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My Cat Has Killer Breath

Your longhaired cat Whiskers is a full-time feline lovebug. While you’ve seen cats turn on their affection when it suited them, Whiskers really loves being with people, rather than his cat buddies. Whiskers sleeps on your bed at night, and he loves to curl up on the couch while you’re watching television or reading a book. There’s just one problem: Whiskers has horrendous breath, or halitosis, and it has almost made you banish him to the spare bathroom. Since that action won’t make Whiskers’ breath any better, you’ve asked your Hancock County veterinarian to diagnose your little stinker’s problem and find a solution.

Hidden Medical Ailment

Poor Whiskers might be troubled by a hidden medical condition. A gastrointestinal problem, or a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection, can lead to objectionable body odors. Whiskers’ nasty breath can also result from an inflammation of his throat, tonsils, nasal passages, or sinuses. On the other hand, Whiskers might have a metabolic disease such as diabetes, and his breath is actually a secondary effect of that problem. While you don’t think Whiskers has been chewing on an electric cord, or otherwise gotten a traumatic mouth injury, that incident can also cause his halitosis.

Periodontal Disease

Whiskers might have contracted periodontal disease that can essentially destroy his tooth tissues and gums. This preventable condition begins when whole cities of bacteria adopt Whiskers’ mouth as their home. Even worse, these opportunistic bacteria are close friends with plaque and cavities. While you can’t undo the existing damage, you can work with your vet to prevent more periodontal disease from affecting Whiskers’ mouth.

Undesirable Food Choices

Even though Whiskers is a well-fed feline, you’ve seen a few garbage scraps on your kitchen floor, making it clear that he’s supplementing his meals. Also, while Whiskers is supposedly an inside cat, he occasionally sneaks out and makes a beeline for the neighbors’ garbage. You’ve also seen him sniffing some nearby road kill. You haven’t seen any evidence that Whiskers is devouring his own droppings, but that’s certainly possible, too.

Targeted Treatment

Your Hancock County vet will likely find that Whiskers has several mouth problems. Since your vet suspects periodontal disease, he’ll confirm that hunch with mouth X-rays and a visual exam. Next, the vet will clean and polish Whiskers’ choppers. If the vet sees a tooth with more than 50 percent loss of the surrounding bone and gum tissues, he’ll probably remove that tooth. He might also prescribe medications that address Whiskers’ revolting mouth odor.

To keep Whiskers’ halitosis from returning, ask your vet how to provide good home dental care for your cat. Get his teeth cleaned regularly, and keep your curious cat away from questionable food substances.

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