Halitosis sounds like a Harry Potter spell

Halitosis! You can imagine Hermoine Granger casting that spell? And I think she did – on George because he has fish breath! It so happens that halitosis is also the medical term for bad breath.

George’s smelly breath has been particularly noticeable when he’s panting like crazy in his state of anxiety.  img_8288And even more distinguishable now that I’ve had my teeth cleaned and my breath isn’t smelly any more.

While Mummy could at least attempt to scrape some the dental tartar off my front teeth, George is particularly sensitive about his teeth. His lower right canine sticks out (that’s the “shih-tzu” part of him) and he’s particularly self-conscious about it. img_8290It doesn’t help that Mummy keeps studying it all the time!

His teeth had always been brownish. From the state of his teeth, the vet estimated he was about 18 months old when he was found, but Mummy thought he was probably younger from many other aspects of his behaviour and his weepy eyes (better now).  But after tomorrow they won’t ever be able to guess his age again because Mummy’s taking George to have his teeth cleaned – to relinquish that bad spell. No more bad breath Georgie! Well, let’s hope that’s all there is to it. We won’t know till tomorrow.

May’s comment: Last week Darcy had her teeth cleaned at the vet.  And it was then that I realised that the slight bad breath she was a result of the built up dental tartar. Since then her breath has significantly improved and that’s when I started to notice George’s a lot more.
img_8297Darcy and George feed raw so while that quickly eliminated smelly flatulence, their breaths on the other hand had whiffs of fishy smells. To be honest, I am so used to them that I actually did not mind the smell. Yes, it is that ridiculous.  It was only when the vet showed me the condition of Darcy’s molar that I was taken aback. He did say that unless I had brushed them daily which I haven’t that the state of her teeth was about right at age 5+.  I descaled them now and then but obviously it wasn’t enough.

But George, hates having his teeth looked at. So I think it’s time for his teeth to be professionally cleaned. No more bacteria in his mouth.

Found the following article in PetMD.com and it states possible causes of halitosis in dogs. We think George’s bad breath is simply a result of bacteria in the mouth due to the dental tartar.

Halitosis in Dogs

Halitosis is the medical term used to describe an offensive odor that comes from the mouth, producing bad breath. A number of causes may be responsible for this condition, notably periodontal disease, a disease resulting from bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria is also associated with plaque and cavities. 

Small animal breeds and brachycephalic breeds (characterized by their short-nosed, flat-faced features; e.g., the Pug, Boston Terrier, Pekingese) are the most prone to periodontal and other mouth diseases, in large part because their teeth are close together. George has a lot of terrier in him.

Symptoms and Types

In most cases, there are no other symptoms aside from a bad odour emanating from the mouth. If the cause of the odour is a disease of the mouth, other symptoms may become apparent, including pawing at the mouth, inability to eat (anorexia), loose teeth, and excessive drooling, which may or may not have traces of blood. 


A variety of conditions may lead to halitosis, including metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus (commonly known as sugar diabetes); respiratory problems such as inflammation of the nose or nasal passages (rhinitis); inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis); and gastrointestinal problems, such as enlargement of the esophageal tube, the main channel that leads from the throat to the stomach.

Other possible causes of halitosis might be traced to a trauma, like that of an electric cord injury. Viral, bacterial or fungal infections can cause foul odors to emit from within the body, and dietary problems can play a role in the emission of odour as well. For example, if your dog has been eating offensive foods, or is exhibiting a behaviour called coprophagia, where it is eating faeces, your dog will have correlating foul breath.

Further possibilities are pharyngitis, an inflammation of the throat or pharynx, andtonsillitis, an inflammation of the tonsils. The presence of cancer, or the presence of foreign bodies may also result in disease of the mouth and accompanying bad breath. But, the most notable cause of halitosis is a disease of the mouth such as periodontal disease, which is due to plaque bacteria buildup.

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