Ask the Veterinarian/Foul smell

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Question
Hello Doc,

I have a five year old german shepherd female and she has a distinctively stinky smell on her fur. I am wondering if it could be the diet that she is on. She gets three scoops of Beneful Healthy Weight per day along with a can of green beans and per reccomended by her vet. What else can I do to help get rid of the foul smell?

Thanks,
Kathy

Answer
Dogs can have odors for a variety of reasons including rolling in something, licking themselves and transferring odor from the mouth, anal gland secretions, or from skin problems.  If it is a skin problem, it is most likely seborrhea.  What happens is that the excessive secretion of oils on the skin are degraded by microorganisms on the skin resulting in a foul odor.  Shampooing with an antiseborrheic shampoo containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid twice weekly for 15 minutes will help remove the odor.  In addition, oral antibiotics or antifungals are given depending on what your vet finds on the skin to decrease the break down of the fatty acids into the rancid smell.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf

Expertise

Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats

Experience

I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

Organizations
American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology

Publications
Veterinary Forum
Veterinary Medicine
Waltham Focus

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