One of the things that male dog owners need to always watch out for is the overall condition of their dog’s penis, as this external vital organ can be subject to a lot of conditions, including dog smegma.
This topic might feel awkward for some, but if we are to look into the importance of maintaining a healthy dog, then a thorough check of its overall anatomy is essential, including the dog’s private parts.
In this guide, we will try to discover what smegma in dogs is. The discussions will range from the anatomy of a dog’s penis to a complete overview of dog smegma and how to prevent and treat this condition.
Basic Anatomy of a Dog’s Penis
A non-erect penis of a male dog may not be as visible as when it is erect. It is usually covered by a dog’s prepuce or the layer of skin and other tissues that protect the penis from external injuries or exposure to pathogens.
The actual dog penis has three main parts:
- Root (cura penis): This part attaches the penis to the ischial arch.
- Body (corpus penis): This large part of the dog’s penis is divided into the corpus cavernosum, which fills with blood during erection, and the corpus spongiosum, which is the tissue that surrounds the urethra inside the penis.
- Glans (glans penis): Also called the head or the tip of the penis, this is where the urethra’s opening is located.
A dog’s healthy penis should be bright pink in color and covered in a mucous membrane. Further, the penis in male dogs remains rigid even if it is non-erect due to the presence of bones called the baculum or os penis.
At the base of the penis lies two glands, known as the bulbus glandis. This part of the dog’s genitals fills with blood when the dog gets aroused, which hardens into bumps around the base.
Erection in dogs may last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour and may still occur even in neutered dogs.
What Is Dog Smegma?
Dog smegma is a biological yellowish white or greenish discharge at the end of the dog’s prepuce. A normal smegma discharge is made up of dead skin cells and glycoproteins within the penis sheath and should not be a cause for concern. This condition usually occurs in male dogs when they rest or sleep.
However, if urine, blood, or pus-like discharge is observed, especially with a foul odor, that may be an indication of a disease, and it would be best to see a veterinarian immediately.
An abnormal discharge of blood or yellow or greenish pus may be due to bacterial infections or health issues, like prostatic disease, blood-clotting disorders, urinary tract infections, and benign prostatic hypertrophy.
You can see what dog smegma looks like in this video of a male dog being groomed:
What Causes Smegma in Dogs?
Pet owners worry when their dog produces a discharge called smegma in the penis of their otherwise healthy dogs. However, dog smegma is a normal discharge caused by the mucous membrane in a dog’s genitals.
Nonetheless, if you observe that your male dog exhibit excessive licking of its genital area, spotting, having an excess discharge, bloody discharge, or inflamed penis, it would be best to get a vet’s advice.
Other dog smegma infection symptoms that dog owners need to be concerned about also include lethargy, sudden fever, and lack of appetite.
A physical examination, including a complete blood count and other screening tests, would be needed for a proper diagnosis of what may be causing smegma in your dog.
A sample of the dog smegma may even be collected by your vet to check for bacterial culture.
Your vet may also conduct a urine culture test to rule out a urinary tract infection. An x-ray of your dog’s abdomen may be performed, too, to check for problems in the prostate gland or any other prostate abnormalities.
Further, an ultrasound may be necessary to perform a more thorough examination of the dog’s abdomen.
Once the true cause of the foul-smelling discharge is determined, the right treatment may be prescribed then.
How to Treat Smegma in Dogs
For normal dog smegma, treatment is not necessary since this is not an indication of any illness.
However, if you see your dog constantly licking its genital area, and the dog’s smegma carries blood, pus, or urine in the discharge, along with a foul smell, then it is necessary to take your dog to the vet to seek treatment.
Your vet will tailor fit an effective treatment depending on the underlying cause of the unusual dog’s smegma, which is determined through a complete physical examination.
If dog smegma is caused by a foreign body, expect your vet to remove the object causing it. However, if it is due to infections or inflammations, antibiotics may be prescribed, along with painkillers.
On the other hand, dog smegma caused by tumor overgrowth may require surgery to be removed, while smegma in dogs that are due to injuries is treated by healing the actual wound.
Lastly, topical medicines, like antiseptic lotions, may also be recommended for daily use in the genital area.
How to Clean Dog Smegma Yourself
Remember that dog smegma is just made up of dead skin cells and glycoproteins and is a normal occurrence in our dogs.
Hence, it is necessary to clean dog smegma at home to keep our dog’s reproductive organs healthy.
Here are some practical ways to clean dog smegma:
- Gently push the penis sheet back, then clean overflowing smegma using a damp, clean cloth, puppy wipes, or lukewarm water.
- If using baby wipes or puppy wipes, check if it is free from any soap or chemicals that may harm your dog’s penis.
- Always wash the pet’s private area thoroughly, not leaving any soap, chemicals, or any residue inside the penis that may potentially cause infections.
- You may use salty lukewarm water on a clean cloth if the area is already a little dry and crusty. However, it is still best to have this condition checked by the vet.
- Once done, use a clean and separate cloth to keep the private area dry and clean, and make sure that the penis sheath covers the penis entirely.
Although smegma is found in male dogs, you may also apply some of the cleaning methods above to clean the vaginal folds in your female dog as well.
It is necessary to regularly clean smegma to also keep your dog free from the excessive licking of its genitals and other discomforts it may experience.
How to Prevent Smegma in Dogs
Since dog smegma is a natural occurrence in the dog’s penis, preventing it from occurring 100% is not possible. In fact, it can be helpful during mating since it acts as a natural lubricant.
However, neutering can help reduce the amount of smegma your dog produces and can also help prevent associated habits like the excessive licking of its genitalia and even some illnesses like prostate disorders.
To prevent infections, though, green tea extracts or supplements are prescribed by some vets due to their antibacterial properties. This reduces the occurrence of harmful bacteria in your dog’s private parts.
Regularly washing your dog’s genitals with warm salt water can also help prevent smegma.
However, it is still best to take your dog to the vet for consultation, especially if other symptoms of infection are already present.
Doing these methods may be helpful. However, to ultimately prepare for any cost of hospitalization due to unexpected circumstances that may affect your dog’s penis, you should secure pet insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Dogs Still Produce Smegma After Being Neutered?
As a normal occurrence in male dogs, it is not possible to prevent smegma completely, even after neutering your dog.
However, neutering should be able to reduce the amount of smegma your dog produces.
Will Dog Smegma Go Away on Its Own?
Dog smegma doesn’t usually need intervention and would just keep coming back due to the natural mucous membrane that is part of the dog’s penis.
However, part of a dog’s daily hygiene is to make sure to clean the dog’s penis regularly to keep the area from being dry and crusty.
On the other hand, if you already notice signs of your dog’s penis being infected, such as difficulty holding urine or the appearance of pus, blood, or urine in the smegma, consult with a vet immediately.
What Does Dog Smegma Smell Like?
Normal dog smegma may have a strong smell, similar to that of a copper trail. Others may describe it as a fish-type scent.
If the dog’s smegma smells foul or unusually bad, it may have been mixed with other biological discharges, such as blood, pus, or urine, and is already a sign of infection that requires vet intervention.
Dog smegma is not a cause of concern in most circumstances. Practicing good hygiene at home works very well in maintaining a healthy discharge that has its own benefits, especially in mating.
On the other hand, as part of being a responsible owner of a male dog, it is always good to regularly check your dog’s penis and the quality of the smegma it produces.
If your dog’s genitals show any signs of infection or produce off-color and foul-smelling discharge, then the first course of action would always be to seek veterinary help immediately.
This guide should be handy when you need to learn more about dog smegma, how to clean it, and preventing infection.
If you have experience with cleaning dog smegma, let us know through the comments below!