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Ask the Veterinarian/Possible urinary tract issue


We have a 5 year old female golden retriever. She's always been a little overweight and because of poor breeding has always had hip and shoulder issues so she's not very active. The last few months she has had an increasingly foul odor around her urethra. The hair around that area is always very dark but get her urine is a normal yellow color. She's had no change in thirst or frequency but her smell is becoming unbearable. What could it be??

Weight is the biggest issue here. This is more common than you realize. What's happening (most likely) is that the fat folds around your dogs vulva are trapping urine and the resultant bacteria, which start giving off a horrendous smell after a month or so.

She needs to see your vet and either manage it with diet by getting her on a good diet food such as Hills Metabolic diet or surgery. This food is highly recommended and has helped thousands of dogs that do no exercise lose weight. (mush cheaper than surgery).

Here is a page that outlines the surgery. In the first few images you can see what is going on around the vulva. You cannot see it due to her hair.

It is imperative to get her to the vet because she COULD have a bladder infection, or even stones in her bladder, which changes the urine and can make it smell, but that's less common.

Get her in for an appointment and go from there.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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