Petriage Clinical Insights

IMPORTANT: This article, which is provided for educational purposes only, is based on published veterinary data and decades of work with pets and pet parents. The information provided here is not designed to be comprehensive but to help you avoid the pitfalls of online misinformation and most importantly, to frame the conversation you should have with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian’s perspective may differ from what is expressed here. Always consult with your veterinarian.

Penis Not Retracting

While erections may be common in pets, the penis should not stay protruding for more than a few minutes. Since various reasons can cause this limited retraction, consult with your vet on the appropriate next steps. In some long hair dog breeds, hair may be interfering with the ability of the penis to retract. You may be able to gently pull the hair away to help the penis retract.


  • Prolonged exposure of the penis can cause severe drying and damage to the tissue. Apply water-based lubricants to keep the tissue moist and contact your vet ASAP. 
  • In male cats, an exposed penis is very rare and especially concerning. It might indicate severe irritation of the urinary tract or a urinary tract blockage. Consult with your vet ASAP.