Diseases of the Scrotum in Dogs

Updated July 20, 2017

Diseases of canine scrotal skin can vary, depending on the type and the way they are obtained. These ailments can range from mast cell tumours to bacterial infection to contact dermatitis. Diseases of the scrotum in dogs fall into the categories of masses or lesions, dermatitis, parasites, infection and injury. Disease in a dog's genitals can be caused by testicular inflammation, deficiency of vitamins, malnutrition or a general reduction in strength of body and mind because of another debilitating disease.

Masses and Tumors

The most common types of masses in canine scrotums are mast cell tumours and leiomyoma, tumours formed by numerous bundles of smooth muscle in the scrotal skin. Cell tumours are very common on the dog scrotum and it is believed that they are more aggressive there than anywhere else on the body. Tumour growth is frequent in dogs of old age. Masses can also be created by hydrocele, which is a disorder involving significant fluid accumulations in the scrotum.


Contact dermatitis, or inflammation, is a result of contact between the scrotum and external irritants. Because of a relatively small amount of hair on a dog's scrotum, contact with irritants is likely. Traumatic injuries and dermatitis are among the most common non-tumour diseases in dog scrotums.

Parasites and Viruses

Parasites and viruses can also be a cause of disease in a dog's scrotum. Myiasis occurs when larvae, or maggots, infect existing scrotal wounds, and is anticipated to occur in many cases. A virus called Rocky Mountain spotted fever is known to cause inflammatory destruction of blood vessels, known as vasculitis, in dogs and that condition may involve the scrotum.


The two most common types of infection in the canine scrotum are algal and bacterial infections. A disease called protothecosis, caused by alga, can involve the dog scrotum. Brucella canis is a bacteria that can cause epididymitis, mutilation and ulcers in the scrotum.


Inflammation of a dog's testicles is often the result of injury. Self trauma is the result of a dog excessively licking its scrotum. Trauma is caused by dogs fighting or playing and targeting the other dog's genital region. Frosbite and sunburn can also cause damage to a dog's scrotum.

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About the Author

Kevin Lessmiller has been writing since 2004. He is a former editor in chief of "The UWM Post," the student-run independent newsweekly at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and he now writes travel-related articles. Lessmiller is pursuing a Master of Science in mass communication from Middle Tennessee State University.