Dog owners are often embarrassed when asking questions about the health of their pet’s genitals. Although this topic is not very appealing, there are still certain problems that need to be resolved. A common issue that most dog owners face is a greenish or yellow pus-like discharge (known as smegma) draining from the dog’s penis.
But the question is… what exactly is this discharge? Is it normal? What causes it? And… how can it be treated?
In this article, we will discuss smegma in dogs and cover everything you need to know.
Anatomy of a dog’s penis
If you want to know if something is wrong with your dog’s penis, you must first understand what a normal penis looks like. The outer covering that you see on the outside of the dog’s penis is the foreskin or sheath. It is made of skin and other tissues and surrounds the non-erect penis.
The color of the dog’s penis is bright pink or red, and it is covered in mucus. An interesting fact is that a dog’s penis remains rigid even when the penis is not in an erect position. All this occurs due to the presence of bones known as “os penis.”
Two glands, known as “bulbus glandis,” are present on both sides of the base of the penis. These glands fill with blood when dogs are excited, and as a result, two bumps are seen around the base. In neutered dogs, an erection can still occur.
When dogs are excited or aroused, the erection of the penis can last from a few minutes to an hour or so.
What is dog Smegma?
Smegma is basically a natural biological discharge. There is no need to worry about it unless there is some disease associated with it. The color of smegma varies from one dog to another; normally, its color is yellow-whitey. However, in some dogs, it can be a greenish color. Smegma is usually seen and examined when dogs are resting or sleeping.
Is it normal for a male dog to have discharge?
Dog smegma itself is not a problem, however, if there is urine, pus, or blood with a foul-smell in discharge, there is an infection. Under normal conditions, there will only be a yellow-whitey discharge coming out of the prepuce. At some point, it will collect around the opening, but it is not a sign of disease.
If blood and pus are seen, the possible causes are:
- An overgrowth or infection affecting the foreskin such as trauma, neoplasia, inflammation of the penis (balanoposthitis).
- A problem in the urethra, such as trauma, neoplasia, or stones.
- A problem with the urinary bladder, including stones, infection, neoplasia, and inflammation.
- Prostate disorders such as neoplasia, cyst or abscess, hyperplasia, inflammation of the prostate, or bacterial infection.
- Bleeding can also occur due to the ingestion of rat poison
- A problem with the penis muscles as a result of a decreased ability to hold urine, an improperly functioning sphincter, or an abnormally positioned ureter.
Dog smegma, along with any of the conditions suggested above, ranging from mild to severe disorder, is a life-threatening problem.
How to find an infection in dog smegma?
The basic test is a complete blood count, along with a urinalysis. Even if the results are within normal limits, there may still be an inflammation or infection.
- A urine culture test is done to find out if there are bacteria in the urinary tract infection.
- A preputial discharge culture test is also done.
- In the case of hemorrhagic discharge, a clotting profile is performed to find a coagulopathy.
- X-rays of the abdominal area to evaluate the urinary tract and prostate gland.
- Abdominal ultrasounds to detect any problems in the urinary structure and prostate.
The abnormal discharge seen in dogs is mucus, pus as well as smegma. These discharges are not normal, and other symptoms to look for along with them are.
- Increased discharge of pus, mucus, or blood.
- Discomfort and pain in the genital areas.
- Excessive licking of the penis.
- Inflammation and swelling in the genital areas.
In any of the above symptoms, a visit to the vet is necessary, along with a proper diagnosis.
For smegma, that is a normal discharge; no treatment is required. However, if you see any discharge like blood, pus, or urine along with it, you should take your dog to the vet, who will do the following.
- A complete physical examination of the genital area.
- If there is something cause for it, such as a foreign body, your vet will remove it.
- In case of any bacterial infection, antibiotics are prescribed along with pain relievers.
- Topical treatment such as an antiseptic lotion will be prescribed for your dog’s daily use.
- In the case of any overgrowth tumor, surgery is performed to remove it.
- In case of injury, the wound is treated.
How to clean smegma in dogs
Cleaning smegma and treating it are two different things. It is necessary to clean the genital area of our pet as it is essential for their health. Remember that if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is advisable to take your dog to the vet to be examined. Other than that, cleaning your dog’s private parts is not a big deal.
There is no specialized process to clean the genital area; however, some of the things you can do to help our pup are:
- Use a soft, damp cloth to clean up the overflowing smegma.
- Baby wipes can also be used for cleaning, but make sure they are free from sap and chemicals.
- Use lukewarm water for the cleaning process.
- The overall penis cleaning procedure is simple. Gently push the penis sheath back to expose it. Use the best puppy wipes, a damp washcloth, or warm water to clean and rub off the overflowing smegma.
- After that, wash the genitals well and make sure there is no soap or chemicals left inside the penis.
- Use a separate cloth to dry the area
Is the dog’s penis infected?
Most pet owners think their dog’s penis is infected. They may think of smegma as pus and a sign of infection, but it is just a normal discharge from the penis. Most healthy dogs produce a large amount of smegma, and pet owners just have to spend a lot of time cleaning it.
However, suppose the discharge from the penis is accompanied by excessive licking and pus or blood along with it. In that case, there may be some infection. So it is very difficult to determine which discharge is normal and which is problematic.
You can lessen your worry by making an appointment with your vet and asking a few questions like:
- Why does my dog lick his penis more than normal?
- Why does your dog look sick and restless?
- Why does the discharge increase and change its color?
Why do dogs lick their penis?
Dogs often lick their penis to keep them clean, and they also do it because they feel good. If no discharge comes out of the penis and your dog is still licking his penis, then he is doing it to stimulate himself and get an erection. This is not a serious problem, and you can ignore it unless they are in pain or their general health worsens.
Increased licking, along with symptoms like pain, pus, blood, and lethargy, is a sign of injury or infection, and these conditions can affect your dog’s reproductive health.
Is this normal?
When dogs have a non-erect penis under normal conditions, it is covered in fur and skin that looks the same as the skin anywhere on the body. When dogs get an erection, their penis becomes visible and appears pink or red and darker purple color. These colors are normal, and the penis will return to normal shape after erection.
Similarly, a small amount of yellowish-white discharge from the penis and the erection is also normal.
An easy way to prevent dog smegma is to neuter them. It can decrease the amount of smegma. But it does not mean that no smegma will be produced. Some vets also prescribe the use of green tea extract supplements because it has antibacterial properties and can reduce harmful bacteria.
Another way to prevent smegma is to wash your dog’s genitals regularly with warm saltwater. As this can clean your dog’s genitals, you can also use soap, but be sure to use those that do not cause irritation.
However, the best way is to first investigate the reason behind this, consult your vet, and then seek treatment.
Dog smegma is a normal discharge from a penis, which is yellowish to green in color. If you notice any change in this discharge color or the color of the penis or foreskin, make an appointment with your vet.