Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Penile surgery

Synonym(s): Penis

Contributor(s): Ash Phipps , Neil Paton

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Introduction

  • There are a number of conditions that would require a veterinary clinician to perform penile surgery on male cattle, in particular bulls.
  • This article discusses the reasons for surgery and the techniques involved.

Uses

  1. Penile lacerations: often with concurrent infection/abscessation and edema. Usually traumatic in origin.
  2. Penile hematomas: rupture of the corpus cavernosum penis (CCP) and tunica albuginae leading to hemorrhage in the surrounding tissues. Most commonly associated with trauma.
  3. Penile tumors: in bulls the most common tumors that present on the penis are fibropapillomas, which commonly affect younger bulls.
    1. There may be single or multiple tumors present.
    2. The papillomavirus (BHV-1) is thought to be the causative agent that may gain entry to damaged epithelial tissue of the penis (trauma often associated with frequent mounting). 
    3. Other tumors of the penis include fibrosarcomas and squamous cell carcinomas.
  4. Urolithiasis: calculi that obstruct the urethra.
    1. This condition is more common in castrated cattle (steers).
    2. Correction of this procedure may result in the need to perform a urethrostomy Urethrostomy.
  5. Phallectomy/penectomy Phallectomy.
  6. Penile scarring: scar tissue/adhesions may develop between the penis and the prupuce from trauma, infection, inflammation or from an infectious disease process Bovine herpes virus.
  7. Persistent frenulum: this condition results because of a complete or partial failure of separation of the connective tissue band between the glans penis and the ventral aspect of the penis.

Advantages

  • The surgical correction of the conditions can be carried out by non-specialist veterinarians.
  • Penile surgery can result in the bulls returning back to service (eg penile frenulum correction, penile tumor removal etc) or act as a salvage procedure (eg phallectomy Phallectomy).

Disadvantages

  • Any penile surgery can result in scarring post-surgery which can predispose the animal to other conditions such as paraphimosis.
  • Reccurrence of fibropapillomas is common despite surgical removal.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Penile lacerations:
    • Good.
  • Penile hematomas:
    • 75% of bulls return to mating service.
  • Penile tumors:
    • Good for papillomatosis and fibropapillomas.
    • Poor for squamous cell carcinomas.
  • Urolithiasis:
    • Urolithiasis.
    • Often poor due to the potential complications associated with the surgery.
  • Phallectomy/penectomy:
  • Penile scars:
    • Good to poor - depending on the presence of adhesions.
  • Persistent frenulum:
    • Good - majority of working bulls will return to service after two weeks rest.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Anderson D E (2008) Surgery of the prepuce and penis. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 24 (2), 245-251 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Smith Bradford P (2014) Large animal internal medicine. Elsevier Health Sciences, St Louis, Missouri, USA.
  • Weaver A D, Jean G S & Steiner A (2013) Bovine surgery and lameness. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Fubini S L & Ducharme N (2004) Farm animal surgery. Elsevier Health Sciences, St Louis, Missouri, USA.


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