Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Priapism

Contributor(s): David Godfrey

Introduction

  • Priapism is an uncommon disease in cats.
  • Cause: trauma leading to penile edema and bruising prevents relaxation of the venous outflow from the corpus cavernosus.
  • Signs: persistent penile erection, excess licking.
  • Diagnosis: signs, examination.
  • Treatment: can attempt creating hypotension and/or draining blood.
  • Prognosis: most cats need penile urethrostomy.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Priapism may arise from an increase in blood flow into the corpus cavernosum or from a decrease of flow out of the corpus cavernosum. In cats the most common cause may be trauma to the erect penis preventing blood flow out.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Not investigated scientifically in cats.
  • Trauma leading to penile edema and bruising prevents relaxation of the venous outflow from the corpus cavernosus. Progressive congestion of the penis also causes local hypoxia and acidosis, blood clots, depositing of hemoglobin crystals and necrosis. This cascade of pathological changes seems to be irreversible after about 24 hours.
  • Cases have been associated with attempted mating behavior, even in neutered males.
  • Cases have also been seen associated with castration.
  • Other less clear possible associations have been with systemic thromboembolic diseases and feline infectious peritonitis associated vasculitis .

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Gunn-Moore D A, Brown P J, Holt P E et al (1995) Priapism in seven cats. JSAP 36 (6), 262-266 PubMed.
  • Orima H., Tsutsui T, Waki T et al (1989) Surgical treatment of priapism observed in a dog and a cat. Nihon Juigaku Zasshi​ 51 (6), 1227-1229 PubMed.
  • Swalec KM. & Smeak D D (1989) Priapism after castration in a cat. JAVMA 195 (7), 963-964 PubMed.


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