Why Does My Dog Smell Weird After Getting Neutered?

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Ever wonder why your dog has a funky odor after they get neutered? It may be a bit more common than you think!

For owners who have ever had a dog neutered, you know all too well the funky smell that may be present from some mild bloody discharge after surgery. This should only last for about a week or so. 

It won’t stink up your entire house, but there is a slightly off-putting smell to it mixed with the fact most pups are restricted from bathtime for two weeks while their stitches heal. While many puppy owners can agree the odor is terrible, it is actually quite normal for our puppies to have an odd smell after getting spayed or neutered. 

Female dogs tend to give off a worse odor than male dogs as they, on average, release more discharge around the vulva during recovery time. Male dogs can still have an odor that develops due to not being able to bathe your dogs as their testes heal. 

If there is a powerful odor, it may be a good idea to call your vet. Dog fur holds bacteria, and when it gets some bloody discharge, it may cause a smell. It’s essential, though, to be aware of any powerful smells or other symptoms that may be signs of infection. 


Is This Normal or Safe for My Dog to Smell Like This? 

While many puppy owners can agree the odor is bad, it is actually quite normal for our puppies to have an odd smell after getting spayed or neutered. To protect their sutures and allow them to heal, it is recommended to not bathe or brush your dog for at least two weeks. This may cause their fur to get a bit matty and smell. 

For the most part, it’s normal unless you smell an extremely strong yeasty or fish smell, and that could be a sign of infection. One reason dogs wear cones is to prevent them from smelling and licking any discharge or infection, which may give off a more enticing odor to our canines as gross as it sounds. 


How Long Should This Smell Last?

Generally, this smell should not last past the dog’s recovery time (about two weeks at most). The worst part of the smell will be towards the beginning of healing, within the first few days. 

Once their stitches are healed, and they can receive a good bath, the smell should no longer be there. If you notice an odor getting progressively worse the longer the recovery time goes on, it could be a sign of infection. 


How Do I Get Rid of This Smell? 

Unfortunately, there is no one way to take this smell away. Keeping your dog as clean as possible pre and post-surgery will help to reduce odor for the most part. The restriction of bath time as part of the healing process makes it pretty challenging to keep your dog’s hygiene fresh and smelling good, but there are a few things owners can do to keep the smell at bay. 

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Preventing the smell before surgery

One recommended idea is to get your dog groomed before their surgery. Request that the groomers do a careful “sanitation trim.” This will get extra fur off around their genital areas, which tend to carry more bacteria. It’s important pet owners let their groomers perform this kind of haircut because when trimming around sensitive areas, it’s crucial to prevent any cuts that could lead to an infection.

Have your vet shave your dog before surgery 

Some vet offices may even shave parts of the dog themselves for better hygiene and easier access if you are worried that your dog’s fur is in the way and couldn’t find time to take them to a groomer. Your vet’s office should have no issue assisting you with this. 

Have your vet shave your dog before surgery 

Grooming Wipes 

Grooming wipes are also a godsend for the recovery period until your pup can take a proper bath again. These are hypoallergenic and sensitive wipes that can be used to get bacteria off fur. It is important not to let your dog sit in their bloody discharge as this can increase the risk of infection and will only worsen the smell. 

We highly recommend checking out dog or groomer wipes where you can lightly wipe your dogs down until they can be bathed. These come in a light, fresh scent and may help with the odor. You may also want to avoid having your dog sleep in your bed with you if that’s the usual thing. Putting a dog bed down with a couple of old blankets you have no problem throwing away is ideal for them to sleep during recovery. 

Hypo-Allergenic Dog Spray 

Like humans, sometimes our dogs need a quick freshen up. Because bathtimes are restricted, this leaves owners with grooming wipes, as mentioned above, or a dog spray that leaves behind a refreshing scent. 

This won’t totally take your dog’s odor away but may help neutralize any odor for the time being. This can simply be sprayed onto your dog’s wet or dry hair to boost a good scent. Avoid spraying near the incision or any part of your dog that had surgery. 

There are many sprays available, but it’s essential to find one that is sensitive for all dog skin types and hypoallergenic. This will help reduce the likelihood of your dog having a bad reaction. 


What Happens When Your Dog Gets fixed? 

Both female and male dogs get fixed. Many pet owners use these terms interchangeably, but spaying is the proper term for getting your female dog fixed. While getting your dog fixed is considered getting them neutered. 

Although both surgeries cause an odd odor in your dog, this is the process of removing her entire reproductive system, including ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. 

It’s a good idea to get your female dog spayed as it can help avoid messes in the home and prevent them from having more puppies if you don’t plan on having her bred. Spaying your dog can also reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as pyometra (an infection of the uterus that can be deadly) and mammary gland cancer. 

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In male dogs, it is good to get them neutered because it decreases sexual aggression and the need to mark their territories and spotting. This is a simple procedure that sterilizes your pup from being able to produce any puppies. 

Neutering a dog involves removing its testicles through a small incision in the scrotum. Your dog will be under anesthesia for this, but the surgery itself does not take that long or is very complicated. 

Male dogs who do not get neutered can reproduce heavily and will have a very high libido. This high libido can cause a rise in testosterone and make your male dogs more prone to fighting with other male dogs. Neutering your male canine also reduces the risks of certain diseases, including testicular cancer and prostate diseases. 


Signs of Infection After Your Dog Gets Neutered

Signs of Infection After Your Dog Gets Neutered

Being mindful of possible infections is extremely important after any surgery with your dog. This means taking precautions and being extra observant for the following few weeks after your dog gets surgery. 

As mentioned above, if you notice the odor getting progressively worse, it may signify an infection. When bacteria get into the incision, it can cause excessive growth leading to bacterial infections. While this surgery does not have a high risk for infection, it is still something to be mindful of. Continue below for possible signs of infections.  

Discoloration of the wound 

Watch to make sure the wound isn’t an abnormal color or too red. There may be a small bit of swelling initially, but it should go after a day or two.

Hotness of Skin

When increased blood flow from bacteria rises to the skin’s surface, this can cause swelling and produce a hot-to-touch area. If you notice your dog has a swollen area that is also hot to the touch, this may be an obvious sign of an infected wound. 

Fatigue or Fever 

This is important to watch for because if bacteria enters the bloodstream and causes a general infection, your pup may get a fever and be extremely tired. While general fatigue may be expected after this kind of surgery, you should notice your puppy gaining energy after the first couple of days. If they continue to only get more fatigued, this may be a time to call your vet. 

Incision Leaking 

Maintaining proper care and concern over your pup’s stitches is an integral part of their healing process. Keeping their stitches free from ripping or leaking is the best way to prevent infection and bad odor. Incisions that are leaking, releasing puss, or are hot to the touch could be growing excessive and unnecessary bacteria. 


Post-Surgery Hygiene 

The recovery time is important for your pup to be back to their best self. Although bathing is restricted, it is vital to keep their incision site clean to minimize any bad smells. 

Dogs tend to want to lick their wounds, but this is why most vets advise using a cone. Your pup may be extra tired at first, so giving them a nice resting spot is essential. Keeping them away from other dogs or small children is also best as their stitches are extremely delicate.