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D2006-37

Dear Daisy Dog

Spanky, our 10-year-old springer spaniel, has bad breath and brown saliva. This problem recurs every summer, but this year, it’s really bad. His diet hasn’t changed, he eats without difficulty, and his teeth look fine. What’s causing this?

Daisy Responds

To figure out the odor’s source, try this experiment: Wipe a cotton ball inside the folds of skin around Spanky’s mouth.
Repeat with a fresh cotton ball inside his mouth, along his gums.

Sniff both cotton balls, and you’ll know the origin of the odor.

If it’s coming from outside his mouth, ask your veterinarian whether Spanky’s skin folds are infected.

If the odor originates from inside his mouth, ask your vet to thoroughly examine Spanky’s mouth. The most common causes of bad breath and brown saliva are tooth and gum problems.

If Spanky’s teeth and gums are healthy, his halitosis and brown saliva might be evidence of a common canine summer hobby: eating cat or wildlife excrement.

Mom hates it when I dine on such delicacies and then kiss her, so I can understand that you, too, might find it offensive.

Once you know the cause of Spanky’s halitosis, you’ll be able to figure out the solution.

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