There are times when a dog smells like a fish. The reasons for such an uncommon flavor are different including low state of health, diseases, and infections. Also it can be a standard response to consumption of fish at dinner or fish oil supplement. Still, if you do not have comprehensive ideas asking “Why does my dog’s breath smell like fish?”, you should think about a consultation with a veterinarian.
The most frequent reason
If you wonder, why your dear dog smells like fish, you should think of an anal gland secretion with such an unpleasant scent. It appears when the glands should be cleaned up. These anal glands are normally needed to mark territory. They look like small sacks located in a dog’s anus right next to a surface, between the external and internal sphincters. From time to time they get filled with an assemblage of sweat glands and start smelling strong. Usually, dogs release naturally, but not always. Impactions can be caused by a soft stool. When the stool is firm, it helps to release the anal sacs when a dog expels feces. Also, tumor can make anal sacs enlarged preventing any expression. If these sacs do not release as they should, you can view a dog bottom red and swollen in addition to a fish scent.
Also, this smell can appear if a dog is afraid of something or gets nervous and anal glands start producing the scent. The over-filled anal sacs can leave the secretion on the floor if a dog seat for a long time. As far as the liquid inside irritates a dog’ skin and causes inflammation, a dog may start paying too much attention to its rear end licking it, for instance. You will notice that a dog has a strange walk as if it feels uncomfortable.
Anyway, the first thing you should do when you discover a dog anal gland smell is to go to a veterinarian and inspect those anal glands. If there is a need, they will be emptied by a specialist. If those little sacs are not cleared out, they’ll get full. In rare cases abscess and infections are possible causing bleeding or anal drainage.
As far as the clogged sacs can be a result of a range of deviations, you should check up if your dog is healthy to prevent the condition from getting worse. If you ask Why does my dog’s butt smell like fish? You should already understand that this is the first warning that you should go to a vet and treat the disease immediately.
The dog’s anal glands are easily cleared out with a special massage made by trained professionals. Mind that they may get clogged again in some time and you’ll have to visit a vet again or you can learn to clear out the anal glands by yourself. Ask a specialist how often to express dog glands and if there are indications for regular visits, find out whether he could teach you to do it. If there are complications, a veterinarian may prescribe the medication. In rare cases he can recommend surgery when the reason is cancer, for instance.
You may prevent the anal sac disease with a high-fiber diet, watching the dog’ weight – it should not be fat that is why you should provide your pet with a regular physical load. There are dogs which suffer from this disease more often – they are small breed dogs, including cocker spaniels, beagles, and the likes of.
If the anal sac disease is not the reason, then you should consider:
- Gastrointestinal disorders which may be connected with food allergy or upset stomach causing troubles with digesting food. The symptoms are removed with antacid medications.
- Periodontal disease that can be a reason for the situation when a dog’s breath smells like fish. You should brush your dog’s teeth regularly using an enzymatic toothpaste, giving it the special things for chewing.
- Urinary tract infection which is especially possible if a dog suffers diabetes. In this case bacterial growth in urine causes the fish smell. This is a very dangerous state because the infection may quickly reach the kidneys and kill a dog dead.
- Another infection is pyometra attacking the uterus of non-spayed female dogs in their middle age. It appears due to hormonal changes and causes bacteria growth resulting in fishy odors. The dog will be tired all the time, stop eating, and feel pain. This infection also may reach the kidney. If you want to prevent this disease, you should spay your dog.
- Fungal disease which also may cause this unpleasant scent. The dog easily can get infected because of contact with the fungal soil. The condition results in weight loss, eye and skin disease, and even breathing problems.
And the above list is not complete. There are some other reasons including the environment and a dog’s diet with a lot of fish products or fish oil, which helps a pet to feel better, to have healthy fur. Finally, the dog can get rolled in something with a fishy scent and here the answer to the question of how to get rid of fishy smell from dog is very easy – you should wash a dog with some water and special shampoo.
Still, you should not ignore this sign as far as it can be an evidence of serious deviations and health problems requiring interference of a medical professional. Even if a dog behaves as always, you should go to a vet. Of course, first, you are recommended to find out whether the dog breath smells like fish or this is its fur. Ensure that after a thorough lavation the problem is not eliminated.