Male Reproductive Disorder in Prairie Dogs

By PetMD Editorial on Sep. 14, 2010

Preputial Blockage in Prairie Dogs

Preputial blockage is one of the reproductive disorders commonly encountered in male prairie dogs, especially in adult male prairie dogs that are not castrated and do not mate and can therefore develop a buildup of urine, discharge, and debris in the prepuce (the foreskin on the penis). If these material masses together and hardens, it may lead to discomfort, bacterial infection, and damage to the penis.

The preputial blockage occurs most commonly during or following the mating season. Treatment includes a manual cleaning of the debris and administration of antibiotics if any secondary bacterial infections have been detected. To prevent preputial blockage castrate your male prairie dog.


  • Pain and discomfort while urinating
  • Uncontrollable bladder
  • Collection of debris under prepuce
  • Pus-filled discharge around foreskin
  • Rise in body temperature


Blockage typically occurs in adult male prairie dogs that are not castrated and do not mate, which may result in a buildup of debris that blocks the preputial opening.


Inspection of the penis allows your veterinarian to make a diagnosis of preputial blockage. You may suspect a case of preputial blockage if you find your male dog having some discomfort while urinating or is unable to control urination. A veterinarian will then examine the penis and, if bacterial infections are suspected, may use laboratory tests to identify the causative bacteria.


To treat preputial blockage your veterinarian will need to sedate the prairie dog, manually remove the debris under the foreskin, and thoroughly clean the affected area. If present, bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics.

Living and Management

For a quick and complete recovery, it is important you place the prairie dog in a clean living environment, away from other animals and distractions, and that you follow all recommendations given by your veterinarian.


If you do intend to mate your prairie dog, the best way to prevent preputial blockage is to have it castrated. Otherwise, take your pet for regular health checkups to identify issues with preputial blockage early.

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