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The Scourge of the Smelly Dog – Part 2

By Dr Katrina Warren on February 22, 2013 in Other

Photo: Jenna Jameson

Last month we looked at some of the reason why your four-legged friend may have mustered up somewhat of a stench. Rolling, excess hair, bad breath and ear infections were all touched upon but these are by no means the only reasons that your pampered pooch may smell a little putrid.

Below are a few more factors that effect the fragrance of dear little Fido, as well as ways to rid him of that wretched smell…

Primary Seborrhoea | This is an inherited disorder where the epidermis (outer layer of the skin), the sebaceous glands, and hair follicles are over productive, creating dry skin flakes or excessive sebum secretion. Affected dogs usually have a dull coat with a greasy feel, excessive scaling, and smelly skin especially in the body folds, smelly waxy ears, and smelly feet with thickened pads and brittle claws.

Secondary Seborrhoea | looks the same ass primary seborrhea but results from another factor such as parasites bothering the skin. Your vet will work with you to confirm the cause and make a treatment plan which will include medicated shampoos.

Anal Glands | All dogs have anal glands located on each side of the anus. Each time a stool is passed these secrete an oily substance with a unique scent that is deposited on the surface of the stool primarily for territorial marking. If these become impacted or infected, or if the dog becomes very frightened, the anal glands may release and oily, smelly secretion on to the surrounding fur resulting in a really foul odour. Your veterinarian can show you how to check and even empty the anal sacs although this is definitely not for the faint hearted – you may prefer to have your vet do this rather unpleasant task for you.

Infected Skin | A doggy smell is often associated with infected skin. This smell is a combination of bacteria and yeasts, both of which are normally found on your dog’s coat. When the skin becomes weakened – such as with an allergy – the bacteria and yeasts overpopulate the skin, causing itching, redness and smell. You may need medicated shampoo and a course of antibiotics.

Sarcoptic Mange | This is caused by a mite that burrows into the skin. Dogs with sarcoptic mange have a distinctive musty smell and bald areas where hair has fallen out.

Demodetic Mange | This is caused by a mite that lives within the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. It usually first occurs as hair loss around the eyes and corners of the mouth in dogs under one year old. It can spread to the legs and trunk of the dogs and develop into a moist discharge with a foul odour.

Over Bathing | Over bathing your dog can actually add to skin problems and result in ‘doggy’ odour. Using dog shampoos that keep the skin’s pH within the normal limits, making sure there is no soiled hair, drying the dog when it is wet and regularly brushing your dog will help prevent a strong smell in healthy dogs. If an odour persists a veterinary check up is essential.

How To Remove The Smell
Soft surfaces such as sofas, carpets, rugs and your dog’s bedding may trap odours. To remove the smell, sprinkle some baking soda on the sofa or carpet and leave overnight before vacuuming in the morning. You can also add a little baking soda or white vinegar with your laundry power when you wash your dog’s bedding.

And remember, wet dogs smell, so dry thoroughly after swimming or bathing. Many dogs will tolerate a hairdryer on a low setting too.