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Bad Breath in Pets

I love my dogs and cats especially because of all the kisses (licks) I get. Recently there has been a smell left on my hands where I have been licked and when I examined my dog’s mouth there was a horrible odor. The mouth odor of dogs and cats should not be offensive, granted they can have a little different breath after eating but that lasts only 30 minutes or so. Breath that smells like rotten eggs, the garbage or worse is definitely not normal.

Dogs and cats, just like us develop plaque on their teeth every day. This plaque holds bacteria and this bacteria feeds on the food animals eat. This bacteria-laden plaque causes the bad breath and can damage the gums and other tissues that hold teeth in place. The longer the plaque stays on the teeth, the more damage is done. This bacteria in the plaque infects the gum tissue beside the tooth and starts to damage the ligaments keeping the tooth solidly in place. When the plaque as bee on the tooth for 3-4 months, it starts to change into tartar, a yellow to brown crust which is stuck to the tooth. Tartar creates an environment without oxygen and this allows more damage to be done to the gums and surrounding bone. Eventually there is so much damage an abscess forms at the root of the tooth the tooth dies and is lost. This is a painful process and if you have ever had to have a root canal treatment for an abscessed tooth, you know the pain infected teeth can cause.

Usually animals don’t complain about these painful teeth as they are being lost. Animals, including our dogs and cats keep on eating so, we have to use that bad smell as an indication of disease in the mouth. When you first smell that unpleasant odor and no longer want your pet to lick you, that is the time to get a dental check- up. If there are problem teeth, they can be addressed before they are lost.

Call London’s veterinarians at Fairmont Animal Hospital to book your pet’s free dental consultation with one of our technicians throughout the months of February & March. We are ready to assess your pet’s stinky breath!

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