Does your pet have smelly breath? Halitosis (bad breath) is common in pets and can occur for several reasons.
The most common cause of bad breath in dogs and cats is dental disease. Even a small amount of dental tartar and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) can lead to a bacterial infection in the mouth which causes bad breath. A staggering 80% of pets have some form of dental disease by 2 years of age. Fortunately, if caught early enough, dental disease can be treated by veterinarians without it causing permanent damage to your pet. Prevention of dental disease via brushing, dental diets and dental chews is the most effective way to preserve your pet’s teeth for life.
Another cause of bad breath in pets is cancers of the mouth, tongue and throat. This occurs more commonly in middle aged to older pets but can affect animals of any age. Tumours can affect the jaw bone and/or the soft tissues of the mouth resulting in inflammation and secondary infection. Many cancers grow so quickly that the blood supply can’t keep up meaning that some of the tumour begins to become diseased causing further bad breath. Early diagnosis is crucial as many oral cavity cancers can be aggressive and spread to other parts of the body. A detailed oral cavity examination by a veterinarian can allow early diagnosis and treatment which greatly reduces the impact many of these tumours can have on our pet’s lives.
Some breeds of dogs – especially the Cocker Spaniel, can be genetically prone to developing lip folds near the mouth on the lower jaw that become infected due to the constant presence of moisture from the mouth. This can cause pain and inflammation and a very foul smell. These lip folds are not required for the health of the animal and surgical removal can greatly improve these dog’s quality of life – and their breath!!
If your pet has bad breath contact your local Sydney Animal Hospitals for a free dental and oral cavity health check by one of our friendly qualified vet nurses during June, July and August.
For more information contact your local Sydney Animal Hospitals on:
Newtown (02) 9519 4111
69-73 Erskineville Road Erskineville
Inner West (02) 9516 1466
1A Northumberland Ave Stanmore
Norwest (02) 8883 0411
Unit 8, 1-3 Celebration Dr Bella Vista
Kellyville (02) 8883 0533
106 Windsor Rd Kellyville
Newport (02) 9997 4609
1 Palm Rd Newport
Avalon (02) 9918 0833
710 Barrenjoey Rd Avalon Beach
As seen in the June Issue of Pittwater Life Magazine
Blog written by Dr. Ben Brown Director Sydney Animal Hospitals – Northern Beaches