Chihuahuas

Yeast & Bacteria + Skin Oils

Question:
We have two small dogs – a Chihuahua and a terrier mix – that have a “body odor” problem. We can give them a bath today and within two days the odor is back. I have owned a number of dogs in my lifetime (I’m 81 years old) and this has never been a problem. Is it their food?

Dr. Nichol:
Even during times of social distancing B.O. can be a family stigma. The good news is that while your dogs’ odorousness does not indicate a character flaw bit it shouldn’t be their calling card. They share a treatable medical disorder.

I consulted with Dr. Rebecca Mount of Dermatology for Animals in Albuquerque. She’s a board certified specialist and shared this advice. “There are a couple of factors which may play a role. Some dogs have occult bacteria or yeast infections and get a gamey smell from the mixture of these microbes and their natural body oils. Ideally a quick check with cytology may be helpful, but it may be worth trying an over-the-counter antimicrobial shampoo. I like Douxo (cq) products which can be purchased on Amazon. I am not sure if these dogs get supplements or if their diet has a large amount of fish oil. Occasionally fish oil will give dogs a general fishy odor.”

Take your dogs to their veterinarian for a physical exam. Using a glass slide the doctor can collect organisms and evaluate them microscopically. This will determine the types of bacteria or yeast and whether an overgrowth is responsible for the dearth of invitations to graduation parties. Daily bathing with Douxo Shampoo (cq) could significantly improve your pupsters’ social lives.

I mention social events for dogs because it’s important for them to play and cavort with others of their ilk. Dogs are not at risk of COVID19 infection. They need to sniff and be sniffed without being viewed as stinky pariahs. Playmates at the small dog dog park will enjoy your pets’ company without anyone holding his nose.
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I’ll host a virtual small group behavior conference for cats on Wednesday, May 27 at 1 PM. Call 505-792-5131 to register. I’ll give individual help. $60/family.

Dr. Jeff Nichol provides pet behavior consultations in-person and virtually by telephone and Zoom (505-792-5131). Each week he shares a blog and a Facebook Live video to help bring out the best in pets and their people. Sign up at no charge at drjeffnichol.com. Post pet questions on behavioral or physical concerns on facebook.com/drjeffnichol or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.