Let’s Speak About Canine Lipstick — A.Okay.A. the Canine Penis

Dog lipstick has a unique and slightly ironic ability to spoil the mood. Imagine meeting a cheerful, tail-wagging dog who rolls over on its back to be rubbed on its stomach by its new best friend (that’s you). However, when that particular dog exposes their belly, you get an eye and it’s not just their belly that you see. Also on display is a damp, pink, fleshy, and – if you agree with most people – disgusting ledge, also known as his doggie penis. If you are like most people you will lose the desire to give that dog a stomach massage again.

Dog Lipstick, Dog Red Rocket, and Dog Penis – Are They All The Same?

Is that dog lipstick something to worry about? Photo illustration by Madeleine Weiss. Stafford Terrier picture. Photography by Ksenia Raykova / Shutterstock.

This protrusion “in the area of ​​the penis” has a number of names. “Dog lipstick” and “red rocket” are two common vernaculars. But the actual, appropriate name for the protuberance is: dog penis.

To understand a dog’s lipstick, you first need to know about the dog’s anatomy. That benign, lightly haired appendix on the bottom of your dog that you may have thought was his dog’s penis is in fact not his penis. It’s his foreskin. The foreskin is a covering that protects the dog’s penis from trauma on a daily basis (it also protects our eyes from seeing the penis).

The dog penis itself – or what some people call the dog lipstick – is pink, moist, and meaty. Most people don’t like the sight. To add additional insult to the injury, a small amount of nasty yellow liquid called smegma (the name of the liquid essentially corresponds to onomatopoeia) usually coats the penis itself.

Then why do some dogs show their “lipstick” often but not others?

A number of things can cause the dog’s lipstick to leak out of the foreskin. The first is arousal and not just that kind of arousal. In medicine, arousal refers to any form of arousal that can occur when a dog meets a new person. Dogs that experience general arousal may in turn develop only a little of the other type of arousal. In other words, excited dogs sometimes develop easy erections. Erections lead to the creation of this dog lipstick. The dog lipstick phenomenon is more common, but it is by no means limited to non-neutered dogs.

Other dog lipstick sightings occur due to harmless (to the dog) anatomical abnormalities. A size mismatch between the penis and foreskin, or a dog’s penis that tends to sag out of the foreskin, can lead to frequent dog lipstick sightings. I have known some dogs whose penises never fully fit into their prepupae and therefore could be seen all the time. These dogs had chronically dry penises but did not suffer any significant damage.

What should you do about a dog lipstick that has not been used in a long time?

Beige puppy with lipstick and covered eyes.And what if you see your dog’s lipstick for a long time? Photo illustration by Madeleine Weiss. Puppy portrait. Photography by otsphoto / Shutterstock.

While most people don’t like lipstick sightings on dogs, most cases where the canine penis is briefly visible will not be harmful to the affected dog. There is one exception, however. The exception is a condition known as paraphimosis.

Paraphimosis is a pathological extrusion of the dog’s penis from the foreskin. If the penis becomes trapped outside the foreskin, it can swell. Pain and tissue damage – possibly severe tissue damage – can result. Paraphimosis is a veterinary emergency.

Paraphimosis generally has a more dramatic appearance than mere dog lipstick. Much of the dog’s penis is generally visible. It will likely appear visibly puffy and may be purple rather than pink (these are signs of insufficient blood flow). The affected dog may feel uncomfortable and try to groom itself excessively “down there”.

Paraphimosis most often occurs as a result of sexual activity. Misdirected sexual activity, such as a dog hobbling a leg or an inanimate object, is more likely to cause paraphimosis than true sexual activity. Because non-neutered dogs are more likely to be involved in this behavior, they are more likely to suffer from paraphimosis. However, the syndrome is by no means limited to them.

Here is the scenario in which paraphimosis occurs most often. A dog engages in misdirected sexual activity, which causes the penis to protrude from the foreskin. The foreskin generally has a thin layer of hair. The hair on the tip of the foreskin can clog the opening of the foreskin and prevent the penis from properly retracting after the activity is finished. Then swelling, pain, and other symptoms begin.

How to treat paraphimosis

Owners with strong stomachs can try treating paraphimosis at home. A water-based lubricant such as KY Jelly is applied to the penis, the hair at the tip of the foreskin is gently pulled out of the opening, and the penis is reinserted into the foreskin. Avoid exotic lubricants that cause a warm or tingly feeling.

Some dogs with paraphimosis are in too much pain to tolerate home treatment. Others have paraphimosis too severe to be treated at home. Those dogs, or dogs belonging to more squeamish people, should get veterinary attention as soon as possible (although it’s still a good idea to apply lubricant to the penis to prevent dehydration). They generally require sedation or even general anesthesia in order for the penis to be replaced. After treating paraphimosis, I usually cut the hair off the tip of the foreskin to reduce the risk of it coming back. Given the sensitivity of the website, this is a task that only a seasoned professional should perform.

The bottom line on dog lipstick

Dog lipstick is unsightly, but usually harmless. Be aware, however, that in some cases, sighting dog lipsticks can be a sign of a serious problem.

Thumbnail: Photography © Ksenia Raykova / Thinkstock.

This post was originally published in 2013.

Read more about Dog’s Lipstick, Dog’s Red Rocket, or Dog’s Penis on Dogster.com:

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