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Bad Breath in Dogs (Canine Halitosis)

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Halitosis Bad Breath

Definition of Halitosis

Bad breath, medically called “halitosis,” refers to an unpleasant and offensive odor coming from the mouth and is one of the most common complaints of dog owners. Interestingly, bad breath rarely is caused by a foul smell coming from a dog’s stomach through its esophagus or from air exhaled through the trachea. The main reason for canine bad breath is a build-up of gram-negative, anaerobic bacteria which are not part of the normal oral bacterial population. Retained food particles, dental disease, oral tumors and ulcers, kidney failure, liver failure, lung disease, diabetis and anal licking can contribute to bad breath. Routine annual check-ups and dental care (including regular in-home brushing of a dog’s teeth) go a long way to managing bad breath. Veterinarians can instruct owners how to care for their dogs’ teeth. Specialized canine toothbrushes, toothpastes, rinses, gels and chews are widely available to help owners maintain their dog’s good oral health.

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Disorders Similar to Halitosis - Definition

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Dog Health Center

Lead Poisoning

Dogs can be poisoned when they ingest lead – especially if they have repeated exposure to the substance. Lead is found in a number of places and in a number of different things

Learn more about: Lead Poisoning