Dear Porky and Buddy,
My dog, Frou Frou, (he’s a Doberman, it’s a long story) has suddenly, like in the last week or so, developed bad breath – really stinky, disgusting bad breath.
It’s not like he eats garbage or anything, but suddenly it’s more than I can stand just to let him sit on the couch with me. What should I do? Is there some kind of breath mint for dogs?
OK we won’t ask about his name, even though we are dying to.
That said, bad breath, what we call halitosis when we’re feeling fancy, needs a lot more attention than a breath mint.
Actually, for both dogs and people, it’s a sign of a potential health problem and the first thing you should do is call your vet.
Bad breath is the result of a build-up of odor-producing bacteria in Frou Frou’s mouth, lungs, or intestinal tract. It can mean that he just needs better dental care or that something is wrong in his gastrointestinal tract, liver, or kidneys.
It is always a warning sign that should be checked out.
In most cases, canine bad breath is caused by dental or gum disease, and some dogs are more prone than others to plaque and tartar.
But bad breath can also indicate very serious medical problems in the mouth, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract or internal organs.
Your veterinarian is the best person to pinpoint the cause. A physical examination and laboratory work may be performed.
Be ready to answer questions about his diet, exercise habits, and any behavioral changes.
Treatment will depend, obviously, on your vet’s diagnosis.
If plaque and gum disease are the problem, Frou Frou might need a professional cleaning and more regular daily dental care to follow up.
It may seem weird for you to start brushing his teeth, but it will be a lot better than stinky breath and your vet can get you started with advice about what to use and how.
If it’s an issue of diet, you might have to change his regular food.
If the cause is gastrointestinal or an abnormality in his liver, kidneys, or lungs, you and your vet will have to decide the next steps.
We wish you luck so that you can resume your couch sitting as soon as possible!
On a lighter note, how about celebrating your love of fur balls at the Fur Ball?
On April 29, from 6 to 11 p.m. at The American Foundry, 246 W. Seneca St., Oswego, there will be dinner and dancing, contests, a fabulous silent auction and more.
Invitations will be coming this month or go to our website to reserve a ticket online.
$60 per person or $100 per couple.
Or call our office to ask about sponsorship.
You know you’re a party animal!
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Located at 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.