I have a dog that has many allergies - both dietary and environmental. The dog eats RAW diet for years now and does very well on it. In the last 2 months I have noticed a "Urine" type smell coming from his head area. I can smell it on his jowls, the top of his head/neck, and comng from his mouth. I have washed him, I have used dog calone sprays, and I can still smell a distinct urine type smell arround his muzzle.
What could this be?
Others that have sniffed him only seem to smell the calones, but I KNOW im smelling something "off" with him.
The smell that you describe may be due to uremia since your dog has increased Creatinine levels. Uremia occurs with kidney disease (elevated creatinine levels usually indicate kidney insufficiency or disease). When the kidneys are no longer able to completely filter nitrogenous waste, it builds up in the blood. When nitrogenous waste is not filtered properly, a uremic odor can be present coming from the mouth. If you have a very sensitive nose you may be able to smell it even if your dog only has mild kidney problems
Very high protein diets produce more urea and this can also contribute to the smell. Raw diets are very high protein diets, obviously. What may have been a healthy diet for your dog when he was younger may no longer be suitable now that he is a senior citizen. I am not opposed to pasteurized raw diets in some select patients; however, I don't believe that one diet fits all patients. Diets should be geared to the individual. In that case, it may be wise to try a new hypoallergenic diet as a therapeutic trial for 1 to 2 months for your dog. If the smell goes away you will have your answer. Switch over from the raw diet to the new diet over a one week period.
Other causes of mouth odor are dental disease with gum disease (gingivitis or peridontitis), lip fold infection (yeast or bacteria), or yeast or bacterial infection anywhere close to the mouth, even the nose.
Thank you very much for the informaiton. I would not have thought it to have been related to his kidneys. He does have weak kidnesy and was in the hospital for renal failure the fall of 2008. He was treated, medicated, and released with follow up treatmets of homeopathic care. Upon ultrasound of his kidneys, it was found he had a thickened bladder wall.
He was in for surgery in Dec/Jan to have a lump removed and his blood had pre surgery screening done. I do not know if they looked at the creatinine levels at that time.
I will have his blood tested agan next week.
Thank you agian for brining this to my attention!
An ideal diet for him would be 50% meats (or fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs or cottage cheese, or combination) and 50% of a combination of fruits, vegetables (and/or grains: millet, oatmeal, etc. if non-allergic) and essential fats (flax seed or oil, fish oils,etc). You would only use ingredients that he is not allergic too, of course. If making a home-made diet: all ingredients can be placed in a slow cooker and made into a stew. Please remember to season it, as you would if cooking for yourself. The only limitation to seasoning is please don't use onions or raisens, and go light on the salt. If it tastes good to you, it will likely taste good to your dog, and I personally have owners who eat this stew along with their dogs (especially when they use salmon or shrimp, for some reason).
If he is on a home-made diet please also include a good human hypo-allergenic multi-vitamin. His dose would be the same as an adult human if he is Doberman sized. Good choices are; Rx Vitamins and Pure Encapsulation brands, among many other brands.
To support his kidneys he should also take the Chinese herbal formula: Rehmannia 8 at the very least. He would be on 2 times the adult human dose for this supplement. Other good additions include a probiotic such as Culturelle brand, and a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement both at a human dose.
He is currently eating ground raw chicken or turkey meat with bone in. For veg he gets an assortment of yams, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, apples (no seeds) bananas, peaches, lettuce cores, asparagus, etc.
For supplements each meal he gets kelp and herring oil, glucoimine, choindrotin and once a week he gets HA powder as well.
Sometimes, depending on the groc selection in our fridge he will get other things in a meal once in a while. Things like yogurt or yogurt drinks, fruit or veg juice, raspberries, blueberries, pomegranate.
For treats he gets any of the veg, off cuts of chicken or beef fat. Occasionally he gets a frozen Kong stuffed with things like cottage cheese, carrots and peanut butter.
I did try regular treats again for a while, but he started getting itchy again. We were feeding treats that were yam and fish based, I think he may be allergic to the preservatives...
He was on Chinese herbs from our vet. They recommended we do rotations on and off of them. Also, they would adjust them as needed thought a session.
He has not been on herbs for a few months now, so when we get his blood tested, we will see what they say.
I cannot remember what type of herbs they were (name wise) Sorry.
I have not thought of putting him on a human multi vitamin before, although he has had Vit C before. I will talk about this with our vet again.
You sound like you have a great vet and that you are rigorous with treatment. The diet sounds really good too.
Chinese herbal formula's for kidney disease should be continued for as long as the patient has the kidney disease and they should not be something that should be given sporadically. Rehmannia 8 is totally safe for long term use.
Thought I would post an update. Preliminary, but urine came back within normal range. So we opted for no blood test at this point. Vet is calling another specialist about blood vs skin allergy testing to see which is best for us (as I wanted it done anyhow)
Vet could not notice smell what I/hubby are noticing, but trusted that it is a "different" smell than how the dog is usual. Vet figures the smell is more allergy related than kidney due to urine test and no "other" previous symptoms. Put dog on a herb for skin and will try for four weeks.
Vet advised warming/cooking the raw food a bit to help digestion. As true wild meat would have been caught fresh and warm. Refrigerated or partally frozen food may be to hard on digestion and may not be getting what dog need from it.
Gave first RAW cooked meal this AM and first room temp RAW meal this PM. I am not crazy about the idea of cooked RAW food, as it has bone in it, but its very fine ground, but still... Dog would eat a green ham if I would let him....
Talking with another homeopathic, said I could use things like grated parsnips on food and Selinium to help detox liver and kidneys if its a big worry.
Dog has seemed fine other than the odor as far as kidneys go. I will wait and see how dog does on new herbs and go from there. Dont want to do to many things at once and never know what really worked.
I have a bad habit of doing that!
Will keep you updated as things progress, as I love to know how things turn out, and I can only imagine that you do to!
Thanks for all the help, your advice def got the dog into the vet at least 10 days earlier than his next apt and addressed the issue head on, rather than in passing.
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