George is a happy, active and spirited young Labrador who loves to play with and chew up sticks. He also loves licking the face of his owners, but recently this became a lot less pleasant as his breath suddenly started smelling awful.
George’s owners brought him in to see our veterinarian Dr. Simon Craig to make sure everything was ok; George was still his normal bright self and was eating and drinking as usual. It was a little difficult for Dr. Craig to have a good look in George’s mouth as part of his check up, as he thought it was a wonderful game! Although we can all agree that there is nothing better in life than playing with a dog, we really did need to examine George’s mouth to confirm Dr. Craig’s suspicions as to the source of the bad odour. George was admitted into hospital for us to anaesthetise him and thoroughly examine inside his mouth.
Once George was anaesthetised, Dr. Craig found a sizable piece of stick that had been chewed up at least a few weeks earlier! This was stuck between his lower left 1st and 2nd molars and would have been quite uncomfortable. The wood had been slowly rotting, causing a very bad smell and eating away at the gum between the teeth.
Thankfully, despite there being quite a lot of gum missing, there was little bone loss seen on a radiograph and we were confident this would heal up fine over time.
George’s owners were happy to take him home and to have a solution to his smelly breath. They were given instructions and advice to try to keep the area clean of food debris during the healing process, and we wished them luck flossing George’s teeth!! Needless to say, we also recommended they try and keep him away from sticks in the future!
Bad breath (halitosis) is most commonly caused by oral problems and is never normal in cats and dogs. There are many different issues that can cause bad breath and we would encourage you to make an appointment if you notice this in your pet.