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Cher, Dog Caregiver--Extensive Experience
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20850
Experience:  Extensive Experience Caring for Canines; Specializing in behavior and health concerns.
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shih tzu mix: throwing up clear

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My 7 yr old shih tzu mix has had thee worst smelling breath for the last couple of days and she's been throwing up clear liquid. She eats about the same and seems to have some energy, but it's been a few days.
Hello, HarleysMom.

Bad breath can be caused by a dental problem, like an abscessed tooth or infected gums, or something stuck between teeth or wrapped around the back of the tongue, like a blade of grass, and this (a piece of grass or other non-food item) may be causing her vomiting. However, because her breath is really foul and she has intestinal symptoms, she may have an intestinal infection, or a liver or kidney problem, as these can also cause bad breath.

It would be a good idea to have her evaluated by her vet, ASAP, so a complete examination of her mouth and throat can be made, and the cause of her vomiting and bad breath can be diagnosed, then treated.

I hope she's feeling better, very soon!

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I'm thinking that it's something internal and not with her teeth. I have an older shih tzu and he's beginning to get tartar on his teeth (he's 11yrs old) and I work with his teeth every day. So, his breath smells, but not like Harley Jane's. And, it's never smelled like that before.


What should I say to the vet when I call? I'm not sure that it's an emergency because she's running around and behaving the same. But, I could set up an appt. with him tomorrow. Do they prescribe meds to clear the infection? what's the procedure on that?

Hi again, and thanks for your reply.

As you may know, older dogs are more prone to develop medical conditions like diabetes, other pancreatic problems, liver and kidney issues, and these conditions, in addition to other intestinal problems, can cause very bad breath. In fact, if Harley Jane's breath smells similar to acetone (nail polish remover) or has a fruity/chemically smell, this may be an indication of ketoacidosis, a condition related to diabetes.

If you can get an appointment tomorrow, that should be fine. Just tell them what you told me, that Harley Jane has very bad breath and is throwing up clear liquid, intermittently. Please let me know how it goes at the vet, and how Harley Jane is feeling? Thanks!

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