Does your pet smell? Here's what to do
If your pet smells bad, you need to identify the source of the odour - for everyone's sake. It may be something simple that you can sort out yourself, or it may need your veterinary surgeon's help. We've asked PetPeople magazine vet Alison Logan for her top tips
Something stuck in their coat?
Is something offensive stuck to your cat's fur somewhere? Has your dog rolled in something unpleasant? Groom it out first if possible (easier when dry) then use an odour-eliminating pet shampoo - remember that cats do not naturally like being washed, and rabbits will need careful drying afterwards. Tomato ketchup is said to be very effective at counteracting the smell of fox muck, which lingers long after bathing. If you have any personal experience of this, let us know by commenting below. We'd love to hear your stories.
If the smell is because of a messy rear or urine soiling, then the underlying cause must be identified and treated. For example, if your dog has diarrhoea, then his rear will need washing repeatedly until the diarrhoea has been resolved.
A musty-smelling dog may have a skin problem, which will need specific veterinary treatment. The same could be true of a dog or cat with an ear infection, which may smell musty or even offensive if there is pus in the ear canal.
A dog or cat with impacted anal sacs may wash excessively at its rear in an attempt to alleviate the discomfort, resulting not only in smelly breath but also a general smell from transference to the coat during grooming.
Look inside your pet's mouth. Dental disease with rotten teeth and gingivitis will cause bad breath, and general body malodour from your pet licking its fur. You can only see your rabbit's front teeth, but drooling and wetness around the mouth can indicate dental disease. Other causes of halitosis include kidney disease, diabetes and throat infections.
Infections and worse
There may be a localised infection, such as an infected wound or abscess. A dog may have a weeping area of skin due to acute moist dermatitis, known as a hot spot and commonly just below the ear or over the rump. Cats often develop abscesses at the site of cat bites a day or so after fighting - pungent pus is released when they burst.
A smelly rabbit may be flyblown, especially if also unwell - look carefully around the rear for maggots, a telltale sign. This need not be fatal if detected early, but needs radical treatment for a successful outcome.
Good luck - and don't forget, we want to hear your experiences. Just comment below.