E.B., Archdale, NC
Tags: dog Archdale NC
Feb 10, 2013
I have an 11-year-old spayed female mix-breed dog. She has a musty odor that will not go away, even after a bath. I have changed her food to no avail.
Do you have any suggestions that might help?
E.B., Archdale, NC Feb 11, 2013
Older dogs often develop a distinct odor, which can be quite penetrating when one is close to them or sharing the same room. The smell is usually associated with the kidneys and liver not working as well as they should in ridding the body of waste products and toxins. A generic approach to this geriatric issue is a regimen of regular exercise, weight management and a weekly "dry bath" (rubbing in and brushing out baby powder to absorb and remove odors). You might try various natural herbal spray products like PetzLife Bath Eaze, a bathless shampoo and conditioner, and Odorz Off bedding odor remover.
Launder your dog's bedding weekly using detergent with natural fragrances. In many instances, a periodic shampoo with Selsun Blue and daily supplements of brewer's yeast and flaxseed oil (about 1 teaspoon of each) in the dog's food can be of great help.
My old dogs always seemed happier and livelier when they smelled better, and I am sure many dogs become depressed by their stink.
A change in body odor can also mean a change in activity and the content of the skin's oil. A full veterinary checkup would be worth the investment, if you trust your nose as a potential diagnostic tool. Some smelly old dogs, for example, have poor thyroid or adrenal gland function, and no amount of shampooing is going to address the cause.
M.S., Archdale, NC
Tags: dog Archdale NC
Aug 26, 2012
I have a 7 1/2-year-old Yorkshire terrier. Ever since I've had him, he has had very dry skin. A few years ago, his hair became very oily, but his skin remained dry. Three days after giving him a bath, his hair is very oily.
I have tried aloe, oatmeal and lanolin, plus numerous other shampoos and different kinds of food. I have been giving him a bath about every three days because if I wait any longer, he looks like he has been dipped in oil.
The vet hasn't seemed very concerned about this. Two years ago in the spring, my dog's hair started falling out on his back, and he was itching. The vet said he had a flea allergy. I comb him once or twice every day with a flea comb -- he had a few, but never many, fleas. In the winter, his hair grew back.
This spring, the hair started falling out again. I took him to the vet, and the vet gave him Temaril-P tablets. He seemed to be a lot better while taking the tablets, but when he was through with them, the hair started coming out again with the itching.
I have put him on brewer's yeast tablets, and I spray him with a pennyroyal and water mix for fleas. I gave him Comfortis for a while and he was better, but I did not like giving him those types of things.
What do you suggest doing for the oily hair and dry skin?
M.S., Archdale, NC Aug 27, 2012
Your Yorkie is at the age when the thyroid, and sometimes the adrenal gland, become dysfunctional, leading to hyperthyroidism and Cushing's disease.
The veterinarian should rule out these underlying possibilities; you should also discuss your dog's nutrition. He may be lacking omega-3 fatty acids, a common problem in dogs fed poor-quality dry dog foods. His digestive system may need enhancement with probiotics, which will also help his immune system. For more details, visit my website, DrFoxVet.com, and check the archives, which contain several letters from people with dogs sharing symptoms similar to your little Yorkie. I would not use the pennyroyal since it may cause liver damage.
C.T., Archdale, NC
Tags: dog Archdale NC
Aug 22, 2009
An avid reader of your columns and Web site, I am interested in your readers'' experiences with their animals after death.
I had a dog, Zack, for almost 14 years. He developed several medical problems: cataracts, arthritis and heart problems. I finally made the decision to have him put to sleep. It was the most difficult thing I ever had to do, but I know it was the right decision. Several months later, my daughter, son and I were in the kitchen. All of a sudden, we heard a noise that sounded like Zack sneezing. Since then, we have all gotten glimpses of him in the house. He always seems happy and well. It is a great comfort.
C.T., Archdale, NC Aug 23, 2009
Thanks for your description of afterlife manifestations of your dog, Zack. The corroboration of other family members also seeing and hearing a deceased animal in the home is important verification that there is indeed a realm of the spirit that is real. I have received many letters from dog and cat owners, describing their experiences with deceased animal companions communicating from this nonmaterial realm (www.DrFoxVet.com/info).