Hello fellow dog owner. Have you ever been shaving your male dog and then you accidentally nipped off one of his nipples? Worse still, you are currently washing him and then you mistakenly pull off one of his nipples thinking it is a swollen tick or bug under his hair.
You felt heart broken as you watched him whining in pain whilst his blood was on your fingers. I have experienced the same which led me to ask the question; how many nipples do male dogs have? In this article I researched the facts about male dogs nipples and hopefully you and I will be enlightened on the same.
Why do they have them?
Firstly, it is not a wrong thing to have them. They were naturally created just like the same way male human beings have them. The nipples are actually modified sweat glands that since they male body does not produce the oxytocin hormone which stimulates milk production from the mammary glands they remain in a rudimentary state from birth.
Secondly, they are not decorations. A commenter once said that the nipples in male dogs are only for decorations. They are actually rudimentary modified sweat glands and if decorations on human is the piercings and applicants made on the skins is anything to go by, then male dogs nipples are natural beauty not decorations!
I guess the next question is: where are they situated? Many people have had the idea that male dogs nipples are only two and are located on opposite sides of its sheath. Well, male dogs nipples are distributed alongside two parallel lines on the underside of its torso.
The two lines run from the chest to the groin area. Interestingly, I can understand why most dog owners accidentally nipped one of them off. This is because in most dog breeds the nipples near the chest tend to be much smaller than the ones near the groin.
Know your dog Breed
Well, let’s go back to the first question: how many nipples do male dogs have? Let me say this. It all depends on your dog breed. Adrienne Farricelli, a dog trainer, consultant and author on dog’s issues mentioned that the number depends on size and breed.
The smaller breeds may have up to eight while the larger breeds many range from ten to twelve. So don’t be afraid to get your dog for a closer inspection of the bumps he has in his torso. You might have to check his breed features out while you’re counting the nipples!
Do They Have Names?
Surprisingly, the male dog’s nipples have name. They names are given according to the position from the chest downwards to the groin. the nipples are named as follows.
For a ten-nippled dog, its nipples names will include:
- Two cranial thoracic nipples- nearest to the chest.
- Two caudal thoracic nipples.
- Two cranial abdominal nipples.
- Two caudal abdominal nipples.
- Two pair of inguinal nipples- nearest to the sheath. Usually the largest.
Do They Matter Anyway?
Now that you have nipped one off, do the nipples have any specific importance in the body of the male dog? Well, just like the nipples in men are sensitive male dog’s nipples are sensitive too! Well, of course not for sexual excitement as most may think but they can be very good indicators of anything sinister in the body of the dog such as illness.
Usually the nipples are the first sites that are prone to infections. This is mostly due to the fact that dogs love playing in the open ground and licking them repeatedly, Swelling of the nipples could an indication of testicular cancer mostly found in dogs which have not been neutered.
As most veterinary doctors will point out German Shepherds are prone to this and the swelling could be a symptom of other effects that have been caused by the testicular cancer like anaemia, hair loss and abdominal swelling.
Secretion from a male dog’s nipples is also another indicative sign of illness. It could be as result of abscess or bacterial infection as a result of a puncture to the nipple. Common pre-signs hotness and pain around the affected area.
Change of color should not be a warning sign in male dog’s nipples. Most male dogs have their nipples being pink at young age and they consequently change to black or dark brown as they age. However, change in color in female dogs nipples with pain and secretions from pink to yellow or fuzzy red should be an indication of mastitis disease which is a bacterial infection that has to be attended to by a vet.
For most of the infections found on dog’s nipples, it is advisable to consult a vet first before administering any form of over-the-counter medicine. Usually for bacterial infections like mastitis the veterinary will use a combination of different antibiotics to cure the disease. In cases of cancer, chemotherapy will be administered depending on the progress of the cancer.
However for wounds caused by injuries or accidental snipping of the nipples there are various products that can be bought locally and appied to hasten the healing. One such a product is the Buck Mountain Wound Wash for Animals 8 Oz Liquid which not only cleans the wounds but also disinfects. . Another similar product that can be used is Sarcoptic Mange Medicine - 8 oz.
So don’t be shocked that you have snipped off that nipple accidentally. Now you know the importance of the nipples. On average a male dog will have eight to ten nipples depending on the breed and size. The are mainly rudimentary sweat glands that are present but can be very good indicators if your furry best friend is sick.
So next time you give him one of those wet baths or hair trims be careful to inspect his nipples and make sure you do not cut them. In case you notice anything amiss take the following steps:
1. Inspect the number of nipples the dog has.
2. Check if there is any swelling or injury.
3. Check if there is any secretion from the nipples. Are they unusually warm with changed color?
4. Does he whine in pain when you touch them?
5. Perform some cleaning to the affected nipples using some ethanol and Buck mountain wound wash.
6. Rush him to the nearest veterinary clinic for further medical attention.
Hey guys, that’s all for today. Further information can be found on clicking the site. Feel free to leave your questions and comments below. Thanks.