Why Is My Dog So Stinky? (Part 2 of 2)
While Stinky Dogs come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors the Causes of their stinkiness usually falls into one of two categories:
Self-Imposed Smelliness – usually the result of normal dog activity (covered in Help! My Dog Stinks! Part 1); Or
Medical Issue Smells – usually the result of some internal ailment which would be best addressed by your vet.
We finished Category 1 (located HERE if you missed it), so let’s get on with Category 2…
Ear Infection in Dogs
Sniffing Out The Problem You notice that your dog has been scratching at his ear or shaking his head more than usual. Upon investigating you detect a bad odor coming from his ear, and you begin to suspect that your dog may have an ear infection.
The Cause Dog ear infections are usually the result of debris, or yeast becoming trapped inside the ear which can promote bacteria growth and eventually an ear infection. Mites can also cause ear infections. Once you suspect this your next step is to head straight to you vet’s office.
The Treatment Once in your vet’s office, your dog will be thoroughly examined. Unlike the human ear canal, which runs basically in a horizontal line, your dog’s ear canal is more vertical which can require special instruments to verify possible infections.
Using these instruments, your vet will take samples from the ear and check them to verify the type of infection your dog may have, if any.
In most cases of infection, your vet will prescribe antibiotics or other drugs to clean up the infection which can come in the form of ear drops and/or oral medication.
Remember, it is very important to follow your vet’s instructions to the letter. Just like with humans, your dog may show signs of marked improvement before the prescribed treatment has a chance to completely destroy all of the bacteria resulting in a possible relapse. Your best bet is to finish treatment as instructed—including follow up visits until your vet presents your dog with a clean bill of health.
After all, the last thing you and your dog need is to have to go through all of this hassle again because you tried a short cut.
Yeast Infection on Dog’s Skin or Paws (“Frito Feet”)
Sniffing Out The Problem Yeast Infections tend to be relatively easy to detect using your nose Owners who have had dog’s with yeast infection have noticed a distinct odor that can remind them of “Frito s Corn Chips” coming from their paws which some owners have nicknamed ”Frito Feet”. Some others say that their dog’s skin has a smell like “moldy bread” or even “cheese popcorn”. Again, these smells definitely point to signs that your dog is suffering from a serious yeast infection.
The Cause All healthy dogs have both “good bacteria” and “yeast flora” on their skin which is maintained by a delicate balance of a healthy dog’s internal system.
However, if your dog consumes too much of the wrong foods, or is allergic to certain foods, it can throw off this delicate balance and like weeds in a garden, encourage the yeast flora on your dog’s skin to multiply unchecked.
Why does the yeast grow out of control, you may ask?
It’s because yeast needs sugars to grow, and sugars can come in many forms, such as, sweet tasting things, as well as carbohydrates like bread and pasta which break down into sugar. The more carbohydrates a dog is fed, the greater the risk of excessive yeast growth.
The Treatment The simplest thing an owner can do to prevent this is to monitor your dog’s diet. Remove as many carbohydrates from it as possible. By doing this, over time you should see a marked improvement in dogs with yeast infections and while lessening the chances of your healthy dog getting a yeast infection.
Not to mention the other health benefits to your dog which comes from not eating a lot of carbs.
In addition, your dog can also benefit by adding some anti-fungal foods to his diet, such as oregano which has been shown to have beneficial properties in reducing the spread of fungus, like yeast, over your pet’s body.
However, don’t forget that before you start any dietary regiment, you will never go wrong by consulting your vet first.
Following your vet’s advice, will soon have you and your dog both healthier and happier which is always the case when there is less “fungus among us”.
Anal (Sac) Gland Problems
Sniffing Out The Problem You notice that your dog is doing that butt scooting thing on the ground where they plop their rear end down, and then pull themselves across the floor with their front paws. In addition, you notice that this action also produces a very noticeable bad smell along this path.
The Cause Normally, when you view your dog from behind you will notice two ducts near the anal opening at approximately the “four” and “eight” o’clock position. These are your dog’s Anal Sacs or Glands which is what produces a fluid-like “scent” which normally is used to mark their “territory”.
In a healthy dog, during defecation, pressure is put on the anal sacs which allows your dog the ability to place his unique scent along with the deposited stool through the Sacs ducts.
However, for various reasons beyond the scope of this article, your dog’s glands/ducts can become either impacted (clogged up), infected, or both. The most common indicators that this has happened is if your dog is doing excessive licking or biting near the anal area, or the more common butt “scooting” that was already mentioned.
A most unpleasant odor is usually produced by this “scooting” as this action forces a large amount of “scent” out onto your floor or carpet.
The Treatment Once you suspect that your dog is suffering from this problem, a trip to the vet is warranted and it is usually treated in one of three ways:
(a) Cleaning out the clogged ducts leading to the gland. This procedure usually works well in relatively mild cases.
(b) Lancing the infected area – to relieve the problem by draining away the infection. This is usually accompanied by an antibiotic regiment to make sure the infection has been totally eliminated; Or
(c) Removal of the Anal Glands – If your vet finds it is warranted the Anal Glands can be removed which will prevent the problem from happening again.
No matter which procedure you and your vet agree on, the ultimate purpose will always be to relieve your pet’s pain and to do whatever is necessary to prevent the situation from happening again.
Special Note – Be aware that smaller breed dogs have a greater tendency of suffering from this ailment and should be checked more frequently to prevent a minor problem from becoming a major one.
While this article is far from being all inclusive, hopefully it has given you some good advice to help you be able to “clear the air” on the majority of your “Stinky Dog” situations as quickly as possible.
After all, when living with pets it’s important to keep your “Home, Sweet Home” … as Sweet as possible!