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Old 01-21-2010, 11:38 PM
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12 year old with REALLY BAD BREATH!

We just "inherited" my Dad's dog. He's not a golden, but my question applies to any breed.

He's a 12 year old cocker spaniel and has the most FOUL breath! We can smell his breath from across the room.

I don't think he has ever had a proper teeth cleaning - my Dad was sick for a very long time and was not able to care for him as well as he should have (but was very attached to him and wouldn't agree to find him a new home!)

Anyhow, I'm wondering what to do about this nasty breath problem. It's so bad that we can't really stand to be around him. :\ He was licking a toy in the other room awhile ago and I could smell his breath all the way in here!

I know we probably should take him to a vet for a full, proper cleaning and check-up, but we won't be able to do that for a few weeks as we live in a remote town and the closest vet is 4 hours away. Since this isn't a life threatening problem or anything, we'd like to try a few things at home first, before taking him to the vet.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what we can (safely) use to brush his teeth with/clean his mouth with? I've read that human toothpaste is not safe - what else should we try?

I know this is a common problem with older dogs, so I'm hoping someone here may have some experience with this and some suggestions for me.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:43 PM
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Definitely don't use human toothpaste. Fluoride is toxic to dogs if they ingest it, which they more than likely will since they're not able to spit it out like humans. We use an enzymatic toothpaste made by Petrodex, but you can really use any kind of toothpaste that is made for dogs. I prefer the enzymatic ones since they seem to do a better job of removing tartar and plaque. Instead of a dog toothbrush, we use the battery powered Crest Spinbrush with a soft head. It does a great job on their teeth. Our dogs love getting their teeth brushed since the toothpaste is poultry flavored.

I would still get him checked out by a vet just to make sure there isn't a medical condition contributing to his horrible breath.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:46 PM
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Definately schedule the vet appointment. Such strong breath might be the result of an infection. It could also be diet. Jo had great advice on brushing which should help.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:52 PM
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Dental health is just as important for all round health in dogs as it is for humans. Please see your vet for a cleaning and any other dental care that is needed. You'll be able to enjoy him much more and he'll be much healthier too.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:10 AM
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I'll echo making that vet appointment for a full senior exam, and mostly likely he seriously needs a dental cleaning. He may have gum disease or infection that's causing the odor and can only be corrected by a cleaning, but the vet would need to make sure he is healthy enough for anesthesia.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:57 PM
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Kidney disease can cause bad breath, so I agree, get him in as soon as possible. Hoping it's something simple. Bless you for taking him. I worked at the Humane Society for a while and so many people dumped their parents pets as soon as they were gone. It made me sick !!
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire's Friend View Post
Bless you for taking him.
Ditto on that! Wonderful advice above.. in the interum - perhaps encourage him to chew a nylabone to help clean his teeth?

Unfortunately, older dogs do tend to have funky breath (and gas). Diet can also be a factor.

See what the Vet recomends.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:29 PM
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Thanks everyone for your advice. I would never think of bringing him to the humane society or having him put down (it's been suggested by other family members, ugh!!) He was my Dad's best buddy.... and my dog for a few years when I still lived at home. He still has some life left in him and I plan to keep him as happy and comfortable as I can.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:25 PM
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Cocker Spaniel with bad breath...

Hello,
There is a lot of great advice given for cleaning his teeth, but I would recommend also checking his ears. Cocker spaniels are known to get ear infections, like goldens, and some people don't seem to notice because their ears are always droopy. I volunteer at a vet's office during my breaks from college and I saw the results of not cleaning their ears...the smell is almost unbearable. Just another thought
Hope he smells better after all of this!
~Chelsea
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:43 PM
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Since it is a couple of weeks until you can get into a vet, if you have a pet store maybe you can pick up the doggy toothpaste and brush his teeth. Also clean his ears. Get some regular yellow listerine and clean his ears. Use some q-tips and lightly clean them.
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