Prolapse Urethra In Bulldogs And French Bulldog

By: Dr. Roy Kraemer |
DVM, Bulldog Specialist Veterinarian

The prolapsed urethra in Bulldog and French Bulldog puppies is a relatively common medical condition, particularly compared to other dog breeds. Pet owners may notice a red, pea-sized tissue protruding from the tip of their male dog’s penis, which is the prolapsed urethral tissue. This exposed tissue is delicate and vascular, making it prone to bleeding, sometimes profusely.

prolapsed bulldog urethra before surgery repair

Bulldog Prolapse Urethra 5 X MUST KNOW

  1. The prolapsed urethra is unique to bulldogs and a multifacet one
  2. It’s most noticeable by the rosy bulge at the penis tip and the spraying and pooling of blood
  3. At times, a few days of rest and mild sedation with no stimuli can help stop the bleeding wound
  4. Milder cases can benefit from pexy surgery, while more severe ones might require an amputation of the prolapsed area
  5. Prevention and care include neutering and Dr. Kraemer’s Bulldog Prolapse Urethra Bundels.

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Prolapse Urthera in Bulldogs / CAUSE:

  • GENETIC: English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers, the prolapsed urethra may be linked to abnormalities in urethral development.
  • BLOOD FLOW: Additionally, factors such as impaired penile blood flow during urination and sexual activity can contribute to this condition.
  • FLAT FACE SYNDROME: Breeds predisposed to brachycephalic syndrome, are at increased risk, characterized by airway abnormalities like

These airway conditions can lead to increased intra-abdominal pressure, potentially impeding blood flow to the penis and contributing to the development of prolapsed urethra in Bulldog puppies.

Bulldog breathing problem due to enlarged tonsils

Prolapse Urthera in Bulldogs / DIAGNOSIS:

Diagnosing a prolapsed urethra is relatively straightforward. Pet owners may notice an unusually bulged, red swelling at the tip of the penis, which represents the prolapsed delicate mucosal layer of the penile urethra. In more severe cases, the bulge may appear larger and more pronounced, sometimes accompanied by bleeding.

prolapsed urethra in bulldogs

Some testing is recommended to rule out other underlying medical conditions, including

  • General blood test
  • Urinalysis 
  • Urine culture: when the urinalysis returns with high WBC and bacteria organisms on cytology
  • Radiograph & Ultrasound: if stones or other structural problems are suspected

Prolapse Urthera in Bulldogs PREVENTION

  1. NEUTERING: early neutering can reduce sexual excitement and the odds of a prolapse.
  2. SPAYING: if you have a female dog, spaying her before her first heat can reduce your male bulldog’s arousal
  3. CALM & RELAX: reducing excitement and arousal can help reduce the odds of a prolapsed urethra
    • V4B bully HEMP Relax & Calm Chews
    • V4B Bully StressLess Formula
    • Bulldog hemp relax
  4. BRACHYCEPHALIC SURGRY: surgical correction of the flat-face bulldog respiratory problems will help reduce prolapse problems.
    • stenotic nares
    • elongated palate
    • everted saccules

Prolapse Urthera in Bulldogs TREATMENT

In milder cases of urethral prolapse, surgery may not be immediately necessary.


A conservative approach focusing on rest and minimizing bleeding can be effective. Applying a cold pack to the affected area can help reduce swelling and slow down any bleeding, a critical first step in managing the condition non-surgically.

To aid in this process, prescription tranquilizers may be employed to lower blood pressure and ensure the dog remains sufficiently sedated. This helps prevent any sudden movements or excitement that could disrupt the formation of a stable blood clot at the site of the prolapse. A calm environment is crucial for allowing the body’s natural healing processes to take place without interference.

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This period of rest and confinement, typically spanning 3-5 days, should be strictly observed to ensure no arousing stimuli can provoke the dog, potentially leading to a recurrence of bleeding. During this time, the goal is for a fibrous clot to form securely, aiding in the natural healing process and reducing the risk of further injury or complication.

All prolapased urethra cases should be neutered


Surgical repair should be considered for bulldogs suffering from a prolapsed urethra when it is accompanied by bleeding, pain, or evidence of extensive penile injury and/or urethral ulceration.

Bulldog Prolapse Urethra Pexy:

For cases where the prolapsed urethral tissue is present but not severely damaged or compromised, a less aggressive surgical approach can be considered. This method avoids the tramautic removal of tissue and focuses on correcting the prolapse to protect the exposed mucosa.

The procedure involves placing a few strategic pexy stitches to rotate the exposed prolapsed urethral mucosa inward, allowing it to be shielded once again by the outer penile skin.

This technique aims to preserve as much of the natural structure and function of the urethra as possible while still addressing the prolapse. By repositioning the mucosa without cutting or removing tissue, the risk of complications is minimized, and the recovery process can be smoother and quicker compared to more invasive procedures.

Bulldog prolapse ureteral after pexy surgery

  1. Short Anesthesia Time/Safety: the procedure takes only a few minutes, making it a safer procedure
  2. Reduced Cost: much less expensive than a full amputation
  3. Atraumatic: there is no cutting or tissue trauma
  4. Minimal Risk of Complications: The likelihood of encountering complications following surgery is quite low. The primary concern might be urination, which can occur if the pexy sutures are too tight, causing a narrowing at the tip of the urethra. Should this issue arise, it can typically be addressed by loosening or removing one or more of the sutures.
  5. Speedy Recovery: there is no post-op bleeding and no need for post-op hospitalization aftercare

Postoperative care for this less invasive approach typically includes measures to reduce the risk of infection and ensure proper healing, such, as pain management, and possibly temporary restrictions on physical activity. The veterinarian may also recommend follow-up examinations to monitor the success of the procedure and ensure that the prolapsed tissue remains correctly positioned.

Bulldog Prolapse Urthera Amputation

If the prolapsed urethral tissue has become necrotic or otherwise compromised, surgical removal of the affected tissue is recommended.

The primary goal of surgical intervention in cases of urethral prolapse is to stop the bleeding,  preserve the function of the urethra, and remove any damaged tissue that cannot heal on its own. This procedure can alleviate discomfort, prevent further damage, and reduce the risk of infection or other complications associated with necrotic tissue.

bulldog Prolapsed Urethra Pos Op

Bulldog Prolapse Surgery Amputation Risks:

  1. Long anesthesia time
  2. Traumatic: often bleeds post-op and requires aftercare
  3. Expensive

When choosing to proceed with surgical amputation, I always pair it with a pexy procedure to significantly increase the likelihood of long-term success.

Prolapsed Urethra in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs / Tips & Warnings:

Below are a few selected prolapse urethra tips and warnings, courtesy of Dr. Kraemer


Surgery is not indicated in some mild cases, in those non-bleeding cases, the prolapse could be left alone, as is.


I recommend the repair of the elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, and laryngeal saccules in all English bulldog and French bulldog puppies, as well as other brachycephalic breeds


Tranquilizers and anti-inflammatory RX could help reduce the bleeding until you can get your bulldog to a veterinarian.


Given the multifaceted breed predisposition to this issue, the recurrence of prolapse is not uncommon, often happening within 6 months to 2 years. This is particularly likely if any underlying causes predisposing the animal to prolapse have not been identified and addressed.


Urethral Prolapse is unique to bulldogs, therefore, repair should be done by an experienced surgeon and one who is familiar with the breed.


All bulldogs diagnosed with a prolapsed urethra should be neutered to prevent recurrence and re-prolapse. Also, due to the possible genetic link associated with this condition, I do not recommend breeding bulldog males with a known prolapsed urethra.

This medical issue is particularly common in bulldogs, so it’s crucial to seek a surgeon with experience in this type of surgical correction.

Unfortunately, options for revising a prolapsed urethra are limited due to the proximity of the os penis (a penile bone unique to canines) to the tip of the penis. After a second or third revision, there’s minimal, if any, space left for further repair between the tip and the bone.

At this stage, the options become limited, and the remaining courses of action are often salvage procedures, such as amputation and urethrostomy.

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The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian regarding any medical condition. It's important to always consider professional medical advice promptly and not to delay seeking it based on information you've read on this platform. Any reliance on the information provided here is entirely at your discretion.

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