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Rotten dog breath

Both my dogs have breath that could peel the paint from the walls.
They don't eat any human food, and are on hypoallergenic food from the vet due to food allergies, so does anyone have any tips? 
They don't stand for the tooth brushing.
I tried carrot sticks, but only the one likes them.

I don't know how many it would take to satisfy the ick-breath problem, but they make doggy breath mints.  I find I need to give my pup at least 4.  They're small. 

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As a vet tech, here are my thoughts.  Could be periodontal disease, a broken tooth (festering due to abscess), a problem from the food they are eating causing a build-up of toxins due to a digestive issues, renal acidosis/uremia (back-up of toxins due to inability of kidneys to process properly).  Most likely cause is something to do with the teeth, whether just dirty or broken.  Renal problems cause a very distinct sour smell that personally makes me very nauseated when I smell it, so it is highly unlikely to be that if it's just stinky.  The food may not be helping matters, but it sounds like that is what the vet wants them on for now (I assume it's a hydrolyzed protein diet like z/d, HA, or HP?).  Anyway, check out their teeth, that's my best guess.

If the teeth are very dirty, or broken, or there is a lot of gingivitis, they made need a cleaning under anesthesia to make that smell go away. 

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I suggest you try different toothbrushes , people don't realize the importance of dental care  for their pets.  I brush my dogs' teeth weekly.  I use a chicken-flavored toothpaste and while they don't "love it" they tolerate it. I don't allow my dogs to "get out" of grooming, I don't care if they don't like it, it must be done for their health.

Another method you can try if your not against buying meat for your pooches is raw bones. A good knuckle bone or frozen marrow bone once a week (scoop out about 1/2 the marrow, sometimes it just too much and gives fido the runs) helps clean the teeth properly.

Bad dental care can lead to far worse things in the future. Im sure Taraja can go into detail regarding that  :)

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Hi Amanda  :)
In reading your post...one thing comes to mind (well a few things actually do)...
What are your dogs actually"allergic" to? What did the vet do to test them both? If not related...how could they "both" be allergic to the very same thing and need to be on the same diet? (sorry...just the way my f*cked up brain works)....

Me...I personally think the problem lies with the diet they are eating. Can you tell me the ingredients of the food your vet put them on? I'm truly curious. Lots of "bad breath" issues with any "animal"..dogs, cats, humans, etc...come from digestion issues. it comes from "deep down within"...Not always...and as taraja said, periodontal disease (gum disease) can be a cause...so can rotting teeth, etc. I just find it strange that BOTH dogs are having the "exact" same bad breath problem...which to me....leads to the "diet" they are eating.

The "last thing" I would ever recommend....is putting your dogs "under" to clean their teeth... It's so stressful to their lives. I HATE vets that "put dogs under" to clean their teeth....there are othere ways to do it without going to that extreme. There is a product called LebaIII that I've been using for my dogs and I've had great results...google it. Majicka414 was right in suggesting "raw meaty bones"...they can do wonders for the teeth and gums of your dogs.

But really...i do suspect a "digestion" issue....most "bad breath" comes from that...not the teeth or gums...you yourself can look and see if their teeth are dirty, or if their gums look inflamed.
I can't say because 1) I'm NOT a vet...and 2) I can't look at their teeth....

I just think that since both dogs are eating the same diet...and both have bad breath....your problem lies there....with the diet they are eating. Again...WHAT is it they are allergic to? WHAT tests were run to find the allergies? I mean....BOTH dogs have the same exact allergies?!?!
Unless they are related.....Myself...I highly doubt it.

Personally...I think it's the food....

but hey...that's just me....what the F*CK do I know?  ;)

Please, if you can,  post the ingredients of what they are eating...and i think we'll find the "problem" there...
-dave

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Hey everyone thanks for answering!

As to what they are allergic to, the vet didn't run any specific tests.  I brought the dogs each at different times because they were itching like crazy, especially their ears (which had bad smelling buildup in them) and paws.  Like, non stop frantic itching, with no sign of fleas at all.

So the vet said it is probably a food allergy, and put them on Royal Canin Hypoallergenic DR 21 food.  As well as ear drops.  For the one dog, it seems to have nearly diminished the itching, her ears are cleared up, and she's better, but still a bit itchy. 

The other dog is just now going through the ear treatment, and is still itching.  The vet said that the stuff found in his ears is different than the stuff in my other dog's ears, so the ear drops are different, so probably not the same problem.  I suppose that could just be an ear infection.  I go back tomorrow for a followup.

Anyway, here is the food: http://www.bestpet.co.uk/detailed_product.asp?id=154
With the bigger dog, I also mix in some steamed veggies, but I just started that about a week ago.

Here are the food ingredients:
Rice
Hydrolysed Soya Protein Isolates
Animal Fats
Minerals
Beet Pulp
Poultry Liver Hydrolysate
Vegetable Oils
Fructo-Oligo Saccharides
Fish Oil
Taurine
L-Tyrosine
DL-Methionine
Marigold Extract

The thing about this vet is.....I am a dogsitter, and several of my clients take their dogs to the same vet (in fact they all recommended her).  And all of those dogs have skin problems and are on some sort of special diet due to their "food allergy".

I do think it's strange that "food allergy" seems to be her number one answer to any problem, but I can't see what else it could be.  I have never even heard of dogs having food allergies until I moved here.  But then again, I've never seen dogs get so frantically itchy before I moved here either.  In my one dog it even manifests as skin sores on the backs of her legs, which is also like another dog that I dogsit.

Anyway, back to the bad breath.  I know no dog has breath that smells like fairy hiccups, but my dogs' breath smells like rotting trash.  It could very well be the food, and maybe I can switch their treats as well.  The treats are about the size of a small thumbnail, and are soft.  Something harder and crunchier could help with their teeth.

Any ideas?  I have The Book that you always recommend, Dave, but I can't find it anywhere!  I am looking now at Dr Pitcairn's book, and from reading the "Allergies" section, it sounds about right.  Can't find anything in it about bad breath, although I'm sure it must be somewhere....

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Food Allergies in dogs are fairly common, the most common ones are corn, soy, dairy, and wheat flour (off the top of my head, I'm sure there are more). 

There are also several different types of ear infections, bacterial, yeast and mites so it is possible for both your dogs to have different types and need different drops.

Do you have any pet food stores nearby you?  I'm not sure about your dog food budget, but I highly recommend Solid Gold Barking at the Moon or  Natural Balance Venison and Sweet Potato. I've had massive success with both of these foods on my allergy girl.  Dave can also point you in the way of several other allergy type foods I'm sure (he knows more about me on foods which for a long time I thought was nearly impossible LOL) .

I honestly don't like many of the ingredients in the food you listed, meat is so far down the list, and I'm not even quite sure it's meat.. Animal Fats is also kinda frightening..

Hopefully switching foods will help with the bad breath, but honestly the bones and/or toothbrushing is really the optimal way to ensure your dog's dental health.

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Thanks majicka!  The problem is I'm in Europe, so most of the brands in the States would (I believe) be not so easy to find over here, but I'll definitely search.  And not sure where to get the raw bones, either.  Maybe just at a butcher shop?? 

If it comes to it, I'll switch back to a raw home made diet, but last time I did that, my dog got sick and puked up after about 2 weeks.  It scared me that I wasn't doing it right and could be making her less healthy.

I'll try the brushing again.  If we have to hold them down, then so be it.

Thanks guys!!

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Food Allergies in dogs are fairly common, the most common ones are corn, soy, dairy, and wheat flour (off the top of my head, I'm sure there are more). 

There are also several different types of ear infections, bacterial, yeast and mites so it is possible for both your dogs to have different types and need different drops.

Do you have any pet food stores nearby you?  I'm not sure about your dog food budget, but I highly recommend Solid Gold Barking at the Moon or  Natural Balance Venison and Sweet Potato. I've had massive success with both of these foods on my allergy girl.  Dave can also point you in the way of several other allergy type foods I'm sure (he knows more about me on foods which for a long time I thought was nearly impossible LOL) .

I honestly don't like many of the ingredients in the food you listed, meat is so far down the list, and I'm not even quite sure it's meat.. Animal Fats is also kinda frightening..

Hopefully switching foods will help with the bad breath, but honestly the bones and/or toothbrushing is really the optimal way to ensure your dog's dental health.

Thanks majicka414! :)
Trust me....I know sooo little when it comes to the world we spin upon...but I DO know dogs...
I agree...the food you are feeding....it's HORRIBLE! I mean...where's the meat? Where's the "real food?...I know you mentioned that you don't feed table scraps....trust me...there is NOTHING wrong with that..unless...1- it contains things like onions, raisins, etc....and 2- (for training)...never feed your dogs when you eat...it's ok to feed them what you eat...but not when you're eating...but..er...duh dave...you "walk dogs" (talking about YOU Amanda...good for you)!....sorry!  ::)

They need to get on a really good diet. One that contains fresh meat. Just go to Dr. Goldstien's website....he lists food there....

AND (I hope i'm not rude in saying....)...get a NEW VET...really!...
I mean...the food you mentioned...the ingredients?....just REALLY look at them...
Your answer lies there. It does. If it was MY OWN dogs....I'd change vets...change diets....

But...me...f*ck...i'd SOOO love to call the vet...and ask them WHY they put the dogs on that diet...ask them WHAT it is..that he/she KNOWS they're allergic too...but...that just be me...

email me if you care to...
i'd LOVE to help...
(big part of my "world" to do so).... ;)

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OK, here's what I'll do.  I'll speak to her tomorrow about why she recommends that food in particular, and I'll point out that it's not really all that healthy (thanks for pointing that out guys, I really didn't look at the label!).  I'll see what she says, and if I'm not happy, I'll either cry out to you lovely vegwebbers again, or find a new vet!  And no matter what, it looks like I'm switching to the homemade diet again.  Hopefully better this time though.

I'd email you, Dave, but you're probably busy enough with your own pack!  (by the way, is it really your world, or are you just resigned to the fact that people here will expect an answer from you to every dog question asked?  ;)  it's just that you're so good at it!)

PS- onions? raisins? bad for dogs?

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I'd email you, Dave, but you're probably busy enough with your own pack!  (by the way, is it really your world, or are you just resigned to the fact that people here will expect an answer from you to every dog question asked?  ;)  it's just that you're so good at it!)

PS- onions? raisins? bad for dogs?

Haha...thanks Amanda.
No....it's just a big part of my "world" these days....not only for my "own" herd...but to teach others what I've learned along the way....often falling on my face doing so...but how else do we learn if not from experience? Reading is good...real life....puts us to the test.

OH..BTW....onions? raisons?...some dogs can eat them by the truck full and be ok..others a few bites=death....better not to "find out"....  :P

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Best of luck with your pups!  That food really is crap and the ingredients basically equal sawdust.  The reason for the hydrolyzed protein diets (protein used loosely here) is that the proteins are broken down very small so that the body does not recognize them as proteins and therefore does not respond.  A lot of vets will use it as a test for food allergies (there's not a good blood test for those) to see if the symptoms go away then go from there.  I find the problem to be that most of the time the animal just stays on that diet, never transitions back.  And what effect does that have over a long time? 

I am very hesitant to anesthetize my animals also for dentals, but I have had 4 broken teeth on my dogs in the last year that were painful and abscessed (most likely from eating raw marrow bones) and so they needed to be put under for a cleaning and extraction.  I was simply saying that if the teeth are broken, you may need to consider a cleaning as the only way to fully evaluate the teeth, roots, and jaw is under anesthesia and likely with dental radiographs. 

Seriously, I hope it's just the food and that your vet doesn't give you too much trouble about it!

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Has anyone mentioned parsley yet?  Chewing on parsley is suppose to help reduce bad breath, you could try mixing some in with their food. 

or my mom uses something like this for her dog:
http://www.nativeremedies.com/petalive/gumz-n-teeth-prevent-pet-gingivitis.html?img=658&kbid=1684#ingredients

But I would definately follow the advice of the vet tech, Taraja. Also, my cat had the worst smelling farts, the vet suggested switching the food.  I did, a couple times until I found a brand that isn't quite so smelly when it comes out the "other end".  One of my other cats had to eat low magnesium food, the expensive kind from the vets.  It got so costly that I finally went to a pet supply store and found the same low magnesium food, different brand, for much less.  So it is possible to still have them eating the allergy food, but still switch brands.

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i have the same problem w/ my small dog, midge. her breath smells like rotting mushrooms!!  :-\  but my other dog's (emma) is fine. i wonder if it is food allergy w/ her? she eats everything that emma eats...in fact she'll eat anything, shes not discriminating!!

i have found ONE dog bone that helped...it contained parsley, baking soda and chlorophyll (?) and was the only thing that worked, but it was expensive. (i will try to find a link...)

as for brushing teeth...you can also just use the corner of a washcloth and your fingertip. you may have to ease your dog into the "brushing" by introducing him/her to the cloth slowly and getting them to trust you to play w/ their mouths.
after all, we all hated the dentist when we were young,huh?

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Sorry, I don't mean to barge in on your thread with my own pet issues, but I wanted to say that my cat has TERRIBLE breath!  I've had her teeth cleaned at the vet and that didn't help.  My new vet says that maybe she needs more frequent cleanings.  After lab work she thought she might have an infection so she is on a short course of antibiotics.  I try and brush her teeth once a week.  She is getting better at tolerating it.  Dave, I just looked up that leba III and it looks great.  I'm going to order some soon.  I

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dave i emailed you about something...

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I just ordered some Leba III for my cat.  Thanks so much for this tip Dave.  I can't wait to see how it works.  I'm sure Wilma will be happier with this method then brushing her teeth! 

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I just ordered some Leba III for my cat.  Thanks so much for this tip Dave.  I can't wait to see how it works.  I'm sure Wilma will be happier with this method then brushing her teeth! 

Glad to hear Biodancer. It really does work. While I still give my dogs raw meaty bones to gnaw on, I spray their teeth and gums with LebaIII a few times a week and so far so good. I've seen a really big improvement on the teeth of some of the older dogs that had some plaque build up. I have to say....Farrah (Kitty)....HATES me trying to spray her in the mouth... when she sees the little bottle in my hand sheruns and hides (or maybe it's just me she runs away from).  :o

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