penis into the sheath - may be
the replacement of the prolapsed pre- due to either the constriction of the pre-
puce into the sheath. Sutures placed puce behind the glans penis or to swell-

86 Iowa State University Veteri.narian

ing of the glans penis, making it imposstble A Gastric-Ulcer Condition
to draw this organ back through the (continued on page 78)
naturally small preputial orifice. If this
condition receives attention before ex- Conclusions
tensive lacerations of the exposed tissues
Practitioners in the field should be on
occur or necrosis of the glans penis de-
the alert for this COlldition. It has prob-
velops, the prognosis is surprisingly good.
ably been largely overlooked as a cause
The treatment should be directed toward
of sudden death in swine. A routine au-
the prevention of further trauma to the
topsy of all suddell deaths in swille would
exposed penis and prepuce. After cleans-
probably disclose a much higher incidence
ing the tissues, the penis should be
than is now reported. While the large
treated with an oil base, non-irritating
gastric ulcers are the most characteristic
dressing. The exposed penis is then
lesion, smaller ulcers of the gastric mu-
wrapped in a layer of cotton and covered
cosa or of the small intestine should not
with a loosely applied bandage. The penis
be missed. Also, the ulcers may in some
should then be supported against the
cases involve only the small intestine.
ventral abdominal wall by a manytailed
balldage or similar device. The dressing Acknowledgment
on the penis should be changed once or
twice daily until the swelling subsides to We wish to thank Dr. M. L. Spear, Iowa
the point where the penis can be drawn Extension Veterinarian, Dr. W. S. Switzer,
back into the sheath. It may be advisable Veterinary Research Institute, and Dr. V.
to retain the penis in the sheath by su- A. Seaton, Iowa Veterinary Medical Diag-
tures across the orifice until tone re- nostic Laboratory, for their help in com-
turns to the retractor penis muscles. piling the illformation for this article.
Again, the surgical shortening of the re- We would also like to thank Dr. P. C.
tractor muscles may be necessary to pre- Bennett, Iowa Veterinary Medical Diag-
vent recurrence of the condition. nostic Laboratory for tIle pictures which
he supplied.
1. Kitchell, R. L.; Campbell, B.; Quilliam, T. A.;
and Larson, L. L. Neurological Factors in
Sexual Behavior of Domestic Animals. Proc.
Immunity against swine erysipelas was
Book, A.V.M.A. 177-189. 1955.
2. Larson, L. L., and Kitchell, R. L. Neural less solid in areas of Yugoslavia where
Mechanism in Sexual Behavior II Gross pigs were vaccinated simultaneously
Neuroanatomioal and Correlative Neuro- against erysipelas and cholera when anti-
physical Studies of the External G'enitalia
of the Bull and 'the Ram. Amer. J. Vet. Res. hog cholera serum was used.
19: 853-865. 1958. Tests proved that ten of eleven com-
3. Ashdown, R. R. Arteries and Veins of the mercial lots (91 %) of anti-hog cholera
Sheath of the Bovine Penis. Anatomischer serum examined contained antibodies
Anzeiger 105: 222-230. 1958.
against swine erysipelas. One lot (9~o)
Part II of this article will appear in the 11ad a titer of 4.65 immunity units and
llext issue of The Iowa State University showed ability to lower the immunizing
Veterinarian. capacity of commercial absorbed bacterill
-End by 47 per cent.
A variety of wild animals are thought to Since anti-hog cholera serum, being
be temporary or permanent carriers of homologous, is eliminated slowly, vac-
Leptospira pomona. A recent survey of cination for erysipelas should either be
wild animal serums collected in Ohio re- postponed more than two weeks after its
vealed presence of antibodies in deer, rac- use, or a slowly absorbed erysipelas vac-
coon, fox and skunk. The finding of addi- cine should be used.
tiollal susceptible species may explain the Kalinovica, Sarajevo, and Zagreb, Yugoslavia.
origin of some enzootics. Am. J. Vet. Res. 20:558-561, 1959.

Issue 2, 1960 87