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Ask Dr. Stacy Your Own Question
Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1555
Experience:  10 years of experience in Small Animal Practice
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Bad breath gag coughing... gave her antacids helping but

Customer Question

Bad breath gag coughing... gave her antacids helping but breath terrible
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Coughing can be worrying. The Veterinarian will know what you should do. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Dakota ...Husky 13yrs
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Dakota?
Customer: She has no other issues
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Dr. Stacy. I have been a small animal veterinarian for 14 years and I'd like to help with your question.

Bad breath in dogs is often associated with a tooth abscess or really bad dental disease or gingivitis. However, there are also a number of internal problems that can cause bad breath too. Kidney disease commonly causes bad breath. Diabetes can cause the breath to smell like acetone if they have a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Some cancers, particularly of the stomach or intestine, I have found cause bad breath. And probably the worst breath can be associated with a cancer of the mouth called squamous cell carcinoma. This cancer causes a smell like dead tissue.

So.... it could be number of things. As far as the coughing/gagging..... that may or may not be related to the bad breath. If she has and infection or tumor in her mouth it may be situated in a position to trigger the gag reflex. However, the cough may be unrelated.

Regardless, at 13 years of age I would recommend getting a veterinarian to look at her. If it is just a bad tooth then that would be great, but at this age I would worry about a tumor or kidney disease. This is especially a concern if you are seeing other problems, such as weight loss, drooling. or increased thirst.

I hope that helps, but if you have more questions please let me know!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok... will have updated blood done....what test is for kidney and or cancer of stomach ? Had x rays 2yrs ago when caugh stated
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 3 months ago.

The kidney function would be tested on any routine blood panel.... either the panels they run prior to surgery or just any chemistry panel. It is helpful it is is a blood/urine panel, but the blood alone will tell you a lot. Testing for stomach cancer is a very difficult thing... it will often not show up on any blood work. It may or may not show up on an X-ray. Usually it will show up on an abdominal ultrasound, but there are some cancers that will not be picked up until they do an exploratory surgery of the abdomen. Cancers in the mouth should be able to be seen on exam. Occasionally they will need to sedate them to biopsy them or get a better look, but mouth cancer is visible, stomach cancer hides.

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