We recently adopted a 4-year-old golden retriever named Sam. The nutshell version of the story is that Sam showed up with his family jewels still intact. In the process of taking care of it, the vet discovered that Sam had, at some point, suffered a “traumatic injury” to his nether regions that resulted in a badly healed, abnormally small prepuce (aka penis sheath, aka foreskin, aka your dog’s manhood permanently exposed). In order to keep him healthy, the vet did reconstructive surgery (which was very generous…don’t get me wrong).
It was not fun caring for a large, hyper dog who’d had plastic surgery on his man parts. I gave him lots of medicine. I administered the cone of shame. I had to keep him sedated so that he wouldn’t aggravate either wound. Finally, this Thursday, I took him in to get his stitches removed. The vet gave him a clean bill of health, but not without a warning…
The Vet: I did the best I could reconstructing it, but there was a lot of scar tissue.
Me: Well, he seems fine.
The Vet: Yes, but you’ll see that the preputial opening is distinctly pointed to the right.
He splays Sam out and points. I nod.
The Vet: What leg does he lift when he urinates?
Me: The right one, I think.
Really, I have no idea.
The Vet: That’s good. You might train him to always use the right.
I file this suggestion, along with the post-surgery suggestion that I go home and “ice his sack.” I’m a busy gal””-too busy to train my housebroken dog on his urinary technique. The vet offers to do another surgery to rotate the preputial opening. I thank him and promise that I’ll bring Sam back in if it seems necessary.
Before I go, the vet tells me about another surgery he recently did on a little chihuahua that had a penis problem. “I thought about trying to extend the prepuce, but his penis was so large,” he said. “I had to amputate it.” Ouch.
Sam…embrace your sideways junk, my friend, because it could have been a whole lot worse.