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When I rub my dogs body or just smell it after brushing, it…

When I rub my...

When I rub my dogs body or just smell it after brushing, it has a metallic (and almost like cat's urine or marking) odor. He is 2, a male and Golden Retriever

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the dog's name?

Lincoln

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Lincoln?

Not that I know of, I adopted him 2-1/2 mo. ago and had him to my vet a week after adoption. I'm planning to take him in for a blood work and fuller exam just to check him out.

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Answered in 10 minutes by:
3/28/2018
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,150
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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I understand that you are wondering about a metallic odor to your rescue Golden Retriever Lincoln's body after being brushed or petting.

Is he neutered?

If not his oil glands may excrete a more pungent odor, and of course when we brush or pet dogs the oil glands would be stimulated to release oils which will be distributed throughout his coat.

Does he seem to have a sparse coat, lots of dander or is he overly itchy?

Some dogs with allergies are more likely to get secondary yeast or bacterial infections which would influence his body odor.

Dogs with hypothyroidism tend to have "greasy" coats and poor immune function, so between the increase in oil and poor immune function secondary infections are much more common in these dogs.

I think another exam and some baseline bloodwork is a great idea. A complete blood count and biochemistry profile would be a good start, and depending upon his exam a full thyroid profile may be indicated as well. I do not recommend a T-4 alone as that value naturally fluctuates throughout the day. If we happen to catch it at the one high point that manages to miss the very low T-4 the rest of the time we will miss our diagnosis, and if we catch it at a low point, when the rest of the time it is normal, then we may diagnose hypothyroidism when he truly has normal function. The other confounding factor is that dogs with chronic illnesses will have low T-4 levels as the body is conserving energy. This is called euthyroid or sick thyroid syndrome. By running a full panel we catch that syndrome because of changes in the other levels.

Some dogs have a more pungent odor naturally.

If he seems otherwise healthy on exam and blood tests and isn't neutered I would neuter him. If that doesn't help he may just be a fellow that needs frequent baths/grooming.

It has been my pleasure to help you today, and I hope that I have earned my 5 star rating. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). You are welcome to ask follow up questions about my response here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,150
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 27 days ago
Thank you! He is neutered and his coat is thick. I did notice a couple of scratches where the skin was injured, that the hair seems to be taking a long time growing back. Almost like he is scarring. I'm making an appointment for a blood test and fuller exam than the first visit.

That sounds like a great plan, please let me know how things go for him.

Given the scratches and poor hair regrowth he may have a mild skin infection or he may have early hypothyroidism, so an exam and some blood work seems very reasonable.

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Dr. Kara
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