This article was updated on December 13th, 2023
At my veterinary practice, I see many male dogs each day with a mild discharge from their penis. While this is a normal occurrence, it could also be a warning sign of a more severe underlying issue such as a Urinary Tract Infection or Prepuce Infection. In this article, I will explain when a penis discharge is normal and when it is a cause for concern.
– Small amounts of yellow or green discharge from a dog’s penis can be normal
– Call your vet if you notice other symptoms associated with the discharge, such as excessive discharge, a foul odor, blood, and urination difficulties
– Yellow and green discharge can sometimes indicate infections, but these can be easily treated by your veterinarian
– You can wipe away discharge at home to reduce how much you’re seeing
1. Small amounts of yellow or green penis discharge is normal
As long as your dog is healthy and happy, a small amount of green or yellow discharge is not anything to worry about.
This picture below shows a mild amount of discharge and is about the normal amount that you would often find on your male dog’s penis:
Smegma is the medical term for this type of discharge, and it is normal to see around your dog’s penis.
2. Contact your vet if you notice symptoms like excessive licking, odor, blood, and urination difficulties
Dog smegma is a naturally occurring substance in the genital area. However, it could be the sign of a medical issue such as an infection: a dog’s prepuce can get infected and produce a yellow or green discharge.
I get worried when:
– The dog has difficulty urinating. It is crucial to monitor your dog’s urination to ensure that he is not in pain or has any difficulties urinating. These signs may indicate a urinary tract infection.
– There is an excessive quantity of smegma (if you notice more discharge than what is shown in the picture above). A noticeably increased amount of smegma discharge, which can appear thick, sticky, and discolored, can be the sign of an infection.
– The dog shows other signs of illness, such as fever, lethargy or loss of appetite.
Additionally, monitor your dog for any of the following signs:
– Excessive licking of the penis: Infected dogs may experience itchiness or discomfort in their genital region. They may lick, scratch, or bite at the area excessively.
– A foul-smelling discharge: an unusually unpleasant odor accompanying the discharge.
– Redness and swelling: the genital area may become inflamed, red, and swollen due to the infection.
– Changes in behavior: such as restlessness, irritability, or reluctance to be touched in the affected area.
– In some cases, a smegma infection can lead to urinary symptoms such as difficulty urinating, frequent urination, or blood in the urine or blood coming from the penis.
3. Urinary tract and prepuce infections can also cause a yellow or green discharge
A discharge in combination with other symptoms can sometimes indicate an infection:
> Urinary Tract Infection
If your male dog has a urinary tract infection you may see some discharge around their penis. This could be coming from their urinary tract. Most dogs with a urinary tract infection will also have issues urinating.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in dogs are typically treated with antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian. Prognosis is generally good with prompt treatment, but it depends on factors like the severity of the infection. On average, treatment cost is about $100 to $300 (for diagnostics and medication). However, this can be higher if additional tests or treatments are needed.
“If you notice that your dog is in pain when they are peeing, it would be best for them to see the vet and have a urinary sample checked for an infection.”
> Prepuce Infection
The prepuce is the skin that covers your dog’s penis. This area can get infected from a cut or scrape. You may see a yellow or green discharge from the infection.
These causes can easily be treated and have a good prognosis if treated correctly by a veterinarian. The cost of treating a prepuce infection in a dog at the veterinarian can range from $200 to $500, depending on the severity of the infection and treatment needed.
“Keep in mind that there might be other causes. For example, dogs can also suffer from sexually transmitted infections. Intact male breeding dogs can contract brucellosis, which is highly contagious and can spread to people and cause permanent infertility.”
4. You can help your dog at home by wiping away the discharge
I advise patients at my clinic to try to keep this area clean. You can use a baby wipe to clean this area twice a day. Doing so can greatly reduce the amount of discharge that you are seeing. If the green and yellow discharge is increasing in amount or changing colors, it’s a good indication to see your vet.
Sometimes a dog may have discharge from the penis but is still acting normal, eating and drinking, and doesn’t seem to be in pain when urinating. If this is the case, it’s okay to wait and see if it happens again before calling the vet. At home, you can clean and wash the area daily to help keep the discharge away.
“If your dog does not feel well or seems to be in pain when urinating, it would be best to see your veterinarian right away. Waiting too long before seeing the vet can cause your dog to have a very serious bacterial infection in his bladder and even into his kidneys.”
5. Take pictures and bring a urine sample to your vet appointment
While your vet can run tests to help diagnose the cause of green or yellow discharge, you can prepare for your upcoming appointment by bringing in a urine sample and pictures of what you’ve noticed.
It is best to have a few pictures that you can show to your vet, especially if you clean the penis each day. If you remove everything that is present before going to the vet they will not know what it looks like. Additionally, having pictures on different days can help them see the severity and any change in color.
If you can catch a urine sample before going to the vet it can help them to determine if your dog has a urinary tract infection causing the discharge.
Vet diagnoses can involve urine samples, blood tests, and X-rays
Your veterinarian will examine your dog’s penis and take a urine sample to see if there is an infection. They may also recommend bloodwork and take X-rays to check for any other causes of the yellow to green discharge from your dog’s penis. This can cost anywhere from $50-100 for an exam to $300 to $500+ for bloodwork, X-rays, and antibiotics.
Disclaimer: This website's content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian for healthcare decisions. Read More.