Rescue groups, the A.P.A. and the Humane Society, adopt out adult dogs for the most part. And if you have an adult dog, whether recently adopted from a rescue-group, or even an older dog you’ve had since a puppy? There’s a critical health issue to be aware of, which is very often over-looked.
Dogs have “doggy-breath”, right? Most of us feel that’s normal. But contrary to what many people think, a dog’s breath should NOT be overly-offensive. And if it is…it’s more than likely that your dog has at least one severely infected tooth. Not only does tooth infection cause a dog’s breath to become rotten-smelling, it can be exceedingly painful for your pet. The truth is, that a dogs breath should really be tolerable in a healthy dog. If it’s not….please consider taking your dog to the vet for a dental check-up.
Dogs by nature, accept and endure pain as a part of life. They don’t think like humans and aren’t aware that pain is a sign of something gone-wrong and something that’s possibly fixable. So, all they know how to do, is learn to live with it and not complain.
But, living with pain has it’s consequences. It wears a dog down and can cause your dog to lose his appetite, be listless or uninterested in play. Your dog may even stop wagging his or her tail. More times than not….an old dog will appear tired, non-playful, because he hurts. Not because he’s lost his energy.
There’s also the consideration of the dog’s breed. Many brachycephalic or flat-faced dogs have a genetic predisposition to tooth infection. Their little faces are so smooshed, that their teeth are over-crowded most of the time. It’s not uncommon for a flat-faced dog to develop infected teeth, even to the extent that the infection can eat through a dog’s cheek. Occasionally, this type of problem will go undiagnosed or diagnosed incorrectly. The outward sore will usually “weep”, and sometimes be confused with an eye-infection. This condition isn’t as rare as many might think, either.
In rescue, this is an extremely common problem. Especially with puppy-mill rescues. You’d likely be amazed at what a good tooth cleaning & extractions (if necessary) can do to completely change a dog’s personality for the better! It may seem like you’ve got a brand-new dog!
So bottom-line? If your doggy doesn’t have the “get-up-and-go” he or she used to have? At least have your vet do a thorough dental exam to see if an infected tooth could simply be the problem with your, poor “tired” bestest-friend.