Why Is My Male Dog Leaking Clear Fluid?

The mystery puddle. This is one of those things that baffle many pet owners.

Your dog lies down for a quick nap and when he wakes up there’s a conspicuous wet spot where he slept. What is that?

There are various causes that might explain the mystery puddle and most of them are benign, so there’s not much to worry about.

Except for cleaning the mess, of course.

On the other hand, the leak might be a sign of an inflammation or infection. 

The only problem is that you need to locate the origin of that clear fluid the dog leaves behind. You need to know what end it is coming from, because you cannot exclude drooling.

If you think it’s coming from the rear end, here is what you need to look out for. 

What is smegma?

One of the main causes dogs leak a clear odorless fluid is preputial discharge

All male dogs (and humans, too) produce a lubricant in the sheath of their penis.

This clear to cream-yellow colored fluid is called smegma and it is made of dead cells and other material that accumulates in the dog’s prepuce. 

Keep in mind that in some cases the leak coming from the prepuce may be slightly green, but that doesn’t indicate a problem

Preputial discharge is more abundant in young pups who are just preparing for their first sexual encounter.

So, some discharge coming from the penis is normal, but you also need to consider that there might be a health issue to blame for the puddle that almost ruined your couch.  

What causes penis and prepuce inflammation in dogs?

When you start having a real problem with the dog leaving wet spots behind, it’s time to consider possible penis or prepuce inflammation.

If the discharge appears to be tinged with pus or blood, you should see a vet. 

Here are the main causes of inflammation in the dog’s private parts:

  • Foreign object lodged in the prepuce
  • Trauma to the penis
  • Urinary tract infection (including urinary tract stones)
  • Anatomic abnormality
  • Erectile problem
  • Disease of the prostate
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Fungal infection

Inflammation affecting the penis or the prepuce is called balanoposthitis. Some cases clear up on their own in a few days, but others require medical attention to avoid serious complications. 

What are the symptoms of penis/prepuce inflammation in dogs?

A stain on the couch or the carpet is not enough to diagnose balanoposthitis. If there is a problem, you will notice other symptoms, such as:

  • Noticeable inflammation/redness of penis and foreskin.
  • Blisters/ulcers on penis and foreskin
  • Pain in the penile area
  • Abnormal tissue growth
  • Visible injuries in the penile area (cuts.bites, tears)
  • Excessive licking or biting of the foreskin, or penile area in general
  • Difficulty urinating or incontinence

If your dog keeps making a mess and especially if you see any bloody discharge, take him to the vet to have him diagnosed. 

How are penis/prepuce inflammations treated?

Besides looking for signs of obvious trauma to the penis, the vet will probably do an analysis of the discharge to rule out infection. 

In most cases, antiseptic flushes and an antibiotic ointment will be enough to cure the inflammation.

If there’s an abscess, the doctor will have to lace and drain it, a procedure which will require local, if not general anesthetic. 

If the dog managed to get something lodged in the prepuce, he’s in big trouble as the vet will have to remove the foreign object (hairs, cords, sand, grass, etc) and it won’t be pleasant at all. However, once the foreign object is removed, some antiseptic will clear up the infection in a few days. 

Abnormal tissue growths are rare, which is a blessing, as they require surgery. 

Can wet dreams cause a leak?

Actually, yes, it is entirely possible that your dog just had a wet dream and the mess on the couch is the result. Such accidents are more common in young dogs and they’re perfectly normal.

Dogs can have very vivid dreams and if there’s a female dog in heat in the neighborhood, your dog’s mating instincts will be aroused. All you can do is get a stain remover and clean up the mess. 

However, if it’s more than an accident and these puddles keep appearing it’s safe to assume it might not be a wet dream, but rather a health issue of some sort. 

Why is my dog’s penis swollen?

This problem tends to manifest itself at the most awkward times, like when you’re hosting a party. Your dog sits down in the middle of the room and starts licking at his visibly swollen penis. All the commotion can indeed cause an erection in a young and excitable dog, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Except make a joke and draw everybody’s attention to the food on the table.

On the other hand, if the problem persists and the penis doesn’t get back to its normal state within the hour, you need to consider other causes. 

Check out for symptoms such as discomfort, loss of appetite, abnormal discharge and lethargy. If the dog does not appear to be his usual self, have him examined. Maybe it wasn’t an erection after all, and the penile area only appeared to be swollen because the dog has an infection, injury, or even a tumor. 

How to clean dog smegma off furniture?

Many dog owners wonder what to do about their dog’s excessive production of smegma. If there is no underlying problem and the dog doesn’t have any infection or injury, you should leave him be. Some advocate cleaning up excess smegma with wet-wipes or soap and water. This is only a temporary fix though and you risk causing your dog an irritation. Smegma production is a natural mechanism and you should not interfere with it.

On the other hand, if the dog leaks just about everywhere around the house you’ll have a lot of cleaning to do. 

Here’s how you can clean dog smegma off your furniture and carpets.

You’ll need a store-bought enzyme based cleaner to remove the stain. Enzyme-based cleaners are best as they can deal with both the stain and the odor. Make sure the cleaner does not damage the fabric of the upholstery by testing it on a small patch that is less visible. Spray the stain with the cleaner and then scrub it with a towel or dish rag. 

If you don’t have such a cleaner at hand, you can prepare a cleaning solution with household items. You can make a solution of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water, which can be sprayed on the stain. Scrub the stain away with a piece of cloth and let it dry. 

Can an urinary tract infection cause a leak in dogs?

Maybe the mess the dog left behind has nothing to do with smegma and it’s just urine. The problem here is to assess whether the fluid was clear or not. If you want to know what the mystery leak is try soaking some tissue paper in the puddle and see if it stains yellow. Also, give it a sniff, if you must.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that, if the dog has an UTI, it can cause incontinence. The problem is that in such cases the urine can be very diluted and it does not look yellow and it’s practically odorless.

Here are other symptoms indicating an UTI:

  • Frequent trips outside
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Dripping urine
  • Excessive licking of the penile area

Generally, if the dog has an UTI, his urine will have a strong smell. However, what leaks out during his sleep might be diluted odorless urine. 

Dog leaking fluid out of the anus?

Sometimes it can be hard to tell where the leak came from. If you don’t see any symptoms indicating a genital or urinary problem, you should consider the possibility that it is coming from the anus.

Most probably, this has to do with the dog’s anal glands. When the dog has a problem expressing the anal sacks while defecating, the accumulated fluid may leak out occasionally. You should be able to see other symptoms indicating an anal glands problem, such as scouting or licking at the anal area. 

There’s just one thing. If the leak is indeed coming from the anus it will stink. The anal sacs’ fluid has a very pungent smell as the dog use it to mark his territory. 

Closing thoughts

Clear fluid leaks are common in male dogs. In young dogs, the main problem is smegma, the lubricant that coats the sheath. Some occasional smegma is perfectly normal, but frequent accidents of this sort clearly indicate a problem. The dog might have a urinary tract infection or a penile inflammation. Both problems require medical attention.

A clear odorless leak might also be caused by urinary incontinence, which can be caused by an UTI as well.

Anal leaks are also possible, but in that case you’ll probably notice the revolting stench before you even see the stain on the carpet.