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If you are finding a dark build up around your dam's teats that you can't seem to wash off, don't worry, that's normal.
Dogs naturally secrete a waxy substance to keep their nipples and teats from getting dry. That wax combines with dead skin cells and debris to form a smegma (yes, similar to the smegma you find on male dog penises).
Once formed, smegma is hard to wash off.
The smegma is more easily dissolved by conditioner or hand lotion or even vegetable/coconut oil or something like that with a more oily base than by shampoo or soap.
First, use some warm compresses to soften the smegma. Then use your conditioner, lotion, or oil. Whatever you use, make sure it is suitable for use on a dog. Some human products are not safe for dogs.
If you use conditioner, wet the dog and leave the conditioner on a while, then GENTLY remove. If you use something else, again, leave it on to give it time to soften the smegma and GENTLY remove. Do NOT scrub or pick at it.
The tissue there is very delicate and it's easy to irritate or even make it bleed. It may take several applications to get it all off. You may want to wear gloves when doing this to help keep the smegma off your hands, as with their mammaries, it's hard to get off your hands.
Why can't I wash this off?
For anyone interested in the science behind this, it's simple chemistry.
You dissolve something with something similar.
Salad dressing is a good example of this. The oil and water (or water-based ingredients) can't dissolve each other, so they separate. Water is not a solvent for oil and oil is not a solvent for water.
When you try to wash off the smegma, you are trying to dissolve a waxy substance with a water-based one. It's like trying to get candle wax off a table cloth. You can't wash the waxy out with soap and water.
Soap can often wash off oily substances, but wax is more resistant to being dissolved by soap.
So you'll want to use something that dissolves wax (which is more like an oil than water based).
Need more help?
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