This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.
You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.
Foul smelling breath - can be a sign of serious disease, so take your pet to your veterinarian for a health check
Halitosis means an abnormal smell on the breath and there is almost nothing worse than a pet with foul smelling breath. As soon as you walk into a room the smell hits you, and it can be impossible to stay within 3 feet of the offender - particularly if he/she is facing towards you and panting !
It usually isn't too difficult to identify where the smell is coming from, although there are other locations which need to be eliminated as the source of the pong :
Once you are satisfied that the smell is definitely coming from the mouth - what could it be ? Well there are many possible causes :
Unfortunately, the foul smell of dental disease can be difficult to differentiate from the smell of urea caused by kidney failure, or an ulcerated cancer - so further investigations or tests are needed. Indeed, an old animal could have more than one problem at the same time ! For this reason you should take your pet to your veterinary surgeon if it has bad breath so that an accurate diagnosis can be made.
Updated October 2013