Pendulous Scrotum Can Lead To Surgical Complications

We have, in our computer software, a message that prints for owners of mature male dogs who have just had neuter surgery.

While most neuter surgery for cats and dogs occurs at 8-16 weeks of age, sometimes dogs like Rocky, the OctoDad,

Rocky, neutered late in life, had a pendulous scrotum after neuter surgery.
Rocky, neutered late in life, had a pendulous scrotum after neuter surgery.

 will be neutered later in life. Perhaps they have been in the show ring or needed time in training to prove themselves possibly worthy as breeding stock.

When a puppy has orchiectomy, or surgical removal of the testicles, at a young age the scrotum is usually small to non-existent. A dog several years old, however, experiences the pull of gravity to an extent that causes the scrotal sac to be elongated.

The resulting space that is created when the testicles are removed wants to be filled with something, and sometimes fluid will accumulate there postoperatively. Therefore we warn clients that a swelling in that area may occur and, if it does, how to deal with it.

Most patients need no treatment at all when this occurs, though some may have discomfort caused by the weight of

A pendulous scrotum such as this, previously filled with testicles, can sometimes swell with fluid after neuter surgery.
A pendulous scrotum such as this, previously filled with testicles, can sometimes swell with fluid after neuter surgery.

the fluid and tension of the swelling. Pain medication can be prescribed to control the discomfort. Some dogs may require hot, moist soaks of the scrotum to reduce swelling. In some dogs a needle tap may be needed to remove fluid.

Cats, regardless of age, rarely experience this problem.

There are many reasons to have your male dog neutered. Click on the links below to read more about this important surgical procedure.

Spay, Neuter Dogs and Cats

Good Reasons To Neuter Your Male Dog

Perianal Gland Tumors In Dogs

Canine Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy


  1. My 21 mo. German shepherd was neutered three weeks ago today, his scrotal sac was shrinking and all seemed OK, except today his sac has blown up, a bit larger than it had ben before the surgery. Is this something that I should take him into an emergency vet for, or can I do anything at home to help him?

  2. Hi! My dog was neutered in March of this year (he’s 3 yrs old) today I saw that there was some fluid in his scrotum. Was wondering if this was something I should get checked right away or wait a day or two until an appointment at a vet opens up! Please any advice will be amazing

    • If the fluid collection is not fulminant, there should be no problem with waiting until Monday to have him evaluated. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

  3. My mature dog was neutered almost a week ago. Noticed today that his scrotum looks like he was pre-neutering. Understood that this can happen, but do we restrict all activity until it’s gone or allow normal activities after 10 days?

    • Yes, restrict his activity. He should have had activity restriction after surgery, anyway, just like you and I have activity restriction after surgery. Too much activity is a common cause of this problem. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

      • We have restricted activity as per instructions by vet. I was asking about further restrictions AFTER his 10 days until fluid is gone. It seems to fluctuate, yesterday was almost gone, he was rested all day like all other days, this AM it was back to pre-neuter size.

        • I see. Yes, restrict activity. Sometimes the tiniest capillary bleed will fill the scrotum. Sometimes it’s just edema. In either case, a moderate amount of walking is OK, and may help move the fluid around faster, but definitely avoid vigorous activity. Thank you for the followup, Dr. Randolph.

    • I’ve never drained one of these. I’ve never operated on one of these. Every one I’ve ever had resolved on its own with a little time. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

      • Neuter complete. Dog has 3 x the size of scrotum than before. Dr. Puts him on prednisone, and antibiotics. Ice 3 x a day and this are working to reduce the swelling but very slowly. Any ideas how to help my poor pup?

        • It’s typically very slow for the size of the scrotum to be reduced. You’re doing all of the right things. Continue to restrict activity and he will be fine, it just takes a bit. Thank you for the followup, Dr. Randolph

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