Most pet owners have experienced times when they cannot stand the smell coming from their pet’s mouth. Like human beings, your furry animal can also have bad breath. But since they love to play, kiss, and hug you, the smell may become unbearable.

Halitosis or bad breath is a common problem that affects pets such as cats and dogs. The causes of bad breath can vary. Some are as simple as eating something smelly or rotten, while others are severe, like having critical illnesses. Your veterinarian can diagnose the issue causing your pet to have bad breath. Read on to learn what causes they can diagnose.


Metabolic Diseases

Your pet can get bad breath from metabolic diseases such as kidney failure or diabetes. Such conditions are associated with weight loss, drinking, and urination changes. Left untreated, they can be fatal. 

Kidney failure can cause the breath to smell metallic due to a buildup of waste products and toxins that the kidney cannot filter. Diabetes can cause the breath to smell sour, musty, or sweet. If your pet has excess sugar in their bloodstream, their breath may smell sweet. However, bacteria may start feeding on the sugar and cause the breath to smell sour. If you smell their breath as musty, it is an indication that they have yeast growth in their mouths.


Oral Tumors 


Oral cancers and tumors can cause bad breath. They are more common in older pets. The growth of the masses gets infected, and parts of it begin dying, thus causing bad breath. Dogs often get oral tumors such as peripheral odontogenic fibromas, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma.


Respiratory Tract Diseases


Diseases that affect the respiratory tract, such as nasal tumors, nasal infections, and sinusitis, may cause bad breath. If your pet is suffering from any of these diseases, they may produce pus, a combination of decomposing bacteria, white blood cells, and blood in their nose.


Gastrointestinal Problems


Digestive and stomach problems like megaesophagus, the stretching or enlargement of the esophageal tube, can cause oral odor. Your pet can start showing signs such as nausea, vomiting, and changes in appetite or stool.


Diet Deficiencies 

You can cause an imbalance of bacteria in your pet’s gut and mouth by feeding them home-cooked or raw meals. Eating raw diets and bacterial imbalance increases the risk of Salmonella overgrowth in their gut, which causes bad breath. Ideally, consult your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist on the ideal meals to feed your pet to avoid dietary deficiencies.


Eating Something Gross or Toxic 

Some pets tend to eat non-food items such as feces. Some cats are curious to taste what they get in their litter boxes. If you compare your pet’s breath to fecal matter, you know they have been eating poop. Your pet can also have a rotten-smelling breath from eating toys or household objects. They can also have a rotting or rancid smell in their breath from eating toxic plants. 


How to Go About the Problem

Visit your dentist once you realize your pet has consistent bad breath that does not go away after maintaining their oral hygiene. Your veterinarian will investigate the root cause of the problem and treat it.


For more information about bad breath in pets and how to get rid of it, contact Montana Veterinary Hospital & Boarding at our office in Bozeman, Montana. Call (406) 586-2019 to book an appointment today.