The (surprising) reason why that lipstick appears

It’s always at the most inappropriate time! But you can’t possibly get on with your week until you know why their lipstick really appears. (Even in castrated dogs). So here’s the answer…

Spoiler: It’s probably not why you think…

Ok let’s get one thing straight. Unless they haven’t been desexed, this is rarely sexual. So get your mind out of the gutter! You are however, about to be subjected to an absurd number of euphemisms that I’d like to apologise for in advance.

But you need to understand something important about male dog anatomy. Well, essentially two parts. There’s the penis which is also known as the red rocket, the lipstick or just the greatest visual faux pas in formal occasions around the home. Then there’s the pouch that the penis normally sits in called the prepuce. That’s normally the protective sleeve that their penis sits in when it’s not making an unscheduled public appearance.

So ahem. The lipstick makes an unscheduled appearance when one of two things occurs.

1. They’re relaxed AND they’re sitting down. This is probably the biggest surprise. A quirk of their anatomy means that if all their pelvic muscles relax and they sit at the right angle, the curve they normally have in their lipstick can straighten. And when it does, it pushes that red rocket out into the outside world. For everyone to see. I think this diagram might help to explain...

2. They’re incredibly excited. You’ve probably seen this (and that) in the park or when you have visitors around. All that play, adrenaline (and sometimes humping from excitement) can actually result in the red rocket becoming enlarged (like an erection) and the result…is well, lipstick time. Incredibly, rather than being sexual, this is actually from some ‘over-exuberance’ and even social anxiety...

So while there’s no immediate threat to that lipstick appearing, if it happens repeatedly it can genuinely get stuck. This is a condition called paraphimosis. Something my patient Reggie experienced in this pic after he repeatedly humped his bed. The problem stems from the lipstick getting too dry while it’s outside of that ‘prepuce’ pouch and not being able to slide back in. There are genuinely days in the vet clinic where I have to ‘help’ dogs like Reggie get that back in. No you won’t see that on a TV show. And they don’t tell you about that on school career night.

Anyway, there you go. The sudden lipstick appearance explained in full detail. Hey…you asked. Oh you didn’t?!! Never mind…

 

Something to paw over...