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Penile lacerations in bulls

Don't let inaction lead to an infertile bull...

We have seen a real run of prepuce and penis lacerations in joining bulls this month. Left untreated these can be career ending.


Penis, prepuce and internal sheath lacerations are skin lacerations caused by mechanical trauma to the area (long grass, sticks, wire, serving through or jumping fences etc). They can cause subtle to severe swelling of the sheath, with or without tissue prolapse at the prepuce. This is a separate condition to the obvious ‘broken penis’ (large obvious swelling to the sheath caused by breakdown of the corpus cavernosum). Although the lacerations themselves can sometimes be small, if they cause a permanent adhesion within the sheath that cannot to accessed to excise, the bull will be unable to service females.


Monitor bulls closely through joining for bulls not attempting to service obviously standing cows, or repeatedly attempting and failing to penetrate. Any swelling to the sheath should be followed up.


Recent penile lacerations with fresh adhesions can sometimes be manually broken down with the aid of the electroejaculator and coated with antibiotic and steroid cream to prevent re-adhesion.


Adhesions more than a few weeks old are often too mature to breakdown and often cannot be adequately accessed for successful surgical intervention, so it is critical these injuries are noted and treated promptly. Unfortunately, even with prompt treatment, success rate is 50-70% dependent on severity.







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