Orchitis (Infection of the testicles)

Infections and injuries of the testicles are common causes of male infertility. Scrotal and testicular injuries can be caused by dog bites, puncture wounds, frostbite, and weed, chemical, and thermal burns. Infections are caused by bacteria that infect scrotal injuries or are spread through the spermatic ducts from the bladder or prostate. Distemper or brucellosis may be causative agents.

Signs of orchitis are pain and swelling of the testicles and licking at the scrotum. The testicles become enlarged and hard. The dog assumes a spread- legged stance and walks with a stilted gait. Frequently, the epididymis is also involved.

Treatment: Testicular infection is treated with antibiotics that are selected based on culture and sensitivity tests. Corticosteroids, NSAIDs, and cold packs to the scrotum reduce swelling and inflammation. Following resolution, the testicles may shrink and become small and firm. These testicles no longer produce sperm. A persistent low-grade infection may occur in some cases. Removal of the testicles is then recommended.

Dog bites and injuries to the scrotum are quite likely to become infected. To prevent orchitis, all scrotal injuries (even ones that appear minor) should be examined and treated by a veterinarian.