Some male chins are more prone to hair rings than others. Breeding males should be regularly checked – especially if they are “novice breeders.”
However, males that are not used for breeding can still get hair rings too – and should periodically (monthly) be briefly examined.
Usually, the first symptom of a hair ring will be that the penis will look rather swollen, maybe a red or purple color too (congested). The foreskin may not be covering the penis in the usual way either, and the male may be licking at himself more than usual, and in severe cases he may sit hunched up, reluctant to eat or move. A normal looking penis will be the usual skin-color for your chin, and will look “pointy” – this the foreskin completely covering the penis.
To perform a full examination
- Two pairs of hands are easier than one – unless you are experienced at doing this.
- Restrain the chin in a suitable way – wrapping in a towel can help
- Application of cold water can help reduce any swelling before checking – but do be careful not to cause freezer-burns by applying ice directly onto such a tender anatomical part!!
- Liberally apply water-soluble lubrication to the penis – such as KY
- Gently push the foreskin back
- While holding the foreskin back – gently pull the penis out of the sheath – it kind of “telescopes” outwards. If no hair ring is visible – then apply a little more lubrication – and gently push the penis back in-situ.
- If you do see a hair ring – then GENTLY remove it with your fingers – by gradually “teasing” it apart. This is safer than using scissors. Be very careful when removing a hair ring and use plenty of lubricants.
- When you are sure that there is no hair ring. Carefully pull the foreskin down, back over the penis – making sure it is fully covered – and “pointy-looking” again.
ALWAYS PERFORM THIS PROCEDURE WITH THE UTMOST CARE OR SERIOUS DAMAGE CAN RESULT
Some breeders do not retract the penis after removal of the ring. Instead, they prefer to allow the penis to retract itself – and that way they know all is well.
However, if it does not retract then assistance (and veterinary advice) is needed – as some damage has obviously resulted. If a chin is suspected of having a hair ring – it should never be left – as it can restrict the blood flow to the penis – causing it to atrophy – which is extremely painful and requires major surgery and can even be fatal.