Discharge from the penis

Discharge from the penis

Having girl dogs means that unless the bitch is spayed, you will have to contend with hormones, seasons, phantom pregnancies and the like.  My house is only big enough for one set of girlie hormones and I’m afraid they’re mine!  For this reason, I opt to have boy dogs in my life but the boys do come with their own sex-specific problems too.  One of those “problems” is the production of a discharge from the penis, and often excessive licking (and slurping!)

The discharge is usually of a milky appearance and may have a yellow or green kind of tinge to it.  This discharge is totally normal in male dogs who have not been neutered and is called smegma.  Some dogs produce more than others and the amount can be affected when the dog becomes aroused or is aware of a bitch in heat (as he ejaculates).  Another thing that could result in “gunk” at the tip of the sheath could merely be dried urine if it is more crusty in appearance.

This smegma is generally made up of semen (hence why we say it is entirely normal in intact males) and sebum which the body produces to clean the area.  If this discharge is becoming a problem as he leaves what my friend described as “willy custard” marks (sorry, I know that’s gross) on your carpets or furniture, then the only real solution is to have him neutered either permanently with surgery or as a chemical castration.

A temporary fix for this problem is something called a belly band.  This length of fabric can be worn around the dog’s middle to cover the opening of the sheath and prevent drips and splodges on your soft furnishings.  It is also used for incontinent dogs and those dogs who can’t resist scent marking when you are visiting friends and new places.

Washable Belly Band
Washable Belly Band

I have to say I’m not mad keen on these for any real length of time as it is possible that they cause a warm, moist environment where bacteria would flourish.  If you decide that something of this type might be beneficial for you, please ensure you get a washable version and keep it washed regularly.

If, however, your dog has been neutered and you are seeing this discharge, it could well indicate that there is infection present, particularly if he is licking the penis excessively. If you also notice him peeing more often than usual, in small amounts, it could well be that he also has a bladder infection.  A trip to the vet just to be sure is strongly advised.  If possible, please take a fresh urine sample with you so that your vet can test for the presence of bacteria which obviously would require antibiotics as this is a very uncomfortable problem.

(See our blog on taking a urine sample to help you with this – or wear a rain coat!)



  1. Reply

    My dog is 5 years old and was neutered when i first got him. He has never had any issues with his penis. Now that we have moved into our new house, he is constantly leaking smegma from his sheath. He doesn’t bother to clean it himself. My question is why all of a sudden did he start producing? and is this going to be a permanent thing? or might it just go away?

    • Reply

      Hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas. If it has never happened then I would be a little concerned that there may be something going on. It is an entirely normal thing, though much more usual in entire males than in neutered ones. This coupled with the fact you say it didn’t happen before makes me think he may have a small infection. My advice would be to have him checked over by the vet just in case he needs a course of antibiotics.

      Best wishes for 2018

  2. Reply

    Now that i saw comment above..our dog is nearly 5 & not neutered, but we never had issue with discharge, a wee bit here and there, however we moved house 9 months ago & it became terrible since , yellow spots all over place, walls, carpets, blankets, furniture, anything and everything is covered in massive patches.. i don’t know why it became so bad after we moved??

    • Reply

      Since leaving your other home, he is now a mature dog (he may still have been quite immature even though he was three) and they are worse for discharge if entire and mature. Is there a bitch nearby that is perhaps triggering his natural secretions more? I would always say that if there is ever a change in your dog either behavioural or physical (such as the amount he is discharging), then it could be that there is a problem so I would suggest a general check up from your vet, just in case, as he may need treatment if there is any kind of infection present.

  3. Reply

    Just got a dog from dogs trust so he had been neutured when we got him 2 days before hand. Didn’t come home with a cone on or anything and over the weekend progressively licked and licked at it even when we tried stopping him so took him to the vet and as we thought he’s now got an infection and has a cone on for a week and on antibiotics twice a day for 5 days.

    He’s been on them for 2 days now.

    Iv noticed at the tip of his penis discharge which looks like that same gunk that’s around his cut, I know 2 days isn’t much which is 3 tablets he’s had.

    But should it be looking better or worse?

    • Reply

      Hi Rach, you’re right, it is still early days but things shouldn’t be looking worse. Generally it takes a couple of days for the antibiotics to get into his system – I’m guessing he probably had an antibiotic injection at the time of his consultation with your vet though as well, which generally gets things moving a bit faster. If you are worried, a quick phone call to the vet just to clarify the situation will help. If it is something straight forward and in line with what they would expect, then they wouldn’t need to see him and will simply put your mind at rest. If, however, it is out of the ordinary for the treatment he has had, then they will ask to see him and perhaps alter his antibiotics to a different type. Please do give them a ring to be on the safe side. good luck Kerry

  4. Reply

    My 9 month old Cocker Spaniel has leaked Smegma for the past 3 months. He has a long coat and it’s stiff under his tummy with this awful stuff. As soon as I wash it off it’s back again…starting to despair, I can’t bath him every day! Any advice other than castration?

    • Reply

      Sadly not … its just “one of those things” with entire males. As he is only 9 months, I agree that castration wouldn’t be a great suggestion – that’s something that should be left until at least 18 months in my opinion. You could try chemical castration at a later date if full castration is not something you want to pursue (I don’t know if you intend to breed him?) but chemical castration usually lasts for around 6-12 months and could give you some breathing space – again though, I would wait until he is fully mature or at the very least a year old.

      • Reply

        Hi Kerry, I’ve had dogs all my life, mainly bitches. This little chap is the 3rd male I’ve owned and the only one to ‘leak’ like this. I’ve got a Consult with my Holistic Vet soon, hopefully she can help….! I don’t agree with castration at an early age either, they need their hormones for growth. I’m not intending to have him castrated at all to be honest, certainly not under the age of 18-24 months. No I’m not intending to use him at Stud, it can change them once they’ve mated. I don’t know if I can live with this Smegma for the next x amount of years though…it gets everywhere and smells too. I’ll just have to keep washing it off I guess!

        • Reply

          Yes, the hormones are essential and unless there is a medical reason for it I never spay my boys either – they are all entire regardless whether we are studding them or not. I hope the holistic vet can offer some channels of approach for this problem and if she can and it works I would LOVE to hear all about it – this kind of thing although small can be such a pain in the bum for guardians to live with so if you come across a solution, even in part, it would be great to be able to share it with our followers.

          Happy New Year … and good luck x

          • I will certainly let you know Kerry. I have great faith in the natural route..
            My last boy had Anal Sac Carcinoma. I knew he wouldn’t cope with Chemo and treated him Holistically. He lived for a further 19 months, and was very well until right at the end…and it’s so very hard when we lose them…the worst pain imaginable. I’m hoping Birgit can help with the Smegma, she really does work wonders. Fingers crossed!!

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