Your female dog’s fishy odor could be a result of a Urinary Tract Infection, Pyometra, or Vaginitis.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
As the name suggests, a UTI is an infection of the urinary tract. Bacteria are the most observed cause of UTIs in dogs. Dogs are typically more prone to developing a UTI than any other infectious disease.
Escherichia coli is a bacterium that is most commonly responsible for causing UTIs, however, several other bacteria and fungi can cause UTIs. In some cases, a UTI is a secondary condition to illnesses like Cushing’s disease.
Aside from a fishy odor, symptoms of a UTI include frequent urinating, dripping urine, licking of the urinary area, and a fever. Treatment for a UTI is prescribed antibiotics, along with increased water intake to cleanse the bladder.
Pyometra is the infection of the womb. It is a serious health condition that can easily lead to the death of your dog if left untreated.
Pyometra typically develops when your dog is in heat. Usually, when your dog is in heat, it should smell as it normally smells. Therefore, a fishy odor is unusual and is indicative of an infection.
The hormonal changes that your dog experiences while they are in heat, make them prone to developing infections like pyometra. As the infection progresses, their womb will fill with pus, which can lead to kidney failure, blood poisoning, and death.
There are two types of pyometra, closed and open. Closed pyometra occurs when the womb closes and the pus is trapped inside, which may cause the womb to burst. If your dog has an open pyometra, you will see blood and pus coming from their vagina.
Symptoms of pyometra include a foul fishy odor emanating from your dog’s vagina, vomiting, collapsing, exhaustion, and weakness.
The main treatment for pyometra is surgery. Along with surgery, your dog will be required to take medication such as antibiotics, hormonal medication, and be put on a drip to ensure that they remain hydrated.
Vaginitis is the inflammation of the vagina. It is most commonly observed in unspayed puppies and adult dogs.
Vaginitis has several causes, such as vaginal tumors, vaginal trauma, urinary tract infections, and abnormally situated ureter. As you may expect, the symptoms of vaginitis may vary depending on its cause.
However, common symptoms include frequent urination, licking of the vaginal area, mucus or bloody discharge, and the vagina will look red and swollen.
The treatment for vaginitis is also significantly dependent on its cause. Regardless of what you suspect the cause to be, you should still consult the veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis.
This will ensure that your dog receives the appropriate treatment timeously, which will prevent your dog from having to endure the discomfort for a prolonged period.