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Why Does My Pomeranian Stink /
 Have a Bad Odor?

The Pomeranian is such a cute dog, it can be frustrating if a Pom has a consistent bad odor. 
We should note that this is a separate and distinct issue from bad breath.

In this section, we will discuss the possible reasons why a Pom may have a bad smell or stink that emits from the entire body. 

The smell may be described as a sort of musty smell and in some cases it can be so overwhelming that it makes you turn your head away.

For chronic odor problems, baths with regular shampoo will not get rid of the stink and any fragrances will only temporarily mask the problem. 
In just about all cases, the problem is going to stem from the skin. So, first let’s look at the possible skin issues that could be the culprit.

Reason 1- Bacterial Infection: What starts off as a little itch can quickly turn into infection. When faced with an irritant or an allergy, quite often this fragile toy breed will have itchy skin… Then, if scratching and focusing on one certain area, the skin breaks open and bacteria sets in. At this point, without prescribed mediation, the problem will only worsen.

What can cause an allergic reaction? Lots of things… Contact allergies can include everything from chemicals that are on grass to residue from cleaning solution that is clinging to a Pom’s blanket that he or she rests upon. If an owner can catch itching in the beginning stages, a bath with an oatmeal base can offer comfort.

It takes a bit of detective work, however an owner will need to take a step back and see what their dog comes into contact with on a regular basis. Switching to a hypoallergenic laundry detergent, canine shampoo and conditioner can be of great help. Chemicals from outside can be brought in and become embedded into carpeting. In homes with wall-to-wall, a vacuum with an approved HEPA filter and rid the flooring of microbes.

If the trigger cannot be identified, testing can be done. While not always conclusive, it can offer hope.

Inhaled allergens can also cause itching, which leads to scratching and can lead to a bad smell from infection. Canines can be sensitive to the same things that humans are: pollens, ragweed, etc. For seasonal reactions, antihistamines can help a great deal.

Depending on the veterinarians’ diagnoses, treatment may include antihistamines, steroid based medications and topical creams. Certain areas may be covered to prevent scratching until the sores have healed.
Reason 2 - Fungus / Yeast Infection: Aside from a bad odor, this type of issue can also cause a thinning of the hair. The skin itself may appear to be greasy or oily. It may be red and/or flaky and scaly. In some cases there will also be a noticeable discharge that also smells terrible. Without treatment, there can be areas of the skin that become thick and darker in color.
This can be caused by moisture that is trapped under the thick, heavy coat of the Pomeranian. Alternatively, it can be caused by other infection or allergies.

It is important that this is treated before an owner takes any steps to keep the coat dry. For example, blow drying the coat after bathing will cause extreme discomfort and irritation, and will not be helpful once the fungi has set in.

The veterinarian will take a small sample to test and may also draw blood for testing. Generally, topical treatments are applied, both as a cream and a special shampoo that will help to remove the scales, oils and, in turn, the offensive odor.
Antibiotics may also be given. With proper treatment, the bad smell will go away in approximately 1 week. Even after it has cleared up, a check-up will be needed to test and make sure that the fungus has been eradicated.
Reason 3 -Mites: These are actually tiny parasite that feed on the top layer of skin. A sign that a Pom has mites is a sort of dusting on the coat, which are essentially tiny skin particles. It may have a bad musty smell. You may wonder how your dog caught mites and you may be surprised…They can catch this when at the dog park, the pet supply store or on a doggie play date… just about anywhere that there are other animals.

To diagnose this, the veterinarian may take scraping, however in some cases the mites can be seen with a magnifying glass (they are yellow). Treatment will be for all pets in the home, even if symptoms are not present. Also, bedding, clothes and carpeting must be treated as well.

Special mediated shampoo will be given to you and you will be instructed to bath your Pomeranian many times (up to once per day). If there is moderate to severe swelling, anti-inflammatory medication will be given as well.
While one never wants to clip the coat short on this breed, in some cases it will be recommended in order to rid the dense coat of this tiny pest. If at all possible, avoid having the undercoat clipped… If only clipping the top layer, there is a better chance that it will eventually grow back. 
Reason 4 - Anal Glands: The stench of the fluid that can is held in the anal glands can be overpowering and knock you off your feet. It is amazing how much of a bad smell can come from such a small area! All canines have a pair of these glands, each one located on one side of the anus. Without issues, they very slowly secrete a fluid. If they become impacted and are not expressed (similar to popping a pimple) , they can burst. That will result in a very dark fluid spurting out, which has a smell that is hard to describe, although some compare it to skunk spray.

If the glands are irritated with a buildup of fluid, a dog will rub their behind on the ground. Many owners mistake this for the dog “learning to wipe himself”, but what he is actually doing is trying to relieve the discomfort that the swollen glands are causing.

If you smell this, it means that they have already burst open. What you can do is clean up your Pom, gently allowing lukewarm water to rinse over the area. Have your Pomeranian rest and sleep atop a soft baby blanket that has been washed in hypoallergenic detergent.

Check the area each day, if it looks irritated, swollen, red or infected, bring your Pom to the vet, as infection may have set in where the skin broke open. In the future, keep an eye on the glands so that if they become swollen you can express them or you can bring your dog to the groomer. Do be sure that the groomer has experience with this and it can be done in just a matter of seconds.
Tips for Keeping Your Pom Smelling Nice

Since it will be 3 weeks in between baths, there are some things that you can do to keep your Pomeranian smell fresh and clean during this time:

1) Use a scented light misting coat spray - Not only do these keep the fur smelling nice, a good leave-in product will also protect the coat from static, sun damage, the effects of dry air and contact friction. Be sure not to use too much since you don't want it to build up too much; a light misting all over the body, is all that is needed.  We love Nootie and you can find it under 'Grooming' in the Pomeranian Specialty Shoppe.

2) Brushing your Pom's teeth on a regular basis is very important to keep his teeth and gums healthy, but that minty smell from the paste doesn't last very long. Offer dental chews that strengthen teeth, clean plaque and freshen breath.

3) Use a canine wipe to clean your Pom's rear end after bowel movements. It's very common for tiny pieces of feces to become stuck to the fur around a Pom's anus after going to the bathroom. A quick swipe with a damp wipe will help stop the smell of poop that may otherwise be there. If there are certain long hairs that always seem to have poo clung to them, you can clip or trim them for hygiene reasons. 
You may also be interested in:

Pomeranian is panting - While a Pom may breath a bit heavier right after running around, heavy panting is not normal for this breed. Read the reasons why this may be happening and steps that owners should take.
Pomeranian is limping - This can be due to a range of different issues from a sliver stuck in the paw to the more serious issue of luxating patella. 
Pomeranian is shaking - While some will say that toy breeds shake and this is normal, if a Pomeranian is shaving and shivering, owners need to look at the reasons why and make quick changes. 
Pomeranian had dandruff - It is not all that uncommon for this breed to have some dry skin issues and dandruff is one of them.
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