A change in smells is reason to worry, especially when it happens in an older dog!

Here are a few reasons for a smell change in an older dog:

  • diabetes
  • bladder infection
  • dental disease
  • cancer

Smell change is a signal of a problem, and, as the previous list shows, the reasons for the smell change can be quite serious in the older dog. Diabetes means there is sugar in the urine and the immune system is weak so bladder infections as a minimum are more common. A bladder infection definitely has a strong smell and can affect the whole back end.

Commonly, healthy dogs will super sniff the back end of a dog with a bladder infection – this is another clue there is an issue. Dental disease, rotten teeth, make an incredible smell in the mouth. Any dog with rotten teeth who then grooms themselves makes the whole body smell. And, unfortunately, cancer also has a smell, a general not right smell.

For the examples just listed, if you notice a change in smell in your older dog it really, really needs to be checked out by a veterinarian. Bloodwork and urinalysis will quickly determine if there is diabetes, a bladder infection or dental disease. It sometimes takes more testing to determine cancer, but the longer it takes to make a diagnosis, the harder it is for your older dog to bounce back from the illness.

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