Why does your dog have a fishy odor?
Is there anything in the air, or is your dog causing the odor? If your dog smells fishy, the causes may be plenty.
While our dogs can emit a variety of strange aromas, the fishy odor is one of the most unpleasant. Unfortunately, it’s a quite frequent odor that your dog will omit. Bad odors, such as our dog’s fishy odor, are sometimes a part of their natural flora.
The fishy odor might be caused by a multitude of factors. It’s critical to determine the cause of the stink to ensure it isn’t indicative of a larger problem.
When you and your dog are up close and personal, do you notice the smell? The fishy odor may be coming from your dog’s breath.
What causes bad breath?
Fishy breath can be caused by the following factors:
- Anal Glands disease
- stomach ache
- Food stuck between the teeth or in the mouth
- Gingivitis, plaque, and tartar are all examples of gum disease.
- Infection in the teeth of a dog
- Periodontal disease
Because anal gland secretions are filled with a collection of sweat glands that can produce unpleasant odors, they usually have a fishy odor. When your dog defecates, the anal sacs are placed near the anus and act as a scent marker.
What Are Anal Glands and How Do They Work?
Anal glands, in particular, are used to mark territory and keep predators at bay. Many dogs require their anal glands expressed by a veterinarian since they are unable to release naturally due to domestication.
Between the internal and external sphincters, which are muscles that help your dog hold excrement in the rectum until it’s time to pass, are the anal glands. The dog’s anus has two holes on either side, which are used to empty the bladder. The muscles in the rectum pressure the anal sacs, which discharge their contents on the stool when the stool passes through.
If the anal sacs are not discharged, they might become overly full, clogging the sacs’ aperture with their thick liquid. This condition can cause pain and, in some cases, infection or abscess.
The disease of the Anal Sac
Simple impaction is the most prevalent cause of a fishy odor in your dog caused by anal sac troubles. However, an infection, abscess, or even cancer can cause anal sac difficulties. If your dog’s condition worsens, you should take him to the vet for a checkup.
Impaction occurs when the contents of your dog’s anal sacs are not adequately ejected. Visibly swollen or warm to the touch anal sacs are frequently impacted and must be freed. If your dog’s stool is soft and not solid enough to release the anal sacs during the defecation process, impactions might occur. There could also be a problem with the sacs that makes it tough to release them.
If your dog becomes terrified or nervous, its anal glands may emit a weird odor. Anal glands emit a fishy odor the majority of the time. If your dog smells like they’ve just returned from a walk along a fish-filled beach, you should check their anal glands. They could be harmed and require secretion.
Abscess and/or Infection
If the fluid buildup has resulted in infection and an abscess, bleeding or anal drainage may occur, indicating a rupture. A fishy odor is, of course, a crucial indicator. These infections are usually excruciating for your dog and should be treated as soon as possible.
If your dog’s anal sacs are firm and swollen, you may have an anal sac tumor. Because the tumor usually prohibits any expression, a veterinarian will need to locate and cure it.
Why does your female dog smell fishy?
There are a variety of reasons why your female dog may have a fishy odor. The most prevalent causes are clogged anal glands, which create a fishy stench, and a vaginal yeast infection, which causes the urine to smell fishy. Many dog owners, particularly female dog owners, can relate to the odor of fish at some point in their life.
It’s worth mentioning, though, that some dogs have a stronger sense of smell than others. Gender, age, breed, and conformation (the shape of your dog’s body) can all influence the likelihood of your dog developing a fish smell.
If your female dog has an oily coat, which is prevalent in retriever and cocker spaniel breeds, she is more likely to generate a fishy odor to go along with the increased oil production.
Other signs to look out for if your dog has fishy breath
First and foremost, you should keep track of everything your dog consumes. If they’ve eaten fish or gotten into your cat’s food, their fishy breath is most likely due to this. If they begin to exhibit any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign of one of the more serious health problems:
Pain in the mouth that is obvious
Bleeding in the mouth, particularly around the teeth
Loss of weight
When should you visit the veterinarian?
If your dog is exhibiting any of the other symptoms listed above, you should take him to the veterinarian. The veterinarian will examine their mouth and teeth and make treatment recommendations. Other tests will be performed if the physician feels your dog has a more serious ailment.
Medications and cures
If your veterinarian recommends it, do not treat your dog at home. Depending on the reason for the foul breath, they may suggest a variety of treatments and therapies.
For all mouth-related issues, toothpaste with enzymes. Brushing your dog’s teeth two to three times a week will assist to clear up bad breath associated with plaque build-up.
Dental care is beneficial. This is another natural way to clean a dog’s mouth.
In the case of a more serious condition or illness, the veterinarian may order more testing and prescribe medications.
Keeping fishy odors at bay for the long haul with these simple steps
While some diseases are unavoidable, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that the smell of fish does not occur in the absence of an illness.
1. Maintain a healthy level of hygiene.
2. Assist your dog in maintaining a healthy body weight.
3. Feed a high-fiber, digestion-friendly diet.
4. Make sure your dog gets enough exercise regularly.
5. Ensure that your dog’s water bowl is always full.
6. Visits to the veterinarian regularly to rule out any underlying issues.
7. Dog unpleasant odors aren’t always bad.
Not every unpleasant scent coming from a dog is a “fishy smell,” but any odor that is odd or new should be sent to the vet. The vet will make certain that the bad odor is caused by nothing serious. Bad scents might reveal a lot about your dog’s health. However, if your dog has an infection, abscess, or other condition in their bottom or vaginal area that is generating a fishy odor, you should take them to your veterinarian so that they may either prescribe antibiotics or treat the underlying problem.
After you’ve addressed any medical issues that may be causing your female dog’s fishy odors, make sure to maintain their hygiene. Regular baths and dental care can have your dog smelling as sweet as a daisy in no time.