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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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Can dog leaking urine while sleeping be the reason for bad smell?

Resolved Question:

My Female spayed dog has a bad smell stemming from her rear. Anal glands were checked and fine. What could be the problem?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 6 years ago.


Welcome to Just Answer. How long ago were her anal glands checked? Is she licking back there more? Any discharge from her vulva?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Her anal glands were checked roughly 4 months ago and we noticed the smell before and after that. It gets very bad at times and seems to be worse if she cleans herself. She was just now asleep on the couch beside me for roughly 2 hours and the smell was strong and present throughout. We haven't noticed any discharge at all or ever.

Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 6 years ago.

A lot of times, the bad smell from back there is due to the anal glands (even despite checking them 4 months ago). Some dogs will randomly express their anal glands on their own, they don't have any infection / trauam / blockage. The anal gland material is extremely foul smelling! If it is expressed on its own, a lot of times they will then groom themselves / lick that area. She may be expressing them a little by licking them.

If there is no discharge or areas of redness back there, then the anal glands are most suspicious.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

So what can we do? It is a STRONG fishy smell and can linger for sometime. She is a 100% indoor dog. It is plausible that it is from her vagina? I hate to be crude, but that is what we thought.

Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 6 years ago.

Strong, fishy smell - that screams anal gland issues. It could be from the peri-vaginal area, but usually there is redness and some wetness around that area. The best thing to do for anal gland issues like this is to have them expressed monthly (maybe a little more or less depending on a case by case basis). At this point, some owners will learn how to express them on their own. Your vet can show you how.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Can you make suggestions as to self expressing them at home? She is a pit bull and weighs about 50 pounds if that is relevant.

Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 6 years ago.

Anal gland expressions don't take any great skill to do! They just can be a bit gross and very smelly.

Here is a very good link talking about them and showing a diagram how to do it.

Honestly, there are a dozen or so you-tube videos showing how to do it. Please search it on there and watch a couple to see what it entails.

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