Q. We have a French Bull Mastiff. Unfortunately, he has a very strong doggie smell, even though he is washed and brushed regularly. What can we do to combat this problem?
A. The "doggie" smell can be caused by several things.
One of the most common is anal gland impaction / infection - this would require a vet to check the anal glands and empty them and depending how bad the infection, the vet may also prescribe a course of antibiotics.
The next most common is poor dental hygiene. If the mouth has a lot of bacterial infection or inflammation of the mouth the by-products of the bacteria produce a nasty smell - in grooming itself the dog can spread this smell over the coat. This would require an examination by a vet and either a dental scale and extractions if necessary under general anaesthetic or advice on home dental care such as toothbrushing / dental care foods.
Finally, a condition of the skin called seborrhoea can also cause a bad smell. This is essentially the glands of the skin producing too much grease in the coat. This makes the dog’s coat prone to bacterial infection and the byproducts of these bacteria produce an unpleasant smell. Regular washing with shampoos available from the vet to reduce the seborrhoea can help with this. This is a common condition in Bull Mastiffs.