Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Persistent penile preputial frenulum

Synonym(s): Persistent frenulum

Contributor(s): Karin Mueller , Mike Reynolds

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Introduction

  • Cause: failure of the preputial attachment to break down during puberty.
  • Signs:  deviation of the penis with a visible persistent frenulum once the penis is extruded. Indirect signs include infertility in the bull, with females returning to estrus.
  • Diagnosis: stimulation to achieve penile extrusion, upon which the penile deviation and persistent frenulum can be seen.
  • Treatment:  removal of the frenulum in the standing bull. Care: because of a hereditary component, only to be done in bulls used as terminal sires.
  • Prognosis: full breeding capacity is expected post-surgery.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Normally, the attachment between the penile and preputial epithelium that is present in the pre-pubertal bull separates during puberty under the influence of testosterone. During this separation, the frenulum ruptures. This process fails in affected bulls, resulting in a narrow tissue band stretching between the prepuce and the ventral aspect of the penis just proximal to the glans penis.
  • In rare cases, the frenulum remains attached over a broad base.
  • The persistent frenulum may contain one or more blood vessels.

Predisposing factors

Specific

  • Reduced levels of circulating testosterone or androgens have not been shown in affected bulls. This, in conjunction with the fact that all pre-pubertal bulls have a preputial attachment, indicates that this is not a congenital condition.

Timecourse

  • In the normal bull, the preputial attachment becomes separates between about 4 and 10 months of age.
  • Rarely does the frenulum separate in bulls older than 12 months of age. However, if presented with a valuable yearling bull, re-examination after 3-4 months may be considered.

Epidemiology

  • Prevalence based on breeding soundness examination results ranges from 0.5 – 2.0%.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • Wolfe D F (2018) Review: Abnormalities of the bull – occurrence, diagnosis and treatment of abnormalities of the bull, including structural soundness. Animal 12(s1), 148-157 PubMed.
  • Parmar S C (2016) Impotentia coeundi and impotentia generandi: A male infertility. Research Journal of Science and Technology  8 (2), 113-121. DOI: 10.5958/2349-2988.2016.00015.2

Other sources of information

  • Wolfe D F, Carson R L (1999) Juvenile anomalies of the penis and prepuce. In: Large Animal Urogenital Surgery. Wolfe D F, Moll H D (eds). Williams & Wilkins. Chapter 27, p 233 ff.


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