How do I get dog to stop stinking and itching?

I just adopted a 2 year old Lhasa Apso and after bathing her (she was almost brown with dirt) I noticed she has flaky, "yucky" skin near the base of her tail and she smells like wet dog no matter how many times I've bathed her. She also scratches behind her front legs alot. I know Lhasa's have very sensitive skin though.

Her previous owners were not taking very good care of her so I'm trying to make up lost time by starting her on a high protein diet (lamp and rice kibble) and bathing her and applying cortisone when I notice her scratching a lot. It seems to help but I don't know if the steroids are ok for a dog.

I know I need to get her to a vet, I'm waiting on getting her old vet records from her previous owners before proceeding. Any tips or ideas to help the stench and itching?

Asked by Member 1095186 on Feb 25th 2012 Tagged smell, bath, dog, lhasaapso, skin, itch in Skin Problems
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Gray Dawn Treader

As far as I know, baths won't take away the wet dog smell as it comes when they're wet in the first place. The higher quality diet may help, though.

Unless the vet tells you to, don't give any sort of medications to dogs.
May need to look into some different causes for the itching. Allergies? If so, is the allergy to something in her diet or environmental? Fleas? If she hasn't had any already, it shouldn't hurt to give her some flea meds.

Gray Dawn Treader answered on 2/25/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I wouldn't wait for the old vet records, because it sounds like the dog wasn't the highest priority for her previous owners. It sounds like you're describing a skin infection and could be mange. Neither of those are comfortable for dogs. If the infection is fungal, steroid cream is going to make it worse. The frequent bathing isn't necessarily indicated either, because you may be irritating or drying out otherwise healthy skin. Probably the vet will do a scraping of the "yucky" areas for testing. You really want to have it tested, since it isn't resolving on its own and, although you obviously have the best intentions, you could be making it worse. At the very least, it's important to get this poor girl some relief.

Best of luck!

Libby answered on 2/25/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


this is a great question

Member 1040372 answered on 2/26/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Over bathing can add to increased dryness and itching. You can try giving her a little bit of coconut oil every day - let her lick it off the spoon or put it in her food. This will help moisturize the skin from the inside out. Another suggestion is using PETfection Deodorizer/Allergy Spray. It is 100% Natural and Organic. It is amazing at helping with itchy spots/dry skin/odor/grease/etc. I use it for everything! You can spray it directly onto her as needed and rub down into the fur and skin. It will help moisturize and help the smell! Hope this helps.

Petri answered on 2/28/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I agree with the other posters that you shouldn't wait for the old records, if need be, the new vet can obtain them from the previous vet.

I am an 11 month old Lhasa; I do have sensitive skin and food allergies. I(Mom found out I am allergic to poultry) am on a "limited ingredients food" (venison or salmon with sweet potato) after having lots of loose stools and being miserable - the food cleared up my digestive problems and felt like my 5 mon old self.

I have had skin issues too - steroids are okay - the Vet gave us prednisone - but I drank a lot more than usual and got a little moody (just like people) plus I had to take them for 3 weeks - the vet said that I could have 2 mg Chlortrimeton every 8-12 hours if the scratching recurred. My shampoo was changed to an aloe-based shampoo - in less than a month's time I am back to my flirtatious self. Mom also bought a spray hydrocortisone at the pet store just in case.
Good luck!

Molly answered on 3/3/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer