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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19765
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Why does my 3 year old chocolate lab smell

Resolved Question:

Why does my 3 year old chocolate lab smell?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 years ago.

Hi Sir or Madam,


Is this a musty odor all over his body?

Or is it a fishy or other unpleasant odor near his rear or around the mouth?

Is his breath ok?

Does he lick his rear alot?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No not a musty odor all over his body.

No it is not around his rear or month. Its his whole body.

Yes his breath is ok.

No he does not lick his ear's.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 7 years ago.



Since you mention trying to keep him out of the water, I suspect that he may have developed a yeast dermatitis. Yeast is present on all dog's skin, but is kept under control in a healthy dog with a good innume system. However, if a dog is itching and damages the skin with scratching, the yeast can multiply unchecked. The same thing can occur moisture is trapped against the skin when a dog gets wet. Labs do have a coat that allows this to happen.


This yeast overgrowth leads to itching and dermatitis which can even cause hair loss. So, it is possible your dog's odor could be due to a skin infection such as a yeast or staph infection. This frequently caused by an allergy. Changing your dog's food could help, as some dogs are allergic to common grains found in dog food. . Your Vet will probably prescribe antibiotics If your dog is currently eating a dog food high in corn or wheat, I'd change him to one that does not contain them as these are the more common ones found to cause problems. Staph usually occurs on the lower regions of your pet and tends to have small pimple type bumps. Shampoo containing Chlorhexiderm and/or Oatmeal can help with this condition though it does not cure the allergy. Yeast typically shows as a greasy area that has a sweet musty odor. Sometimes the skin can become inflamed, darker and thickened due to itching. Yeast likes areas such as between toes, armpits and ears. Selsun Blue Shampoo can help with Yeast dermatitis. When shampooing, lather and leave on 15 minutes before rinsing. Your Vet though will make the final determination. Benadryl can be given at a dosage of up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours for allergy symptoms.

Here is a great site on the problem.


You can read up on allergies here:


I hope this information is helpful to you.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hello Jane, When we took him to the vet, I told him I thought it was a yeast or staph infection! But he just gave me ear drops and some fish oil? Oh yes, we did change his food and I bought some new shampoo also.

I don't see any hot spots on my dog, and he is itching a little more then normal. But I do think his coat is dryer in some areas then others, where I think it smell. Like on his back sides? So you think if we change his food again and try washing him with Selsun Blu Shompoo would work?