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Cheryl K.
Cheryl K., shelter volunteer
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience:  14+ years of shelter work/ vaccinations/ disease/ illness/ injury/ medical care
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my miniature Schnauzers breath stinks why what can I do

Resolved Question:

I feed my dog Iams weight control she is almost 5 years old
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Cheryl K. replied 11 years ago.

This is most likely due to a tooth or gum related problem, it can be a case of gingivitis,oral ulceration, or even a lung or kidney disease. I suggest that you give a good look at your dog's teeth and gums and see if there are any signs of decay or inflammation of the gums. A good dog food to help with this if it is not tooth or gum related is Eukanuba Restricted-Calorie Rewards. That would also be helpful since you have her on a weight control type of food. I have listed some information below I feel will be helpful to you. But I suggest that you make an appointment with your veterinarian so they can give a full examination of the mouth, tooth and gum area and they may possibly want to try chlorhexidine, which is a mouth spray prescribed for a 7-14 day period to see if this helps with this condition. I hope this information will be helpful to you.

Halitosis, or bad breath, is an unpleasant odor coming from your dog's mouth. It’s more than just “doggie breath” in that it is offensive. Usually halitosis has oral causes, although sometimes it can be caused by other disease processes. These include:

  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)

  • Periodontitis (inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the tooth)

  • Abscessed tooth or teeth

  • Bone or hair stuck in mouth

  • Oral ulceration

  • Foreign bodies in the mouth (such as plant material or grass awns)

  • Oral neoplasia (tumors of the mouth)

  • Lung diseases, such as lung cancer

  • Severe kidney disease

    What to Watch For

  • Oral discharge

  • Oral pain

  • Bloody oral discharge

  • Drooling

  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)

  • Difficulty eating

  • Depression


    Veterinary care should include diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the bad breath and help guide subsequent treatment recommendations. Some tests may include:

  • A complete medical history and physical examination

  • A complete oral exam, which may require a brief anesthetic

  • Periodontal probing (a blunt probe that is used to check the gum/tooth interface) to identify gum and periodontal diseases

  • Full-mouth radiographs (X-rays) with a dental machine


    Optimal therapy of any serious or persistent medical condition depends on establishing the correct diagnosis. There are numerous potential causes of halitosis and before any treatment can be recommended, it is important to identify the underlying cause. Initial therapy should be aimed at the underlying cause. This treatment may include:

  • Removal of foreign object if present

  • Treatment of any oral tumors as needed

  • Periodontal therapy and root planing (cleaning/scraping the teeth under the gums)

    Home Care

    Home care recommendations will depend on the underlying cause of the problem. Some steps that you can take to help eliminate your dog's bad breath include:

  • Brushing your dog’s teeth daily. Tooth brushes/finger brushes and special toothpastes are available from your veterinarian.

  • Spraying 0.12 percent chlorhexidine (prescribed by your veterinarian) into your dog's mouth once a day for seven to fourteen days.

  • Following dietary considerations recommended by your veterinarian. Special diets that may be beneficial include Hill’s Prescription Diet T/D® or Eukanuba Restricted-Calorie Rewards®.

  • Evaluation by your veterinarian if the bad breath persists.


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