Fresh, minty breath is not something that dogs are known for, but as a pet-owner, you have the unique privilege of knowing exactly how your dog’s bad breath smells on a day-to-day basis. If the odor is unusually strong, pungent and refusing to go away, there could be some serious underlying health concerns that you should be aware of, and consult your vet about immediately.
# 1: KIDNEY DISORDER
If the scent is peculiarly reminiscent of ammonia, a decreased functioning of the kidneys could be the reason. When kidneys are not processing and eliminating waste material at an optimal rate, the pile-up spills into the bloodstream and bad breath is a worrying symptom of this condition.
# 2: WEAKENED LIVER
One of the most noticeable symptoms of a weak liver is bad breath. Look for other accompanying markers of bad liver function such as loss of appetite, vomiting and a yellow discoloration of gums and eyes.
# 3: NASAL INFECTIONS
Respiratory track diseases, like sinusitis and nasal tumors, produce pus that trickle into the throat and can infuse the breath with the stench of decomposing blood cells and bacteria.
# 4: GUM DISEASE
By the age of two, almost 80 per cent of dogs develop some sort of gum disease. The condition cannot be ignored in dogs because infected, bleeding gums are not just painful, the active bacteria eat away at dental bones and tissues and attack the liver, heart and kidneys as well. If your dog’s halitosis is noticeably strong, check the gums for sponginess, inflammation and redness.
# 5: INGESTION OF TOXINS
If your pet has accidently eaten some toxic, chemical material (like antifreeze, rat killer etc.) while playing in the yard, the smell will manifest in their breath as well.
# 6: DIABETES
A top note of sweet, fruitiness in your dog’s bad breath may be a sign of diabetes ketoacidosis, because it compromises the animal’s immunity and allows bacteria to colonize the mouth. Notice if your pet is drinking more water than usual and urinating more frequently, as these are other notable symptom of diabetes.
# 7: ORAL TUMORS
Abnormal tissue growth in the roof of the mouth, back of the throat, gums, cheeks and tongue give off a bad oral odor. Benign tumors do not cause as much halitosis as malignant ones (unless they get lacerated by the teeth), therefore early detection and treatment is absolutely crucial in this case.
# 8: FOOD
Besides garbage and rotten stuff that your dog may have enjoyed as a secret treat, some pet foods can lead to intensified bad breath as well. Consider this if your dog’s mouth odor problem began right around the time when you changed its dry food or wet food brand.