My Dog’s Armpits Stink

Are you ashamed of walking around with your four-legged friend due to their smell? If yes, do not hate your dog since they could be suffering from a medical condition. The skin condition is known as Seborrhea or Seborrheic dermatitis. It is a condition that affects both dogs and humans but is more common to dogs. The seborrheic dermatitis condition makes the skin oily, greasy, and flake, which results in a bad smell.

Additionally, a dog suffering from seborrhea releases a smelly waxy, and greasy substance around the ears, belly, ankles, and armpits. The best way to treat seborrhea is learning its causes and administering medication. Read on for comprehensive information about seborrhea and how to treat it.  

What Are the Common Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Ideally, there are two major causes of dogs’ stinky armpits: underlying medical conditions and genetic conditions. Genetics are common to several breeds such as German shepherds, cocker spaniels, golden retrievers, and Doberman pinschers. Genetic seborrhea may affect other dog breeds not mentioned here, but those mentioned are the most affected. A dog that has inherited the seborrhea condition starts showing these signs before they are two years old.

On the other hand, seborrhea may be caused by an already existing medical condition. These conditions include allergies, dietary deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, parasites, and endocrine disorders.

Symptoms and Types of Seborrhea

Seborrhea mainly occurs in two forms; the oily and dry form. Your dog may have one of these types or both at the same time.  A nasty smell around the armpits is the most common sign of seborrhea. You may also notice the foul smell around the ears, elbows, ankles, and the belly. In addition to the bad smell, your dog may have symptoms like dandruff-like flakes, scaly skin, oily coat, and greasy skin. You may also notice itchiness and red skin around the areas affected.

Diagnosis of Seborrhea in Dogs

You do not need to eliminate your dog due to the foul smell since this is something treatable. The cause of the condition determines the diagnosis and treatment of seborrhea in dogs. When you take your dog to the vet for treatment, they start by conducting a physical and history test on the dog to know the causes of the condition. If the condition is not inherited, they continue with other tests like skin scraping and a fecal exam to rule out parasites. Other tests are done to determine the sugar levels and evaluate the pancreas, liver, and kidney. In case any of these areas are affected, it could result in the skin problem.

Since underlying diseases like hypothyroidism are potential causes, complete blood count tests, urinalysis, and thyroid tests are done to rule it out. Bacterial and fungal tests will determine their presence in the body. The vet may also decide to carry out a cortisol test, which helps determine whether the dog is suffering from Cushing’s syndrome. Cushing’s syndrome is a condition affecting older dogs and mainly affects the skin.

Treatment of Seborrhea

It’s easy to treat the condition after identifying the cause of seborrhea. In case the condition is genetic, it is tricky to treat the condition completely. In this case, your vet will advise you on ways to control it. For instance, they may administer conditioners and shampoos, which you will use to wash the dog and keep off the smell. There are also mineral and vitamin supplements that you can use to boost the dog’s health and fight the condition. Medications such as antibiotics will help treat and prevent other seborrhea effects, such as itching, among others.

In case seborrhea is from an underlying medical condition, the condition is solved by treating the existing medical condition. For instance, if parasites are the causes, you treat them by eliminating them. You can also get medication with antioxidants and micro essentials that will help maintain healthy skin. Healthy skin will resist such issues when exposed to them in the future. Strictly follow the medical recommendation given by the vet to help promote faster healing.


A smelling dog can be shaming and intolerable to live with, no matter how well they behaved. If bathing the dog is not working, there may be a more complicated condition affecting it. Seborrhea is a common skin condition in dogs, which is the reason for the smelling armpits. Help your dog avoid isolation from people by treating and managing seborrhea, as advised above.

1 thought on “My Dog’s Armpits Stink

  1. Kristina Greenwell

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