Dog Smegma Infection Symptoms

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Key Takeaways

  • The most common dog smegma infection symptoms include discharge from the genitals, excessive licking, pain or discomfort, difficulty urinating, inflammation or swelling, and a lack of appetite.
  • Smegma does not usually go away on its own without self-cleaning by the dog or with a little help from the dog owner. But when a dog gets neutered, it won’t have this issue anymore.
  • To treat dog smegma, use a plain wet cloth, puppy wipes, or warm salt water to keep the area clean without irritation.

Male dog owners need to monitor their animal’s health constantly. This includes identifying dog smegma infection symptoms in their scrotum and penis area.

Dog smegma is considered normal and shouldn’t be a concern unless the dog displays signs of discomfort. The most common dog smegma infection symptoms include:

  • Discharge from the genitals
  • Excessive licking
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Inflammation or swelling
  • Lack of appetite

While this may be an awkward infection to discuss for some, it’s crucial to understand its causes and risks. We have outlined the infection symptoms below to help dog owners care for their animals properly.

In this article

Dog Smegma Infection Symptoms

Smegma will accumulate on a male dog’s genitals. A whitish or yellowish discharge is produced naturally because of dead skin cells, oils, and other skin secretions.

When smegma does happen, it can be found under the prepuce on the dog’s penis. It’s considered a natural occurrence for dogs, but there are signs it’s a more serious infection too.

It can look like an oozing discharge from the dog’s penis. It’s not something to be concerned about right away, but here are some symptoms of a more serious infection worth treating.

  • Discharge from the genitals
  • Excessive licking
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Inflammation or swelling
  • Lack of appetite

Anybody with a dog displaying these symptoms should contact a veterinarian as quickly as possible. This is the best way to help the dog, who is likely experiencing lots of pain or discomfort.

When there is no severe infection, it's an easy condition to deal with. A gentle cloth with water will quickly clean the area if the dog does not self-clean themselves first.

In rare cases, antibiotics are needed to help with treatment. This usually means there is some sort of serious infection with the penis or bladder causing discomfort for our dog.

Various factors, including the breed, gender, and age of the affected animal, can bring on dog smegma infections. Non-neutered canines are also more likely to deal with smegma issues.

What Causes Excessive Smegma In Dogs?

A buildup of germs, sebum, and dead skin cells known as excessive dog smegma irritates and inflames dogs' skin in the genital area. The dog may experience swelling, redness, and pain as a result.

Bad hygiene, hormonal imbalances, and specific allergies or medical conditions can be the primary driver for excessive dog smegma. We would not be concerned with the presence of smegma unless it became a problem.

Here are some potential reasons why a dog may struggle with excessive smegma.

Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection is the most common infection type for a male dog with excessive smegma. When this occurs, the dog is probably in pain and finds urinating difficult.

Luckily, a quick trip to the vet can solve this. They will prescribe medications and an updated grooming routine to deal with the problem for fast results.

Injury & Hygiene

Bad hygiene or injuries also cause excessive smegma. Dogs are known to run around outside and roll in areas they shouldn't, which can lead to infections.

Whether the dog falls, gets bitten, or is injured outdoors, it’s common for dogs to cause swelling and discomfort leading to excessive smegma.


Some dog breeds are more susceptible to allergies than others, which can lead to excessive perpetual discharge. It’s usually most visible before grooming, and common skin allergies can escalate it.

We always recommend dog owners visit the vet to find out what types of allergies their dog struggles with. This will allow us to identify the cause of excessive smegma much faster if we know they are allergy-free.

When Is Dog Smegma A Major Concern?

Because too much smegma can cause discomfort, irritation, and pain, we always want to keep an eye on it. It may be rare, but identifying the cause and knowing when it's a serious issue can help our dog a lot.

Some of the signs dog smegma is a major concern include a foul smell, swelling, and excessive licking.

Foul Smelling Discharge

The dog’s sebaceous glands produce dog smegma naturally. However, it can also result from bacterial infections and skin irritation.

This is most notable when it occurs excessively and produces a bad smell. Dogs know when to clean themselves, but the bad smell clearly shows something wrong.

We recommend first using water and soap to clean and dry the area before determining the root cause of the smell and excessive smegma.


Swelling in this area is another sign for major concern for dog owners. It’s one of the easiest ways to spot pain or discomfort for the dog and indicates a more serious issue.

The swelling likely results from an infection or injury. The best way to improve the dog’s behavior is by addressing it immediately. Use some of the treatment tips below.

Excessive Licking

Dogs will lick their genitals for various reasons, but excessive licking and smegma are signs of a serious issue impacting the dog. They tend to lick because of discomfort.

Don’t let the dog lick too much because it can worsen matters. When the dog feels pain or irritation, it's best to visit the vet to check everything.

How Do You Treat A Dog Smegma Infection?

In all cases, cleaning the smegma from the dog’s penis is best. This can be done using one of the following methods for the best results.

Use A Plain Wet Cloth

The easiest and fastest way to treat dog smegma is by using a plain soft cloth. Wet it with water and gently wipe the area until there is no more discharge and the area looks clean.

Try Using Puppy Wipes

Another method that we tried is safe puppy wipes. They are soft and won’t irritate, so it's faster and easier to wipe their genital area clean and dispose of the wipes afterward.

Use Warm Salt Water

Lastly, we recommend using warm salt water if the area is crusty and dry. This will not cause any pain and makes removal much easier without disrupting the dog’s condition.

How Long Until Dog Smegma Goes Away?

Smegma in dogs is not necessarily a condition. However, a smegma infection is, and when treated properly, it should subside within a week.

This ultimately depends on the dog’s condition and severity of the infection too. Normal smegma with no major infection will disappear with thorough washing using our cleaning techniques.

When male dogs are neutered, they never develop smegma. This is why after the first 6-9 months, it’s no longer an issue for most dog owners.

Any dog that hasn't undergone neutering can still create some smegma, but it will be minimal and not a cause for extensive cleaning.