Abscess Figure 5d

Figure 5d: Preputial abscess in male rat (Omni).
Case history and photos


Omni, a hairless male, approximately 20 months old was adopted along with his 2 cage mates when he was 11 months old. His health history prior to adoption is unknown. He is currently being treated for a respiratory infection with Amoxicillin after noticing signs of congestion.

Clinical Signs

A lump was found in his lower abdomen near his groin. Believing it to be an abscess rather than a tumor, I tried squeezing it. I then noticed foul smelling green pus oozing out of his penis. I continued to drain the abscess until nothing more would come out. The next day it was full again so a call was placed to the vet. Omni never showed signs of discomfort and never stopped eating and drinking.

An over the phone consultation with the vet led her to suspect an infected preputial gland. An office visit and surgery was scheduled for the following day.


Preputial gland abscess


Omni had surgery (March 29, 2011) to remove the Preputial gland. He was also neutered at the same time, but this was not necessary to treat the infection. Omni was put on Metacam for pain following surgery, but did not require it for longer than a day. He was continued on antibiotics, Baytril and Amoxicillin.

Surgical procedure as performed by veterinarian for infected gland:

A skin incision was made lateral to the prepuce over the infected gland and blunt dissection was used to separate the gland from the surrounding tissue. The duct connecting the gland to the prepuce was ligated with 4-0 sorbocryl suture as close to the preputial opening as possible and then transected. In this way the gland could be removed en bloc without contaminating the surrounding tissue. Closure of subcutaneous tissue was with 4-0 sorbocryl using simple interrupted sutures, skin was closed using tissue glue.


The surgery cleared up the infection, but Omni ended up getting a hematoma about 4 days later. Oddly enough the hematoma looked similar to the original infection but it had a purple coloring under the skin whereas the infection had no coloring. The hematoma resorbed completely in about a week.


Omni recovered completely without further incident.


The preputial glands of a male rat are typically located on each side of the penis.

This case is of particular interest since it is highly unusual to find preputial gland abscess this high on the abdomen.

The pathology department at the IDEXX RADIL has only seen the preputial gland placement this high one time, and that was in a mouse. However, due to the communication of the abscess with the penis, the pathologist states that this is a possible preputial issue.



Left photo shows first day the abscess is noticed. Center photo shows incisions the day after surgery for both the abscess and neuter. Right photo shows development of hematoma, approximately 4 days post op, at site where abscessed gland was removed.


Left photo shows healing of surgical site and resorption of hematoma 11 days post op. Center photo shows complete healing 3 weeks post op. Right photo shows the handsome boy, Omni.

Case history and photos courtesy of Brandi Saxton
Veterinary surgeon and surgical procedure comment: Jody Moffett, DVM


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