C Diff Smell – 6 Key Facts for You

What does c diff smell like?

Nurses often compare the c diff odor to ‘sweet, sickly baby poo’,  ‘mouldy bread’, dead and decaying animal smells and similar comparisons. More mainstream medical journals compare the c diff smell to horse manure.

What does c diff diarrhea look like? 

The c diff stool appearance when you have c diff diarrhea is usually watery, has a mucus like consistency (like nasal discharge when you have a bad cold) with shreds of solid matter in the flow. Other conditions can cause this so be aware that only a c diff test can confirm that you are excreting c diff toxin.
c diff smell

What causes the c diff smell?

There is little information on this. The process of excreting waste routinely produces oderous methane in everyday life. The action of c diff allows other intestinal elements to enter the excreta and this may be a source of the additional stench. Because of the difficulty in keeping spotless hygiene during these frequent diarrhea attacks sufferers may also be carrying around a small, fine film of excreta on parts of their body, which will  contribute to a sense of being aware of a c diff smell.

Other C Difficile Questions

Is smelling it enough for a firm diagnosis?

Yes and no. It is a very good clue but it is not conclusive by any means. Foul smelling stools can be caused by other conditions. A test is also necessary to help establish what strain you have and help in the decisions about the best treatment process.

Does c diff always cause foul smelling diarrhea?

There is some anecdotal evidence that suggests that people do have severe c diff without the smell. We are seeking more medical insight from the journals and will post more on this.


Can medical staff ‘smell c diff?’

For a long time this was an anecdotal item of wisdom. A recent study in Dayton, Ohio found that health care workers were right in their smell diagnosis 79% of the time. Eventually there might be mechanical sensors that can alert medical staff to the key chemical triggers of the smell and allow faster and better treatment. Recent news reports suggest that this technology is being tested.

What about c diff smell dogs

Is there proof that they can be trained the infection? A Dutch hospital trained a dog to smell c diff. The two year old beagle was more sensitive to the c diff smell than humans and found 265 out of 270 non c diff sufferers and 25 out of 30 people with active infections.