Can a Pet’s Bad Breath Indicate an Internal Issue?

Bad breath, especially from our pets, is something that none would want to experience. Dogs with bad breath could be a sign of digestive issues or the need for better dental treatment. Since the accumulation of bacteria often causes halitosis, it is recommended to have your pet’s health checked when you notice foul smells emanating out of their mouths.

The smell of your pet’s breath could be a sign of health issues, some of which you wouldn’t expect to be connected to the smell of your dog’s breath. Knowing why your dog has bad breath is the first step toward addressing the scent and the root of the issue.

What can your pet’s breath reveal about his well-being?

If you notice an alteration in the smell of your dog’s breath, take him to the veterinarian to have a thorough exam, diagnosis, and treatment. It could be due to something it ate; however, bad breath could also indicate an issue with a medical condition that requires veterinary attention. Here are the possible reasons for pet halitosis.

1. Periodontal Disease

The smell of bad breath in dogs is usually the result of periodontal disease, which is the most common dental health issue for both dogs and cats. Plaque, which builds up on teeth as a result of bacteria that reside in the mouth, is the leading cause of gum disease. It can get more complicated when the plaque extends past that gum line. To avoid a more severe dental ailment that can also require dental surgery, pet teeth exams are needed on a regular basis. 

2. Kidney Disease

If your dog’s bad breath smells of feces or urine, it could be an indication that they have consumed poop, which is a frequent problem your veterinarian should look into, or could be a sign that they are suffering from kidney issues. Your dog’s kidneys aren’t able to remove the waste and toxins effectively when they’re not functioning properly.

If you are a new pet parent, a reputable animal care clinic is necessary on your journey. Vets are the go-to individuals of pet owners when it comes to their pets’ health and overall wellness.

3. Diabetes

The disease can cause dogs to have breath that smells similar to Acetone, which is commonly used to remove nail polish. If diabetes remains uncontrolled or untreated for a prolonged period, the body breaks down fat and produces ketones, which are chemicals that cause it. The ketones may also possess an extraordinarily fruity or sweet smell. Other signs that can be indicative of diabetic dogs are weight reduction and changes in appetite, and an increase in the amount of urine and thirst.

4. Tumors

Tumors that are cancerous can occur in cats and dogs, unfortunately. Oral malignancies, or tumors, tend to be more prevalent in older animals and can cause bad breath. When the tumors grow and become contaminated, they can cause a portion of the tissues to die and cause bad breath, despite the proper treatment. If your pet’s tumor is classified as malignant, a pet oncology expert should take a look at it. Consultation is the first step in the treatment of a cancerous tumor.

5. Liver Disease

The disease of the liver can cause bad breath that smells musty or resembles an animal that has died. Loss of weight, a lack of appetite, vomiting, and discoloration of the skin or eyes (jaundice) could indicate that your dog’s liver may be failing. The liver, just like the kidneys, acts as a filter to remove the body’s poisons. The accumulation of toxic substances can occur when your dog’s liver function is impaired, which can result in an unpleasant smell.