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Fishy smell from dog.

Species: Dog
Breed: Boston Terrier
Age: 1-2 years
My boston terrier puts off a fishy smell. It doesn't happen all the time, but atleast once a week and lasts for about an hour or so. At first we thought it only happened when he got scared, but now we've seen that it happens whenever. Do you know what causes this?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This sounds like a dog who is expressing his own anal glands. These glands sit at either side of the anus and collect with fluid and debris. Some dogs need to have them manually expressed from time to time but some dogs will empty them on their own.

Anal glands are the same things that skunks have that emit the smelly material. So, dogs will often express their glands involuntarily when they are scared.

If it is happening really frequently you may want to have your vet take a look to make sure that the glands are not infected.

Hope this helps!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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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.