Bad Breath In Dogs
Most dogs suffer very similar problems to humans and thereís no doubt that bad breath is one of those. The condition, which is medically known as halitosis, is not only unpleasant for those who are around the dog but it can also be a sign of various problems. While many believe that dental hygiene are the main reasons behind halitosis, there are in fact other issues that can cause the problem and these will be discussed further in the article.
While most health related articles begin with the symptoms of the concern, the symptoms of halitosis are quite self explanatory. A dog is by no means going to have fresh, mint-like breath, but at the same time it shouldnít smell horrifically.
The main source of halitosis is dental or gum disease, although the possible causes certainly donít stop there and the mouth, stomach, respiratory system and other sources can be at the root of the problem as well. Mellitus, rhinitis, sinusitis, respiratory and gastrointestinal issues are all problems that can cause bad breath in dogs although these are extremely difficult to diagnose alone and a veterinarian should be consulted for a completely accurate analysis. There can also be more temporary causes for the problem with viral, bacterial and fungal infections all being possibilities behind the issue. On the other hand, there are several serious health problems that can cause halitosis and thatís why a veterinarian should be contacted if the problem seems to be persistent.
There are several vague guidelines that can give an indication to the root of the problem, although obviously a veterinarianís opinion is preferably recommended. Generally, itís thought that highly unpleasant breath and other symptoms can indicate a problem with the liver or gums; sweet or fruity breath could be a sign of diabetes; while a urine odor could be related to a kidney problem. However, these are very basic guidelines and we thoroughly recommend any owner to take their dog to the vet clinic should their petís breath odor suddenly change.
Itís difficult to suggest treatments for halitosis when the causes of the problem are so varied. However, since most relate to the mouth and gums, weíll discuss this type of treatment. Poor oral health is the main problem and because of this, extensive cleaning of the teeth and gums is required. In severe cases, some teeth which are significantly damaged may even have to be removed. Various medications can also be given that will help reduce the bacteria that build in the mouth.
Again, assuming that the problem behind the bad breath is related to oral health, there are several measures that owners can take to try and prevent future halitosis problems. Just like humans, dogs need their teeth to be taken care of frequently and to ensure that the dog has good oral health; itís recommended that their teeth are brushed once a day. A special brush can be purchased to perform this job and specialist toothpaste can also be bought, as the ones that humanís use can cause the dogís stomach to become upset. Providing toys for the dog to chew can also make a big difference as chewing helps the cleaning process. A good diet is also another suggestion, while a veterinarian will obviously be able to suggest a whole array of other maintenance recommendations.
In conclusion, as soon as your pet starts having bad breath the first assumption shouldnít be that itís related to oral health. There are lots of other different reasons and considering a few are quite serious, itís always worth visiting a vet clinic just to be on the safe side. Whatís more, to help prevent bad breath, all dog owners should look to maintain their petís teeth frequently Ė preferably daily. If this is done, there is a significantly higher chance that the dog will not experience halitosis.
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