How do dogs get orchitis? Expert Advice

Symptoms of Epididymitis and Orchitis in Dogs

Symptoms your dog may experience include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling of the testes
  • Swelling of the scrotum
  • Swelling of the epididymides
  • Lesions in the scrotal skin
  • Abnormal masses in the scrotum
  • Scrotal dermatitis from your dog licking himself
  • Symptoms may develop slowly and start as one symptom at a time, or swelling may develop and progress suddenly.


    The types of epididymitis and orchitis can include noninflammatory cases. These may be caused by an infectious agent, excessive pressure, extreme temperatures, hormonal causes and cytotoxic agents. Overall, no matter the type, the same body regions are negatively affected.

    Orchitis and epididymitis are occasionally occurring inflammatory conditions in dogs, usually together. Orchitis is an inflammation of either one or both the testes or testicles. It may be unilateral or bilateral, however, unilateral condition is more common. Whereas, epididymitis is the inflammatory condition of the testicular tubes which may occur with or without orchitis. Chronic epididymitis may result to cause reduction in the size of testicles and irregular appearance of the adjacent soft tissues (Troedsson and Dickson, 2020). If both the conditions developed, the condition is very serious and proper and immediate care should to taken (

    Castration is the major line of treatment when both the inflammatory conditions occurs in the same animal (Davidson, 2020). If in case only one side of the testes is affected (unilateral), partial castration should be done. But if both the testicles are affected and the dog is not intended for breeding, full castration is generally recommended. During operation intravenous fluid should be provided. Antibiotic, Anti-inflammatory medication should be given. In unilateral involvement, the healthy testis or epididymis should be protected against trauma, heat, swelling etc. (Davidson, 2020).

    There are several routes of transmission of both the inflammatory conditions which may include hematogenous, veneraeal, penetrating wounds, infections ascending from genitor-urinary passage, prostatic secretions, mucus membranes (Brum, 2015) etc.

    The inflammation may be acute or chronic. In acute condition, there is severe pain and infected dog may fall to sick, fever, lethargy, inappetance, doughy scrotum (Robert, 2017), infertility, excessive licking in inflamed area etc. Most of the bacteria that cause acute orchitis are Brucella canis. In chronic case, it is difficult Infertility to diagnose and also does not show any clinical sign. If the condition is kept unattended there is high chance of causing infertility leading to irreversible damage to the reproductive system.

    Castration at an early age is the only option to prevent occurrence of orchitis and epididymitis. Isolation of the infected animal from the healthy animals, proper maintenance of hygienic conditions in and around the kennel, adequate post operative cares should be followed up. It is advisable to use Elizabethan collar to prevent the dog licking of the incision site.

    Treatment options vary depending on severity of condition. Applying cold packs to the scrotum may help reduce swelling, but your veterinarian may want to start a course of antibiotics, corticosteroids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. For severe cases or cases whereby the testicles have become small and firm, neutering may become the best treatment.

    Epididymitis and Orchitis in Dogs | Wag!