– When the kidneys are not functioning properly, this can cause a dog’s breath to either smell like urine or to have a strong ammonia odor. Issues may include kidney stones, bacterial infection (Pyelonephritis) or disease. Though signs will vary, many are related to urination. These include but are not limited to: Trouble urinating (just a bit may come out at one time), blood in the urine, a bad smell
coming from the urine and/or possible discoloration (tinted red or cloudy). Other signs are a fever (over 102.5 F) and/or signs of back pain (the Yorkie may sit or lie down in an odd position or hunch over).
– Any health issue that involves the lungs and breathing, can involve bad breath. This includes colds, bacterial or viral lung infections or even asthma. Other signs beside halitosis are coughing, wheezing, raspy breath, a dog may have trouble catching his breath when exercising, etc.
– If a Yorkie has an upset stomach, this can cause stomach acid to come back up a bit, which has a sour, acid-type smell. Also, if there is excess gas, this can cause burping (which may be silent burps), which brings the foul smells of the stomach up into the dog’s breath. Others signs are the obvious vomiting and/or diarrhea, though there may also be trouble eating and a general lethargy. Many things can cause upset stomach; from ingestion of high-chemical foods (cheap dog food or snacks), to worms to bacterial infection.
Medical Issues with Halitosis Commonly Seen with Yorkshire Terriers
* Liver issues
– This is of particular concern with Yorkshire Terriers,
as this breed develops acute liver shunts nearly 36 times more often than all other dog breeds combined. This is a congenial disease, which means that a dog is born with it. However, signs may not appear right away. When a puppy is still a fetus, he does not use his liver. The dam’s liver is actually doing all of the work, via the placenta. When the pup is born and the umbilical cord is cut, it is then that the pup’s liver starts to work on its own.
With a liver shunt, proper blood flow in, through and out of the liver is partially or fully blocked or diverted; hence the term ‘shunt’. In cases of a partial shunt, a Yorkshire Terrier may start showing signs as late as 1 year old and in rare cases, even later in life. Owners that do not know to look for this disease (which again, strikes Yorkshire Terriers much more often than any other breed) may not realize what is happening until the dog is very ill.
- One sign of this is bad breath; it does not have any one particular scent, but rather is simply very stinky breath that is noticeable when the Yorkie breaths close to you. Other signs include: Poor growth, poor general health (the Yorkie may seem ‘off’, resting a lot, seeming depressed, etc.), reoccurring UTI’s, a bad odor coming from the urine, rubbing of the head against objects and/or strange behavior
due to high ammonia toxicity causing the Yorkie to feel dizzy/confused and/or trouble eating. There may also be vomiting and/or diarrhea.
If you suspect this, please contact your vet right away. Blood testing can check for this. Treatment may be a change in diet for minor cases and surgery in moderate to severe cases.