Chronic Bad Breath in Pets

Have you noticed your pet’s breath becoming worse, particularly over time? So, what does it mean when our pets have bad breath? If you notice that your furry friend’s mouth is starting to emit a foul, odorous smell, your pet may be experiencing some health-related issues.

Bad breath in your pets is usually a red flag that there are bacteria building up in your pet’s mouth— a predominant symptom of Periodontal or dental disease. The surface area on your pet’s teeth is easily prone to tartar and plaque build-up. The bacterium will eventually make its way to the gum line, and cause further damage to your pet’s teeth. In this health-related problem, treatment for this disease helps resolve this halitosis (bad breath). If you are noticing a bad odor coming from your pet’s mouth, the first step is to make an appointment, so that a member of our veterinary team can perform a thorough physical examination. During this visit, your Veterinarian will thoroughly evaluate your pet’s oral cavity for oral masses as well as plaque, tartar, and decay. In addition, your pet’s gingiva will be evaluated, looking for evidence of disease.

After an evaluation, if dental disease is noted, your veterinarian will likely recommend a dental cleaning. It is important to note that cavities can form under the gum-line eluding detection during your physical examination. Fortunately, dental radiographs can be taken during your dental cleaning to identify these problems below the gum-line.

Symptoms of Chronic Bad Breath:

  • Bleeding or red gums
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Rubbing face on floor
  • Drooling
  • A bad odor emanating from your pet’s mouth

Dental Cleanings

Before or on the day of your pet’s dental cleaning, blood work will be taken to identify any risks of anesthesia prior to proceeding. If given the all clear by a veterinarian, your pet will be given an injection of a sedative, which will make your pet sleepy. While any procedure carries a small risk of complication, our veterinary team will provide constant monitoring and supervision to minimize this risk. In addition, monitoring equipment will be placed to monitor your pet’s heart rate, oxygen, and blood pressure. Fortunately, complication rates are very low.

After sedation, your pet will be intubated to provide a means of delivery anesthesia and oxygen. Equally important, the intubation will provide protection to your pet’s airway, preventing harmful bacteria from going down your pet’s throat and into their lungs.

Once under anesthesia, dental radiographs will likely be taken and a treatment plan created. Any teeth determined to have cavities or significant decay will be removed. All other teeth will be thoroughly scaled, cleaned, and polished. After the procedure has concluded, your pet will be monitored constantly until awake. Patient’s go home the same day of the procedure and may be supplied pain medication or antibiotics. While your pet may be a little sleepy after the procedure, they are usually back to their old self within 24 hours.

If you are noticing bad breath in your pet’s mouth, please call our office to schedule a consultation. During your visit, one of our veterinarians can go into greater detail about your pet’s oral health, and answer any questions you may have.