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Strong urine odor.

Species: Dog
Breed: papillon
Age: 5-8 years
Over the past few months my dogs urine has started smelling really strongly, to the point were I am bathing her back end daily! I have taken her to the vet, urine was tested, the results were fine vet said appears she is well although did admit her urine did smell strong!
several months ago she was put on HILLS CANINE ID food because she kept having loose stools, could this be causing the problem? I have never had this problem with her before, and it is quite distressing as she likes to lie close and be cuddled but we can't stand the smell, please can you help? Thanks Helen.( also she is having pro fibre daily ).


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is an unusual problem!

First of all, are you absolutely sure that the smell is coming from her urine? It's possible that what you are smelling is coming from her anal glands. Dogs have a gland on either side of the anus that can fill up with debris. Sometimes if they get really full, some of the debris leaks out and causes a fishy smell. If the smell is really bad it could mean that there is an infection in the glands. An infection is either treated with oral antibiotics or sometimes we will infuse antibiotics into the gland.

You mentioned that her urine test was normal. Do you know if the vet cultured her urine? This would be a test where they send the urine to the lab to determine if there is any bacteria. Sometimes, it can look like there is no infection on our in clinic test, but the culture can tell us the true story.

The smell is not likely to be because of her food.

If this was my case, I would likely be trying her on some antibiotics. Some may consider it irresponsible to use antibiotics when there is no obvious infection. However, when there is a smell like this the chances of there being an infection somewhere are high.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.