Male Dog Penis And Sheath Discharge

The phone call started in an ordinary way, “Dr. Randolph, I need to make an appointment for Gus.”

A quick glance at Gus’ file in our computer system showed he wasn’t due for a routine visit, so I inquired of his owner about possible problems as a reason for the visit.

“He has a yellow-green discharge from his penis.”

A yellowish to greenish small-volume discharge from a male dog’s sheath is normal.

I closed the appointment book, and pressed F1 on the keyboard, sending the computer software back to the Main Menu.

“No appointment needed,” I explained to Gus’ master. All male dogs have a yellow-green discharge. It’s actually coming from the sheath, not the penis. Quantity can vary from undetectable to a drop, but it’s all normal.”

The material, which looks much like pus to the naked eye, is actually made of cells and lubricant fluid in the prepuce that surrounds the penis inside its protective sheath. It has a pungent, acrid smell and will sometimes be noticed where a male dog has lain.

Discharges from the sheath with other characteristics, such as blood, or a large volume of material that resembles pus, would be a cause for concern.

As for me, I’ll just have to wait for a big, sloppy Gus-kiss until another day.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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Dr. Randolph
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220 Comments

  1. Hi Doctor,

    I have a 17 year old cockapoo who has been with us for years. We noticed just recently after giving him a bath, that he had a few dry little white flakes in his penis hair, near the tip of his genitals (almost cottage cheese-ish but not quite, looked more like coconut flakes). I started noticing a little smell, nothing to crazy, he has issues with urine, he’s very old and tends to drip now which we’ve taken him to the vet for, they say it’s due to old age. The smell was a little different from urine though, any thoughts I should be concerned? I cleaned the area and he seems fine but just want to ask the professional.

    Thank you!

    • You are right to ask the professional, but you need to ask the professional who can examine your baby. I simply cannot give you a diagnosis from your description. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

  2. Hi there Dr. Randolph. Let me preface this by saying thank you for any advice you might have, and that we would take our beloved 13 year old shepherd/basenji mutt to the vet, but due to quarantine/social distancing we are hoping to avoid it if possible. Over the last two weeks, he has begun vigorously licking the opening of his prepuce and genital area. This is a much faster-paced and focused licking that his usual cleaning, but it only happens in the mornings (usually after about 5-7 hours of sleeping since his last evening pee). He stops being interested in it after we get up and feed or walk him (stopping seems to be more related to getting up than actually urinating). The most concerning thing is that this behavior is accompanied by a strong, unique odor from the penis area, but absolutely no discharge or inflammation. He also licks the parts of his legs that come in contact with his genitals while in his curled up sleeping position (inner hind leg thighs, foreleg elbows, etc). Once we move him from bed, feed and walk him, he shows no abnormal interest in the area (and the smell goes away) until the next morning. Have you ever heard of anything like this before? Thanks!!

    • Itchiness in the area you describe is often associated with allergy, however, I don’t recall ever seeing an allergy patient’s body be concerned with the time of day. Strange. Might anxiety be a part of this picture? In your sheltering in place, do you and your family discuss the situation with worry or anxiousness in your voice? He could be picking up on that. the important thing is to watch for it to get worse, if it does, especially if it spreads to other parts of the day and the activity begins to cause dermatitis. Veterinarians here have been deemed essential (as we should be classified everywhere), so you should have little difficulty making an appointment if the situation worsens. Please do let us know how he does. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

  3. My dog has the yellowish green discharge coming from his penis which I know is normal but it appears to be developing a rash or sore on his tummy should I take him to the vet and if not what can I put on it to soothe it should I try Desitin or something of that sort I’m assuming it’s equivalent to some type of diaper rash type thing

  4. Hello, I was searching articles on discharge in male dogs and found your site and wondered if you can help. Our neutered male Lab-hound mix, 11-12 years old, had a discharge from his penis in late summer. It was yellow-green and I thought it was pus. We never really saw discharge until this point in the years we’ve had him. We got him to the vet and the vet said he didn’t like the look of his penis and agreed something was likely off. He prescribed cefpodoxime for two weeks and that seemed to clear it up. We probably finished the meds about six weeks ago. I have recently noticed our dog licking his penis quite a bit (frequently, and for what seems like a length of time). Last night, I saw more discharge for the first time since the earlier issue. He does not seem to have issues with urination or anything else. Is there any chance this is normal or age-related? Should we go back to the vet? Thank you in advance.

    • This is a tough question to answer without seeing the patient. A followup examination can’t hurt. If there is an issue, you might consider a culture and sensitivity test on the discharge. You might also consider asking the doctor to take a cytology specimen and send the slides to a pathologist. I wish I could help more. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

  5. Hi there – we have a 2 year old 25 pound mix. Recently I noticed he’s been licking his genitals and anus a bit more than usual (not constant or anything like that, just a little more). I also recently started noticing an uptick in discharge. I first noticed it as it appears in a few spots on the bed where he sleeps, and sometimes in runs against his stomach or back legs and dries making the fur stick together. I’m a little concerned he might have a UTI or something, but he hasn’t shown any sign of pain while urinating/ hasn’t broken his house training/ hasn’t really been going more frequently than usual. Is it worth the vet visit or am I being paranoid? Thanks!

  6. Hello! From what it sounds like , my dog has a very natural discharge coming from his sheath. Our veterinarian agrees.However, this discharge is left on anything he lays down on. We like to cuddle with him on the couch and have him sit on our laps which is leaving a mess on all of our furniture/floors and clothing. We have a small westie so he gets picked up a lot leaving spots on our shirts. Do you have a recommendation on how to keep him or our things cleaner? Is there a way to clean his area better to produce less discharge? Or is this just something we will have to mitigate with slip covers for our furniture?

    We appreciate any feedback we can get!

    • I could make two recommendations. First, I’d try culturing the material, just to be sure there are no pathogenic or harmful bacteria growing in this discharge, making its volume be excessive. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, you might consider requesting a referral to a board-certified veterinary dermatologist to investigate it further. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

  7. Hi there!
    I just brought home a puppy three weeks ago. Even since being at the breeders, he’s had watery eyes. Upon me getting him – he’s been to the vet once for 9 week shots and I asked her to examine his eyes to make sure they were physically okay. She said they’re fine. Likely allergies. Since then he’s started scratching. Not a crazy amount of scratching, but he scratches a lot. He is on flea and tick prevention. I’ve noticed a light green discharge at the end of his sheath after he urinates. Nothing excessive. He also had a pimple looking bump on his sheath that I popped, but another one reappeared about a week later. Popped it too. Yellowish pus. Pretty small. Today all of a sudden – I have a raw spot on my leg that is blistering. Thinking staph. As I’m reading about staph for dogs … all of these things are symptoms. Am I right in my thinking? I have SMZ TMP on hand, is this safe for dogs? He currently weighs 25 lbs.

    • WHOA! PLEASE don’t be giving antibiotics to your puppy without direction from your veterinarian. Please don’t pop any more pimple-looking bumps. Photograph them, serially if necessary, and show them to the doctor on his next visit. It’s likely that the sheath discharge is normal, as we discuss in this article. As for your leg, please have it examined by your physician. Thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

  8. Hi there I was wondering if dogs can still get this discharge after they have been neutered? My dog is Belgian/German Sheppard he is nine months old now, we neutered him almost 2 months ago. I just noticed today while grooming him that he had yellowish/greenish secretions coming from his penis. It looks the same as the smegma before he was neutered so I wasn’t sure if it is possible. He is also feeling and acting normal so I wasn’t concerned enough to take him to a vet yet. I’ve read conflicting information on the internet so I wanted to double check before taking him in.

    Thank you for any help you may provide.

  9. My most recent rescue appears to be a yorki mix, with severely rotted and disfigured teeth, and the vet thinks maybe 10-14 yrs old. He has had a very rough life. He’s been disoriented and slowing down dramatically the last few months. Has very little appetite, and all of the other characteristics of a senior. I noticed two days ago that the pussy discharge he leaves behind now seems to be equal amounts of blood, but he doesn’t seem bothered by it.
    The prevention clinic I take him to does not offer any testing, it would be impossible to medicate him anyway. What are some of the possible causes?
    Thank you!

    • Passing blood and a decreased appetite, this baby needs more than a “prevention clinic,” he needs some proper, full-service care. Please seek the help of a qualified veterinarian. Thank you, Dr. Randolph.

  10. Hello,

    I have a 5 month old rescue puppy and we think he is lab/german Shepard/ pitbull mix. I have taken him to several vet visits because he has glands that swell up which we found out was normal and it was the bulbous glands. He has yellow/green discharge and my boyfriend and I have been using medicine prescribed by the vet to flush his penis once to twice a day. This has been an ongoing situation for over a month and I am getting really tired of the anxiety of this. He is still having discharge come out of his penis, and now his left side of the penis is swollen. Yesterday 6/11/2019 there was just one swollen ball, now there are 3 swollen balls, only on the left side of the penis and not near the bulbous glad it is towards the tip of the penis. I cannot afford another vet visit seeing as I have taken him to the vet 5 times for this one issue but the side of his penis has never swelled up this much and it still current right now. He is not in any pain and we had him tested for UTI which came back negative. Also he is neutered. I need help and answers because it is very unsettling not knowing why my poor dogs penis is not normal.

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