VCA Animal Hospitals

Why does my dog smell so bad?

Published: Feb 24, 2012

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Not many people expect their pets to smell like fresh linen - after all, they are animals. However, if your dog has a particularly offensive odor, it can be a sign of illness.

While dogs are known to roll in substances that are less than pleasant, if the smell does not go away after a bath, possible skin infection could be to blame. Veterinarian Mark J. Stickney, a clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M University, told that bacterial or yeast infections on a dog's skin commonly leads to a foul odor.

Yeast dermatitis is one cause of a malodorous pet. VCA Animal Hospitals reports that this fungal infection is an extremely common cause of skin disease in dogs. There are millions of bacteria and fungi on all dogs, but healthy animals are able to keep the numbers in check. However, if the dog's immune system is compromised by age, illness, allergies or hormonal imbalances like hypothyroidism, bacteria and fungus can get out of hand and cause infection.

Usually, your veterinarian can recommend a shampoo or oral medication to treat this condition, VCA reports. You should also look for hot spots on dogs, since these bacterial infections will also need treatment that your vet can recommend or prescribe, reports.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.