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Why Your Cat Has Bad Breath

August 1, 2014

Your big orange tabby Oscar sure likes his face time. Each morning, Oscar wakes you up by cuddling your neck and giving you a playful lick on the face. While many cat owners wish their cat gave them that kind of attention, Oscar has a major case of halitosis, or bad breath, and you can’t take it any more. You’ve asked your West Greenwich veterinarian to diagnose Oscar’s bad breath problem and get him some much-needed treatment.

Medical Maladies

Just like some of Oscar’s other issues, your vet needs to rule out a medical problem first. Perhaps Oscar has had a traumatic injury to his mouth, such as when he tried to chew through the bird cage for a tasty snack. Maybe Oscar has an inflammation of his sinuses, throat, nasal passages, or tonsils. Perhaps he has some serious gastrointestinal problems; or he has contracted a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. He might have even developed diabetes or another metabolic disorder.

Periodontal Disease

There’s a better-than-even chance that Oscar has been affected by periodontal disease, as it’s the most common culprit behind cats’ nasty breath. If that’s the case, Oscar might be feeling some discomfort from this infection of his tooth tissues and gums. The infection resulted from huge amounts of bacteria who have set up shop in Oscar’s mouth. While your vet checks for periodontal disease, he’ll also look for cavities and plaque, as bacteria go hand-in-hand with those two ailments.

Questionable Food

You try to keep adventurous Oscar inside, but he tends to slip out when you take the dog for a walk. You know Oscar has an appetite for anything unappetizing, especially the neighbors’ garbage or some nearby road kill. You don’t think Oscar eats the dog’s droppings, but you can’t rule anything out.

Treatment Fix

While you’d like to solve Oscar’s halitosis with a snap of your fingers, your vet must develop a treatment plan that addresses the cause of Oscar’s stinky breath. In fact, Oscar might have more than one contributing condition. In one example, your vet will diagnose Oscar’s periodontal disease with a visual exam and mouth X-rays. As the first treatment step, your vet will clean and polish Oscar’s choppers. If a tooth has more than 50 percent loss of its bone and gum tissues, your vet will remove that tooth. Finally, medications might help to combat Oscar’s mouth odor.

After your West Greenwich vet gets Oscar back into the Fresh Breath Club, your regular home dental care will help your cat stay there. Make sure Oscar gets professional teeth cleanings to knock down plaque and tartar before they get a foothold in his mouth.

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