Dog ate chocolate?

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Bad breath in dog.

Species: Dog
Breed: small poodle
Age: 11-15 years
My dog is 12 yrs old and has very bad breath. I lost my husband 21/2 yrs ago and I have to groom snowflake myself which i don't mind too much, but his breath is really bad and he has lost teeth, but i can't afford to take him to a vet. is there anything i can do at home to make his breath bearable. he is such a loyal and still lovable (puppy) which we (my kids) call him but his breath turns everyone off.Any suggestions would very much be appreciated.
Thank you
Janet Sloboda


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

These are heartbreaking situations. A small poodle who is 12 years old is definitely going to have serious dental disease and this is likely the cause of the smell. The smell is caused by a mixture of infection and tartar in the mouth.

The only cure for this is to have your vet do a full dentistry on Snowflake. This would require a full anesthetic. Your vet would do tests first to make sure that the anesthetic would be safe at his age. (I do do plenty of senior dog anesthetics.)

The problem is that this procedure is very time consuming and therefore, very costly. You may want to consider reading this post on Help with veterinary bills to see if you can get some way to afford having a dental procedure done.

Sometimes, when I have clients who have pets who need dental care, but they can't afford it, I will do something called pulse therapy antibiotics. This is where we give antibiotics for about 5 of the first days of the month, every month. The antibiotics help to cut down on the infection. They will help but won't cure the problem.

There is no at home treatment like brushing or special foods or treats that is going to help.

I wish I had better news for you!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.