Why Is My Dog’s Scrotum Peeling After Neutering?

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So, you decided to neuter your dog. You thought you asked every question and knew everything you needed about the procedure. But now, your dog’s scrotum is peeling, and you are confused and worried.

In most cases, your dog’s scrotum may be peeling after a neutering procedure due to irritation from the surgery or the antiseptic solution used during surgery

Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help your dog! Continue reading this article to find out what you can do to help.


Why Is Your Dogs Scrotum Peeling Post-Operation

The Skin Was Irritated

During surgery preparation, the hair around your dog’s scrotum and testicles is shaved. 

This creates a more clean and sterile surgery site for the veterinarian. The clippers used during this preparation may accidentally cut your dog’s skin. 

Some dogs have very fine hair, and even the most trained veterinary technician can easily cut a dog’s skin when preparing the surgical site. 

If your dog’s skin was not cut, it could still be irritated from the clippers being in close contact with their skin. 

The Antiseptic Solution

An antiseptic solution, such as chlorohexidine, is also used during surgery preparation. It cleans and sterilizes the skin. 

Some dogs can have a skin reaction to the solution. It can also cause your dog’s skin to dry out, which in turn can cause the skin to peel.

Most veterinary clinics have to pour the antiseptic solution over gauze pads to use before surgery. 

Unfortunately, sometimes they can pour too much solution on the gauze pads. The increased amount will not negatively affect the surgery or your dog’s health.

However, when a copious amount of solution is used, it is often left to dry on your dog’s skin. 

Therefore, it is possible the peeling you see is not your dog’s skin but the dried-up antiseptic solution. This may cause some itchiness, but it should not affect your dog too much. 

Normal Flattening of the Skin

Obviously, your dog’s testicles are removed during a neuter procedure, but the skin covering them is not removed. 

The excess skin will often flatten out and shrink over time. The wrinkling and flattening of the skin can often make the skin look as if it is peeling. 


What Can You Do About It?

What Can You Do if Your Dogs Scrotum is Peeling

Soothing Ointment

If the peeling of your dog’s skin is severe, a veterinarian can prescribe an ointment to help. 

You will know the peeling is severe if your dog’s skin is red or they are constantly trying to lick or scratch their skin.

These symptoms will inform you that the peeling skin is uncomfortable for your dog. You can also try calling your veterinarian and ask for ointment recommendations. 

Some veterinarians may recommend applying a topical ointment similar to Neosporin. 

A veterinarian should always be contacted before using any topical ointment. No matter what kind of ointment is used, the dog should have some kind of E-Collar on. 

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While all topical ointments are safe when applied to the skin, they are not safe for a dog to ingest.

Do Not Let Your Dog Lick the Incision or Scrotum

Your dog will often try to lick or scratch their skin if irritated. This should be prevented as much as possible. 

If you allow your dog to lick the skin, it will only worsen their situation. An Elizabethan (E-Collar) can be used to restrict the dog from licking themselves.

An Elizabethan collar is more commonly referred to as the cone of shame. Your dog may seem helpless and pitiful while wearing the cone, but remember you are doing it to help them. 

Some pet owners have had good experiences with inflatable collars instead of the Elizabethan collar. 

While the inflatable collars can be more comfortable, they do not always work, especially for larger breed dogs. 

Larger breed dogs will be able to get their nose past the collar, and therefore they will be able to lick at their skin. 

Now, either collar will not do anything immediately for the peeling skin, but it will prevent further irritation of the surgical site if properly worn. 

No matter which type of collar is chosen, the dog’s owners will have to make sure the dog cannot reach its surgical site.

Do Not Bathe the Dog

Post-surgical instructions state that owners should not bathe their dogs for 10 days. 

Many pet owners know that baths with oatmeal shampoo can alleviate dry skin. This is why their instinct is often to bathe their dog at the first sign of peeling or dry skin. 

However, you should not bathe your dog immediately after surgery. Although this may lead to a bit of smell, your dog’s surgical site needs time to heal. 

The stitches for a neutering procedure are often spaced out, and water can quickly get into the surgical site.

If water can enter the surgical site, it could lead to an infection. The best option is to postpone your dog’s oatmeal bath. 

You can always call your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog’s peeling scrotum post-surgery.


How to Prevent Your Dog’s Scrotum From Peeling?

How to Prevent Your Dog’s Scrotum From Peeling

Restrict Exercise

Most dogs are fairly calm the night after their surgery, but they will be back to their usual energetic selves the next day. 

You should restrict your dog’s activity for at least 10 days following its surgical procedure. Many veterinarians will even recommend leash walking your dog.

Yes, even if the dog is in your fenced-in yard. Exercise restriction can help decrease swelling and prevent irritation of the surgical site. 

Since both of those things can cause the scrotum to peel, you are not only allowing the surgical site time to properly heal but also preventing the skin from peeling.

Jumping, running, and going up or downstairs should also be restricted throughout their recovery process. 

Any one of these activities can easily open the surgical site. They can also cause irritation which can cause the skin to peel.

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Use an Elizabethan collar.

An Elizabethan collar is the best way to prevent irritation and peeling of your dog’s scrotum post-surgery. 

Do not let your dog fool you into thinking they are helpless. They can eat and drink while wearing their cone of shame. It just might be a bit messier than normal. 

In all seriousness, your dog can fully function while wearing the cone of shame. You can remove the E-collar when you can fully monitor your dog’s actions. 

All it takes is turning your back for one minute, and your dog will start licking and irritating their surgical site. 


Other Normal Post-Operative Symptoms

Other Normal Post-Operative Symptoms

Swelling

Any surgical procedure can be traumatic to the skin. This trauma can cause your dog’s scrotum to swell. 

You may even believe your dog was never neutered because the scrotum can swell to its normal size and sometimes larger. 

Thankfully, the swelling usually resolves itself within 24-48 hours. 

Bruising

The skin around your dog’s scrotum can bruise. This may occur from the surgery or from the clippers used to shave your dog’s hair. 

You should call your veterinarian and inform them of the bruising. Typically, it will resolve on its own within one week.

Lethargy 

In general, dogs can be calm after their procedure, but they will regain their energy by the next day. 

Some dogs may be calmer after the neutering procedure, but there is no guarantee. Please do not expect a rowdy and rambunctious dog to be a completely different dog post-surgery. 

The majority of dogs will return to their normal energy level. If your dog is lethargic and not eating the day after surgery, you should call your vet. 

Some dogs can be dramatic and may take longer to recover from anesthesia, or there could be something else going on.


Things to Be Concerned About After Surgery

Discharge

Discharge is almost always a sign of infection. A veterinarian should be called as soon as the discharge is noticed, no matter what color it is. 

The veterinarian will often prescribe antibiotics to help combat an infection that might be present.

Incision Opening

Most veterinarians use internal stitches that will dissolve as the incision heals. However, some will use external stitches. 

Either form of stitching can be opened if the dog is licking the incision or exercising normally.

A veterinarian should be called immediately if the incision appears open because an open incision makes the dog susceptible to infections. 

If the incision has opened up, your dog will often require additional stitches and more restrictive movement. 

This is why it is essential to restrict exercise for the first 10 days post-surgery. Your dog can easily rip open their stitches by running, jumping, or going up or downstairs. 

Incision Swelling

It is usual for the scrotum of your dog to swell, but the incision will need to be monitored for swelling. A red and inflamed incision is a sign of irritation and infection. 

This is often caused by the dog licking its incision; hence, the dog must wear an Elizabethan collar following the surgery.