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My Dog Has Terribly Bad Breath

Your adopted terrier mix Skittles has to be the happiest dog on the planet. Skittles is thrilled to have a comfortable home with tasty dog food and a cushy bed. In fact, Skittles is so happy he shows his appreciation every morning, hopping on your bed and giving you a flurry of wet kisses while you’re waking up. Trouble is, Skittles has breath that would make an elephant keel over. Medically speaking, Skittles has a nasty case of halitosis, or bad breath. You can’t take it any more, so you’ve asked your Temecula veterinarian to determine the cause of Skittles’ nasty breath and make his mouth smell better.

Foul-smelling Symptoms

You already know Skittles has atrocious breath. However, if he also suffers from a mouth disease, you might notice a few loose teeth, and Skittles might often paw at his mouth. Skittles might also drool like a fool, especially all over your leather car seats. Good thing you’ve covered Skittles’ back seat perch with a thick blanket that will protect your seat from Skittles’ mouth secretions.

Source of the Stinky Breath

First, the obvious culprits. Skittles might have chowed down on your garbage, local road kill, or even his own droppings. Periodontal disease, caused by a plaque bacteria buildup, can be the source of Skittles’ awful breath. Or, Skittles might suffer from throat, sinus, nasal passage, or tonsil inflammation. Poor Skittles could also be plagued by a bad-smelling fungal or bacterial infection; or he might have developed diabetes or a different metabolic disorder. Since Skittles is intensely curious, he might have chewed on an electric cord or other foreign object.

Visual Diagnostic Tools

Your vet will probably conclude that periodontal disease has caused Skittles’ toxic breath; and X-rays will likely confirm this diagnosis. Even with that evidence, though, your vet will also examine Skittles’ mouth with a fine-tooth comb, looking for signs that indicate an additional medical problem.

Straightforward Treatment

To treat Skittles’ periodontal disease, your vet will first clean and polish your dog’s teeth. If Skittles has a tooth that has lost more than 50 percent of its surrounding bone and gum tissues, the vet will likely pull that tooth. Your vet might also prescribe a medication that will stop Skittles’ mouth bacteria from running rampant in his choppers; even better, the medication will improve Skittles’ breath.

Give Skittles a good daily tooth brushing to keep plaque from accumulating around his gums and teeth. Your Temecula vet can give you some tips on safely brushing your pooch’s teeth. Don’t allow Skittles to snack on food scraps or garbage; and clean up his deposits quickly so he’s not tempted to chow down on them, either.

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