My dog smells like fish even when I can’t see him; this is a symptom of several different infections that my dog has. Here are the top 5 reasons for dog smells. They range from yeast to bacterial infection and everything in between.
What is causing my dog to smell like fish? There are several reasons that you might be wondering why your pooch is sniffing around you or, worse yet, sniffing himself.
One reason could be the source of the fishy smell.
Since dogs have two main types of glands that produce a pheromone, found in females (a male species) and males (female species), each gland can secrete a different type of pheromone.
It is possible that the particular smell you are detecting is the result of a dog licking itself which releases a pheromone. If this is the case, then you need to take your dog to the vet right away because you do not want to give him or her another infection.
Another cause of a dog’s bad breath is bacterial infections.
If your dog has a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a bacterial infection of the mouth (perleche), these infections will create an odor as the bacteria makes sulfur compounds.
These sulfur compounds are the result of deadly bacteria. The smell is usually described as being like fish or garbage. Although the odor does go away when the infection is gone, it could stay around for weeks and cause your dog to be sniffing around you all the time.
Yeast infections are another reason that dogs may have bad odors. Bacterial skin disease is another common problem, and these can include problems with the anal glands. Some of these can have very serious implications, such as cancer, so your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infections. Your veterinarian may also recommend an over-the-counter treatment for the odor if he thinks it is coming from the skin disease. If your veterinarian has recommended an antibiotic for your pet, then he will probably give you a smell testing kit that you should use to confirm whether the source of the odor is actually from the skin disease.
Feline Distemper Canine Odors: Feline Distemper is a highly infectious agent that can spread easily to humans and dogs. If your dog develops a heavy, strong, fishy odor accompanied by high fever, vomiting, lethargy, and excess loss of appetite, then he probably has Feline Distemper. The odor is characterized by a strong stench that can permeate fabrics and can also be detected on the skin. The most likely cause of this illness is the transfer of the bacteria through the bite of a carrier. These bacteria have the ability to transfer rapidly through the air and can live in moist environments, making them the most common cause of unpleasant feline smells.
Feline Herpes: Feline herpes is a highly contagious disease that is usually transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. The symptoms of this condition include intense itching, swelling, and painful blisters that ooze. The usual cure for this illness is the injection of a combination of drugs. If the cause of your dog’s herpes is an infected anal sac disease, then the infected anal sacs can be removed and treated using medicated shampoo.
Other Feline Smells: There are other odors that do not occur because of poor hygiene, illness, or a dirty environment. Many dogs produce a fishy scent from their anal glands when they are frightened or anxious. This odor is usually described as a bad smell and can range from being moderately smelly to severely stinky. It can be similar to the smell of cat food or ammonia. A dog that is scared will often rub his anus on something that is uncomfortable, causing a fishy smell.
If you see a fishy smell from your pet, then you should get it checked out by your vet to make sure it is not a more serious infection. The most common cause of a fishy smell is an infection of the anal glands (anal sacs).
These infections can be treated very easily with medications purchased over the counter at your local pet store.
If the cause of the smell is a urinary tract infection or kidney infection, then your vet may prescribe a prescription for antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
A vet can also give you advice on preventing future infections by practicing good personal hygiene and giving your regular dog exercise.
How to deal with your dog’s fishy smell
Call your veterinarian if you detect a fishy odor. The odor may be caused by your dog’s anal glands not being emptied or expressed manually.
Some dogs, particularly small breeds, need their anal glands to be expressed frequently. This service is performed by both groomers and vets.
If you don’t mind the smell, you can learn how to do it. It is important to remember that over-expressing the anal glands can cause inflammation and scar tissue.
This should be avoided when they aren’t emptying naturally.
Your veterinarian will need to assist you with the compaction of anal sacs. If the compaction is severe, your veterinarian may have to soften the material or use a saline rinse.
Once the compacted material is removed, your veterinarian may recommend a higher fiber diet for your dog to help him express his anal sacs naturally.
An antiseptic is used to clean abscessed or infected anal sacs. These are then usually treated with antibiotics.
If you suspect that there is an abscess, your veterinarian may suggest hot compresses be applied to the affected area. It may take several flushings to clear the infection.
Sometimes, the veterinarian may remove the sac or sacs. Surgery is usually required for anal sac cancers that do not respond to treatment.
Although there may be some complications such as incontinence or urinary tract infections, most surgical procedures are successful and will not adversely affect your dog’s quality of life.