Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Prepuce: smegma

Contributor(s): Jean Pierre Held, Graham Munroe, Elaine Watson, Madeleine L H Campbell

Introduction

  • Smegma consists of glandular secretions, debris, and epithelial cells from the lining of the prepuce.
  • Cause: excessive smegma secretion, poor hygiene.
  • Signs: preputial inflammation (posthitis), paraphimosis, odor.
  • Diagnosis: signs.
  • Treatment: regular washing of prepuce.
  • Prognosis: excellent.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Excessive glandular secretions combined with dirt and desquamated epithelial cells form a gray-black caseous, foul-smelling, putty-like substance.
  • Failure on the part of the owner to keep the penis clean contributes to build up of smegma.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Poor hygiene.

Pathophysiology

  • Excessive secretion of smegma by sebaceous glands that accumulates on the surface of the prepuce/penis, and occasionally becomes infected within the fossa glandis.
  • Excessive secretion of smegma by sebaceous glands in area of fossa glandis → accumulates with epithelial cell debris → chronic irritation and thickening of preputial epithelium → chronic balanoposthitis → may lead to paraphimosis (inability to retract penis into prepuce Penis: paraphimosis) or be carcinogenic Penis: neoplasia.
  • Fossa glandis infections may cause discomfort during ejaculation Male: ejaculatory dysfunction or urination.
  • Lumps of smegma may sometimes be found within the urethral fossa.

Timecourse

  • Chronic.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Brinsko S P (1998) Neoplasia of the male reproductive tract. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 14 (3), 517-533 VetMedResource.
  • O'Neill H J et al (1976) Lipids of human and equine smegma. Oncology 33 (4), 161-166 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Schumacher J & Varner D D (2011) Abnormalities of the Penis and Prepuce. In: Equine Reproduction. Eds: McKinnon A O, Squires E L, Vaala W E & Varner D D. Blackwell Publishing. pp 1137-1139.


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