Readers ask: Why Does My Chihuahua Smell Like Fish?

Anal glands, which are also called anal sacs, are small sacs located on either side of your dog’s anus. Dogs also “express” their anal sacs when they are scared, which is perfectly normal, if a bit odorous. Anal gland secretions have a distinct smell that many people describe as fishy.

Why does my small dog smell like fish?

The odor actually comes from your dog’s anal glands, or sometimes called anal sacs, and it’s often a sign of a problem. So what are anal sacs? These small specialized sweat glands sit on each side of your dog’s anus, and they release a secretion with this unpleasant odor.

Is it normal for a female dog to smell like fish?

There are many reasons your female dog might smell of fish. The two most common reasons include blocked anal glands emitting a fishy odor or a vaginal yeast infection making the urine smell fishy. A lot of owners, especially owners of female dogs, can relate to the smell of fish at some point in their lives.

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How do you know if your dog needs his glands squeezed?

Your dog is scooting on the carpet. Your dog is licking his bottom a lot. If your dog’s glands are really full, they may leak out a stinky, pungent smell. Sometimes you’ll see spots of brownish material in places where your dog has been sitting, such as on your carpet, your furniture or your lap.

Should I express my dogs glands?

Take care not to express your dog’s anal glands unnecessarily, as excessive expression can lead to discomfort. If your dog appears comfortable, does not seem overly smelly in that area and shows no symptoms of anal gland issues, there is no need to express. Some dogs unfortunately encounter recurring anal gland issues.

What happens if you don’t express your dog’s glands?

When the diet contains the right fiber it promotes a good wide push of the anus during defecation. This pressure helps to express the anal glands. When that doesn’t happen, your dog’s anal glands and their ducts can swell shut. Or their discharge can become so thick, your dog can’t pass it.

Can I express my dogs glands myself?

In order to express your dog’s anal glands at home you will need a pair of disposable plastic or latex gloves, Vaseline or some other lubricant, paper towels and a warm soapy washcloth. With the dog’s tail up, insert the lubricated and gloved index finger of your right hand into your dog’s anus.

How much does it cost to express dog glands?

Estimated Cost of Dealing with Anal Gland Issues The cost of expressing the anal glands is generally about $50. However, the cost to fix an abscessed or infected gland or glands can range from $100 to $1,000. The cost can vary if the animal needs to be hospitalized.

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Do Chihuahuas need their glands expressed?

Sphincter dysfunction and obesity also predispose a pet to anal sac disease. Certain breeds (usually on the small side) are also more likely to need monthly, manual expression of their glands: Chihuahuas, Toy and Miniature Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos, Basset Hounds, and Beagles top the list.

Who can express dog glands?

If your dog does need to have their anal glands expressed, veterinarians and most groomers offer this service. Some brave owners learn to express their dogs’ anal glands themselves. This is fine but it is always best to do this on the advice of your vet, as there could be something more serious going on.

What to feed dogs to express glands?

If the duct gets clogged, the gland continues to produce secretions and this can lead to impaction, infection or rupture. Chronic soft feces may more commonly lead to lack of stimulation for natural expression of the glands. Adding high fiber to the dog’s diet, using foods such as broccoli or canned pumpkin, can help.

What does it smell like when your dog needs glands expressed?

A dog with anal gland problems or full anal glands may scoot their bottom along the floor, scratch, bite or lick at their bottom or tail, have a fishy smell at the back end, seem in pain or depressed, object to anyone going near their back end. Big indications of anal gland issues are scooting and the fishy smell.

What causes dog glands to fill?

Anal glands can fill for a number of reasons; most commonly when there hasn’t been enough pressure to empty the glands, such as, after a few days of diarrhoea. Whenever they haven’t emptied properly, there’s a chance that glands can become blocked, impacted and swollen.

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Does it hurt a dog to express glands?

The tricky thing about anal glands is trying to determine how often to squeeze these suckers. Left in the hands of the untrained (and sometimes even in the hands of an expert), excessive expression in an otherwise comfortable pet can lead to lots of local irritation and more trouble than you bargained for.

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