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Questions for Dr. Shawn - Body Odor

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"Dear Dr. Shawn:
"My 9 month old Golden Retriever puppy has a terrible stench.  I've had his anal sacs drained and the smell was a little better for a day or two, but then the smell came back as bad as ever.  Is there anything else we can do or could it be something else? Could it be his ears, even though they are clean?"

Answer:
”'Odor' emanating from a pet’s body can come from anywhere. Common causes I see in practice include the mouth (dental disease, lung disease, or GI disease,) rear end (anal sac disease, type of food eaten, or general GI disease,) skin (any type of dermatitis,) or ears (a very common source of body odor.)

Your veterinarian must do a thorough examination in order to check for these sources of odor. Dental disease is easily diagnosed and treated. Anal sacs issues are usually resolved once the sacs are expressed or drained. Ear disease is usually quite obvious, and a proper medicated ear flushing (often under sedation or anesthesia) and the correct treatment usually resolves the issue. GI disease can be a bit trickier to diagnose and treat. Assuming there have been no recent diet changes, your puppy’s food is probably not the issue.

In my practice, if no obvious cause of the odor is found, this is what I do. First, frequent bathing to cleanse and deodorize the skin is important. Cleaning the ears a few times a week can also be helpful. Finally, a detoxification program focusing on the liver, blood, lymphatics, and GI and urinary systems is prescribed. Various supplements and homeopathics are given for 1 month and then the pet is reexamined. If the pet has improved the supplements may be discontinued and the pet monitored for the return of the odor. Usually, one thorough detoxification solves the problem. If not, further diagnostic testing can be done as needed.”

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