Press "Enter" to skip to content

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.


  1. Courtney Courtney

    I’m concerned my infant has cdiff. He had an awful cough and this doctor put him on a zpak, said he wasn’t sure what it was but said if it is something the zpak would cure it, if not, then… they’d do nothing. If he took this medicine for no reason, could it cause cdiff?? Also, his poop is green with chunks of hard matter that almost looks like flesh. It also smells like rotten poultry. Is this a sign? There’s no fever, but I’ve been up for 2 days with a fussy baby. I’m afraid to take him back to the local hospital. They seem incompetent.

  2. Erin Erin

    Flagyl makes your stomach hurt . I had to stop treatment .

  3. Treva Marquardt Treva Marquardt

    I have cdiff, can I have dental work done without taking antibiotics

    • The antibiotics with respect to dental work are often given as a precaution ‘just in case’. In your case they might well make things worse for your other condition. Discuss with your dentist and your MD whether there are other options.

  4. Michael L McCann MD my father was on his 3rd failed vancomycin treatment when we tried your method. Still waiting for latest stool sample results but dad, who is 88 years old, has regained strength and a solid stool. We are so thankful to you for the information you provided. Thank you!

  5. Michael L McCann Michael L McCann

    You may need parenterol fluids (IV s) but for sure you will need a course of a reliable probiotic which is far more important than an antibiotic

  6. Diane Savoy Diane Savoy

    I developed cdiff after taking antibiotics. constant nausea, I couldn’t even keep water or Gatoraid down last night. 50 trips to the bathroom I went back to the Dr. today. I am completely exhausted. Praying this goes away soon. Taking flagyl but my stomach is killing me. what is the average time for this to pass?

    • suffering now suffering now

      10 to 14 days possibly a bit longer as some might need 2 bouts of antibiotics. You should also ask your dr for vav.acom I think that is the name not certain

      • Colon Blow Colon Blow

        Vancomycin is the word you’re looking for. A bit late on this thread, but I believe I have developed C:Diff again (1st time in 5 years). Vancomycin is what they gave me in the hospital.

Leave a Reply