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Smelly Dogs

by Beth
(Connecticut)

My treeing walker Coon Hound has a very red underbelly and red areas between the pads on his paws. His is not experiencing any itching.


He is an extremely smelly dog and has been on a 3 week cycle of antibiotics from the vet which did not work. When I bathe him he is okay smelling for 3-4 days, then the dog smell comes back. Can you tell me what this may be.

Smelly Dogs Advice from Dog Health Guide Editor:

Dear Beth,

Thanks for your question regarding smelly dogs.

Dogs may get skin problems which are either related to an infectious cause or to non infectious or internal causes.

Infectious conditions are typically characterized by itching, scratching, lesions, illness and progressive development of the dog skin condition, which in most cases appears acute in nature (appears suddenly).

A disturbance in body function should be considered if these typical symptoms are either present or absent. In this case, it appears to be typical “canine seborrhea”.

Canine seborrhea is a condition related to keratinization of the skin, this can be mild or very severe. Itching may be very mild or absent and it causes the skin to appear red at first and in latter stages scales are formed and hyper pigmentation is noted.

Problems such as dog smell are related to the sebaceous glands, which are located near the hair follicles, and are purely related to your dog's endocrine system.

You should look for other signs as well, such as whether or not the skin appears greasy, any loss in body weight, loss of appetite and changes in behavior. Secondary infections and the development of other complications such as fever, illness and dog skin lesions may also occur as the condition persists.

Treatment is based upon getting a definite diagnosis only, and if secondary conditions have developed, it is necessary to treat them first.

If possible, you should consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and specific treatment. In support of the specific dog skin treatment recommended by your vet, here are some tips and measures you can follow to reduce the dog skin symptoms you are seeing and of course that smelly dog problem:

1. As we are not sure about the exact status of the condition, but as per the symptoms you described, you can start by bathing your dog with a relatively gentle medicated dog shampoo such as Perfect Coat Antibacterial Deodorizing Shampoo. This will help to reduce skin redness and will reduce symptoms such as bad dog smell.

Even if the problem persists, you can try a more powerful anti canine seborrheic shampoo which contains salicyclic acid and sulfur such as Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo, which will help to treat the dog skin problems related to canine seborrhea.

2. Do not bathe your dog frequently, as it disturbs skin oil gland function. Follow the manufacturers instructions for the dog shampoo you use.

3. To promote skin health and your dog's overall health status, try some natural remedies such as Skin and Coat Tonic, which will safely promote your dog's immune system as well.

4. Thoroughly check for any symptoms in the ear, anal region and general body status. If you find some extraordinary symptoms, consult a veterinarian.

Note that these tips are for general support only; specific treatment can only be accomplished with a proper diagnosis from your veterinarian and specific drugs that address what is identified as the underlying problem.

Please keep us up to date and let us know how you resolved the smelly dogs problem. I'm sure our readers will be helped by this question and answer.

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Feb 20, 2016
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red,smelly walker hound
by: Anonymous

hmmm. I also have a treeing walker with redness on the chest and belly which is worse at the leg creases. When bathed, she smells ok for about 2 days, then gets very smelly again, even though she's a house dog. Think I will try the product mentioned. Thanks

Jul 26, 2012
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by the way...
by: Lorraine

As Beth so well described it, my own Treeing Walker Hound, approximately 4.5 months old, recently developed the red chest and red under belly as well as the red between toes on the paws. The scaley-ness occurs periodically and the smelly dog thing is accurate. We thought these symptoms may come from the dog's frequent diving into our pond... We do wash her off with clean water and towel dry before letting her back into the house. Just got some "sulfer" based soap to try...and have given the dog's chest rubdowns with grape seed oil to try to reduce redness and scaling. She does not scratch the areas often but may have a flea problem between the toes...it is tough going here in Central; Florida with fleas this year.

Jul 26, 2012
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OMG that's it!
by: Chuck

Sooo I decided to see if I could find anything related to my Treeing Walker Hound's red skin condition...and here it is exactly! Thanks for the tips.

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