All Posts By

Mikey Davison

dog in bath stinks

My Older Dog Reeks: Why Your Older Dog Smells

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Has your older canine companion become more odiferous in his golden years? Most dogs don’t exactly smell like roses one hundred percent of the time; after all, it’s their natural instinct to roll around in something smelly to mask their own scent. But if your dog stinks even after a bath, it’s time to sniff out the culprit of your dog’s pugent aroma.

At Eastside Veterinary Associates, we love helping your pets feel their very best. A thorough senior wellness exam can give us a deeper understanding of your dog’s overall health and reveal the causes of your dog’s distinct odors. 

Common Causes of Stinky Senior Dogs

If your dog stinks no matter what you do, a medical condition could be to blame. 

  1. Kidney disease in dogs occurs when kidney function becomes compromised. Your dog’s kidneys eliminate toxins in his bloodstream, so when they’re not working properly, these toxins build up and cause your dog’s breath to smell foul.
  2. Dogs diagnosed with diabetes can have breath that smells sugary sweet, or they can have breath that’s reminiscent of nail polish remover. 
  3. Dental or periodontal disease is a common condition in older pets. When tartar and plaque builds up in your dog’s mouth, it can lead to tooth decay, bacteria overgrowth, swollen gums, and, of course, halitosis. Brushing your dog’s teeth at home and scheduling regular dental exams can help. 
  4. Urinary Incontinence: Your older dog may experience loss of bladder control, which can cause urine to dribble onto his fur when he’s walking or even when he’s at rest. Incontinence can also lead to full-blown accidents. Frequent bathing can help control odor. 
  5. Arthritis and other health conditions can make it difficult for your dog to properly groom himself, which can cause his fur and skin to smell funky over time. Weekly shampooing or visits with a professional groomer can help. 
  6. Impacted anal glands are also common in older dogs. Your dog uses his anal glands for marking his territory, but when the oils become impacted in these glands, they emit a foul odor.
  7. If your dog’s flatulence can clear a room, it’s likely because his digestive system has grown more sensitive as he has aged. Talk with us about dietary adjustments that can help. 
  8. Infections: Allergies and dermatitis can lead to foul-smelling skin infections. Plus, ear infections and urinary tract infections can cause foul odors. 

Getting to the Root of the Odor

A medical assessment with a full physical examination plus bloodwork can help us diagnose any underlying medical condition or infection that could be causing your dog’s foul smell. Please contact us right away if you notice a foul odor coming from your canine or anytime you have questions about caring for your pet.

When Your Main Squeeze Needs Anal Gland Expression

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When Your Main Squeeze Needs Anal Gland Expression

Anal gland expression might not be the topic of choice in most social circles, but it is a very common issue in pets. Perhaps bringing the smelly, funky issue into the light could help prevent scores of cats and dogs from living through the discomfort of impacted or infected anal glands. That’s where we come in!

Get Ready For This

The anal glands are essentialy scent glands. Located exactly where you think they are (at the 8 and 4 position on either side of the anus, just below the skin), these glands help animals mark territory with a dark, strong-smelling fluid. During defecation, the stool puts pressure on the anal glands causing them to squeeze out the liquid along with the waste. This is naturally-occuring anal gland expression.

Potential Problems

Unfortunately, the sacs that hold the fluid don’t always empty, or the fluid becomes too solid to pass. This is known as impaction, and can become a hotbed for bacteria. This issue starts as minor discomfort but can quickly develop into full-blown infection if the pressure isn’t relieved.

Some animals may experience problems related to the anal glands more than others. Other factors can include obesity, skin infections, allergies, incontinence, skin mites, and hypothyroidism. We can work with you and your pet to get to the bottom of any underlying causes of frequent impaction issues.

Getting Involved

Owners of dogs that scoot their bums on the carpet or upholstery know that anal gland expression is imminent. Pets may also start to lick their rectum more than usual. Other signs include straining or crying when defecating, swelling around the rectum, and blood in the waste. These signs indicate that a pet needs help as soon as possible.

An anal gland infection must be cleaned out and treated with an antibiotic and pain medication. Left alone, a pet could face a ruptured abscess that requires emergency surgery and drainage.

Anal Gland Expression

The basics of anal gland expression involve manually placing pressure on the glands with a gloved finger inserted into the recturm. This process requires gentle handling until the gland is fully emptied. Expressing anal glands internally is usually performed by a veterinary team member whereas groomers usually apply pressure externally.

Frequent or unnecessary attention to this area can actually result in painful inflammation, scarring, and narrowing of the duct. In other words, if your pet isn’t experiencing problems related to their anal glands, don’t go there.

Part of the Puzzle

Anal gland expression may or may not be something you ever have to deal with. But we can assure you, the more you know about it the better. At Eastside Veterinary Associates, our doctors are experts at distinguishing anal gland issues from other problems, and advising of a treatment plan to help your pet.

If you notice symptoms of anal gland issues , please  call to schedule an appointment with our doctors at:

  • Kirkland: 425-882-7788
  • Newcastle / Renton: 425-276-4100

Our team is always happy to help you at Eastside Veterinary Associates.