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Fortunately this discharge is natural and not usually a sign of any serious problem. But if your dog is constantly licking his genital area, or if he isn’t neutered and produces a lot of the stuff, it’s a good idea to have him examined by your veterinarian.
What is Dog Smegma?
“Believe it or not, this kind of green discharge from the prepuce [foreskin] of male dogs can actually be a normal finding,” writes i Love Dogs’ Ask a Vet, Dr. Michelle Hoag.
According to petplace.com, smegma, which is also known as preputial discharge, is “any substance emanating (flowing) from the prepuce (the fold of skin that covers the penis). Preputial discharge may consist of blood, urine or pus. The normal dog should have no discharge; however a small amount of whitish-yellow ‘smegma’ can accumulate around the preputial opening, and is not considered clinically significant.”
Mike Richards, DVM, writes on VetInfo.com, “There is a thick exudate, referred to as smegma, which is thick yellow to yellow-green in color and is normal. For some reason, it may seem to suddenly accumulate in larger quantities in some dogs.”
What Causes Dog Smegma?
If your dog is producing a large quantity of smegma, petplace.com and Hoag note the following possible causes:
Prepuce problems – cancer, trauma, a foreign body or inflammation. “Sometimes a piece of grass or another foreign body gets into the sheath that covers the penis, causing an infection,” writes Dr. Hoag. “If that happens, your veterinarian will have to remove the foreign body or the infection will keep returning.”
Allergies – Dogs with skin allergies sometimes produce abnormal amounts of mucous, which can create excessive smegma. “When the skin allergies are treated, the smegma usually resolves as well,” Hoag notes.
Urethra problems – tumors, trauma or stones
Prostate disorders – prostatitis (infection or inflammation of the prostate), tumors, enlargement, cysts or abscesses
Bleeding disorders – thrombocytopenia (a decreased platelet count) or ingestion of rat poison
What are the Symptoms of Dog Smegma?
Petplace.com lists the following symptoms of abnormal smegma production:
Swelling of the genital area
How is Smegma Treated?
In most cases, normal smegma requires no treatment on your part. But if your dog is constantly licking his genital area or has a heavy discharge, you should have him examined by a veterianian.
Your vet will probably do the following, according to petplace.com:
Perform a complete physical examination, including a thorough check of your dog’s genitals.
Run screening tests including a complete blood count (CBC), biochemical profile and urinalysis to determine if there is an infection or inflammation. If an infection is found, Hoag writes that it will usually be “treated topically by flushing the prepuce and applying a topical antibiotic into the sheath. However, your veterinarian will probably also want to check the urine to make sure the infection has not traveled farther up into the urinary system, which would require an oral antibiotic treatment.”
Take a sample of the discharge for a cytology (cell) and bacteria culture.
If your dog’s discharge is bloody, your vet may perform a coagulation profile, which is a blood test that checks for clotting problems.
Take X-rays of your dog’s abdomen to see if there are any prostate abnormalities.
Perform an ultrasound for a more thorough examination of your dog’s abdomen.
Can Dog Smegma be Prevented?
One way to prevent an overabundance of smegma is to neuter your dog.
“It is much more common in intact males and neutering will decrease the amount of smegma produced,” Hoag writes.
Find A Vet HOW TO articles are intended for informational purposes only. You should always consult with your veterinarian about any health issues affecting your dog.