Smelly Pets

Soft kitty, smelly kitty, little ball of fur!

We are all stuck at home, great for our pets getting all the extra love and attention, but what if you have just discovered you have a smelly pet? What is that smell, and what can you do about it?

Smelly pets are not always dirty pets, it could be a medical condition causing the smell.  The most common causes of smelly pets are dental disease and coat conditions.

Take a look (and a sniff) inside your pet’s mouth. Older pets especially small breeds of dogs and certain breeds of cats can often suffer from dental disease. Dental disease not only causes pain and discomfort for the animal but can also be a source of bacteria and often putrid smells.  If there is a severe smell to the breath, redness of the gums (gingivitis), loose teeth or an excess build- up of calculus (dirt) then your pet would benefit from a dental descale and polish after the Lock-Down period.

Coat and skin conditions often go hand in hand with sore and infected ears. These pets often emit a yeasty, musty sort of sweaty odour. Chronic allergies can often cause secondary bacterial/yeast infections. Pets with allergies tend to scratch due to itchiness and can cause considerable harm to the skins defensive barrier allowing bacteria and yeast to cause secondary infections. You can bathe these pets at home, it is best either to use the medicated shampoo that was dispensed by a vet for the condition, or just use plain water. Do not use human shampoos, and be careful of using a shampoo that could harm the already delicate skin.

Never put anything in your pet’s ears unless directed by a vet to do so. You can wrap your finger in cotton wool and gently wipe the ear flap and just inside the ear but never push your finger in to the ear.

Less commonly, a pet may have over full or infected anal glands. These are scent glands that usually empty as your pet goes to the toilet, but upset stomachs can cause these to become blocked. Dogs scooting along on their bottoms usually have sore anal glands. The scent from these is potent, somewhat fishy, once smelt, never forgotten! Unless these are very sore, there are online videos to show you how to empty them yourself so you don’t have to venture out during Lock-down for what is often only a very minor issues.  It’s not pleasant, wear gloves and keep your mouth closed!

Other more serious issues that can cause your pet to be smelly are bladder / urinary infections. This is often a strong urine / ammonia smell. Kidney diseases can lead to a funny smell like acetone on your pet’s breath, and diabetic pets that are ketotic also have a funny smell to their breath.

If you are worried at all, please call us as we have vets on call 24 hours a day, every day. 012 991 3573

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