Scrotal Urethrostomy

By: Dr. Jennifer Mutchler from Animal Medical Center

Griff is a 9 year old, intact, male dog that presented to us with extreme lethargy and a painful, hunched stance. His owner reported that Griff had some trouble urinating over the past 8 months, but was straining more recently. During his presenting exam, a painful abdomen and slightly enlarged prostate were found. Abdominal radiographs (image 2) revealed several small bladder stones and at least 7 stones trapped at the os penis, the boney portion at the end of the canine urethra.

The stones were larger than the tubular opening of the os penis, so would never be able to pass on their own. Pre-surgical blood work showed elevated kidney values, which indicated Griff’s kidneys were already being damaged from the inability to urinate. Griff was stabilized with IV fluids and rushed to surgery. A urinary catheter was placed and sterile saline was flushed up the urethra to retropulse the stones back into the bladder. This procedure partially worked – all but 1 stone was able to be flushed backwards into the bladder. The 1 remaining stone was lodged too firmly in the os penis to retropulse.

A cystotomy was performed to surgically remove 22 stones from inside of the bladder. After neutering Griff, the neuter incision was utilized to pass a urinary catheter backwards through the urethra to push the lodged stone out the end of the penis, but was unsuccessful. A small incision was made directly over the stone in the os penis, the bone was burred away, and the stone was finally removed. In the end, the neuter incision was sutured open at the urethra to allow Griff to urinate from this new opening, much like female anatomy, so there was a much smaller risk that any stones would become lodged again.

Griff was very sore, but recovered well from surgery and was sent home a few days later on a life-long special urinary diet to help prevent the formation of urinary stones. To this day, Griff is urinating normally and has no idea that we gave him a partial sex change!