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Cstout 11-25-2012 01:21 PM

Sudden bad breath in young dog
Stark, who is 9 months old seems to have suddenly developed bad breath. It smells almost fishy, and he does eat salmon flavored food. But, he has eaten this food for probably 4 to 5 months now and I just now noticed his bad breath. The BF noticed as well. We also noticed he seems to be lethargic when in our room. When we are in the room he has free reign of the room while we watch tv, sleep, or whatever. And, he is usually driving us crazy bringing us his ball. He brings it to us to play fetch almost non stop. And, he hasnt been doing that. But, when we go outside he seems perfectly normal. He runs and plays. We took him out all day yesterday and he chewed sticks, we worked on some commands, played with my family. But, then when we get back home, back to the unusually lazy puppy. He was sick at about 4 months of age... and he was very very sick. My BF and I were certain he was going to die. We couldnt afford to get enough tests to get an actual diagnosis. But, with the blood tests we got done and his temp being 106 degrees and everything being cured in two to three days with antibiotics we assumed it was some sort of infection. And, he has been fine ever since. If he hadnt been sick before and if we didnt know how energetic he was before we probably wouldnt be worrying at all right now. But, Im really worried somthing is going on with him. We checked his temp last night and got a rectal reading of 101.8 degrees. And, he isnt displaying any other symptoms other than the bad breath and being so calm/lethargic in our room. Should I be worried?

msvette2u 11-25-2012 02:17 PM


chewed sticks
If you mean sticks off of trees, then you could be looking at a piece of the stick lodged in between his teeth. It would make sense if he's not bugging you to throw the ball.
It could even be lodge in the roof of his mouth. Open his mouth if he'll let you, and search for something out of place or stuck in teeth or the roof of his mouth.

He may have even broken a tooth, the 1st sign my Dachshund had done so was horrible breath.

GatorBytes 11-25-2012 02:41 PM

What abx. was he on?

He could very well just have kibble breath - as the saliva softens, that stuff gets caught in the gums (which contradicts kibble companies claiming the benefits of the crunching cleaning the teeth), the sugars from the food also could be causing tarter build-up - do you brush his teeth and/or give RMB's to recreationally chew on?

The other side of the coin - Fishy breath is also an early warning sign that the kidneys are in distress, meaning toxic load. The medication may be responsible for some damage and this is the result. Also early indication of insulin issues (pancreas) and possibly bordering on diabetes. Diabetic breath could be sweet to ammonia smelling.

Now you say he eats fish based food, so it's easy to be inclined to think it's the food (which may very well be), however the change in behaviour would send up a red flag.

I'd get him in for a urinalysis to check for protein in the urine and blood glucose.

Jax08 11-25-2012 02:50 PM

I would start by checking the teeth and brushing them. Does he get anything to chew on to help keep his teeth clean?

But smell from his teeth shouldn't make him lethargic. What brand are you feeding him? Is he eating and drinking ok? Any weight loss? Are his stools normal?

What was the infection? Was it a UTI? I have heard of UTI's causing kidney damage in puppies.

Or, it could be as simple as the ABX knocking his system out of balance and he just needs some probiotics and digestive enzymes.

I would be inclined to take him for an exam. If you thinking something is "off" about him, follow your instincts. You know your dog best.

kelina 11-25-2012 03:12 PM

You should check his mouth just in case. have your BF hold him down, or you can simply wait til he is asleep, a deep sleep too lol... But You don't need to brush your pups teeth. It was a struggle brushing shadows because at 4 months her breath smelled kinda fishy as well I got scared and started brushing but that didn't work.

We gave her dental treats and the smell cleared up, her breath smells normal now at 6 months.. I actually changed her food as well to adult food which sort of cleared up the smell, but that could of been by coincidence..

Try dental treats before you get all nervous and worried. If treats don't work go to the vet to really find out whats the matter, because he could be getting sick as he did before. you never know

Goodluck with stark :(! hope for the best!

Jax08 11-25-2012 03:15 PM

Be careful of "dental treats". Some of those are known for causing obstructions. You are better off getting antlers or knuckle bones. Brushing a dogs teeth is not hard. That is a training issue.

llombardo 11-25-2012 03:24 PM

My first thought was something along a possible tooth issue or something alongs the lines of EPI. What were other symptoms when he was sick before? How is his poop and his eating now?

kelina 11-25-2012 03:31 PM


Originally Posted by Jax08 (Post 2638784)
Be careful of "dental treats". Some of those are known for causing obstructions. You are better off getting antlers or knuckle bones. Brushing a dogs teeth is not hard. That is a training issue.

I don't need to brush my pups teeth, and her teeth are fine.. I did use antlers.. as antlers are a dental treat....

GatorBytes 11-25-2012 04:35 PM

Or something in the digestion is off, like enzyme deficiency or the gut is out of balance too alkaline - food is noted by Jax, some d-zymes and probiotic - this will also do a world of good for the pancreas, liver and kidneys - the better the food is broken down, there is less waste for the major organs to process = less damage.

Jax08 11-25-2012 04:35 PM


Originally Posted by kelina (Post 2638792)
I don't need to brush my pups teeth, and her teeth are fine.. I did use antlers.. as antlers are a dental treat....

Good for you. My advice was to the OP.

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