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Dr. Drew
Dr. Drew, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16846
Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
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My dogs breath smells like a dead animal. Why

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My dogs breath smells like a dead animal. Why?
Does your dog eat things other than his regular food? Is he left unattended outside?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

No she doesn't


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
She is also licking her mouth a lot.
Has she been eating normally? Any vomiting or diarrhea?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes eating normal and no to the V/D
How long has this been going on for? How old is she?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
She is 7 1/2 and it has been like this for less than a week. Maybe 4 or 5 days.
Is there any change in her appetite, or thirst? Is she urinating more than usual? Is she salivating excessively?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK, one last set of questions. If you look in her mouth, is there any redness of the gums or other soft tissues of the mouth? Any tartar buildup on the teeth? Any debris stuck between the teeth?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Her gums seem to be a bit red and puffy. Not so much in the way of tartar build up & no debris.
Thanks for all of the information.

Bad breath / halitosis in dogs can be caused by several things, but with the presence of some red, puffy gums, I'd have to look towards the possibility of periodontal disease.

Research has proven that 85% of dogs over 3 yrs of age have some degree of periodontal disease. When tissues in the mouth are broken down by bacteria, sulfur is released, resulting in a foul smell.


Often, diagnostics for periodontal disease detection can only be done under anesthesia, and many dogs will hide their disease quite well. Dental x-rays, and probing of the periodontal pockets, just as in a human mouth, are essential for determining the location and severity of the problem.


Now, if a full periodontal evaluation under anesthesia doesn't reveal or fix the problem, the next possible source of the halitosis is disease of the esophagus or stomach. An ulcer or irritation can collect bacteria and produce a foul smell. Endoscopy is usually required for such a diagnosis.

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