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Bad Breath, Anal Glands,
Snoring & More
by Dr. Joseph N. Farkas DVM

Q. My dog is a 26-pound Beagle. His paws get covered with salt during the winter from the driveway and road. I know this itches him and maybe even hurts so I try to wash them with just soap and water. Is there a better solution?

A. Rinse in lukewarm water after walking - soap is not necessary. You could also buy little doggie boots. Most sidewalks are not salted, so it could just be that there is ice between the pads, in which case the lukewarm water solution would be best.

Q. My Yorkie is usually quite the little lady, but lately she's been scooting around the floor on her butt like she's trying to scratch an itch. Not pleasant for either of us. What should I do?

A. Have your vet check the dog's anal glands, they may be full and need to be expressed. Also check to see if the dog's stool is well formed - loose stool can cause rectal irritation and it is possible that minute amounts of fecal matter maybe in the hair around the rectum.

Check the stool for possible tapeworms. You'll know them when you see them.

Q. My eight-year-old Cocker Spaniel snores like a drunken sailor. He always snored a little but it's getting much louder. Is this cause for concern?

A. Is your dog overweight? If yes, is it because you are overfeeding? If you don't think you are overfeeding then have the vet check his thyroid.

If it's not a thyroid problem, the snoring is not cause for concern.

Q. My dog's breath can get pretty bad so from time to time I give him a peppermint (you know the red and white hard candy?) Well someone saw me do this the other day and got hysterical about how bad that is for dogs.

I've been doing it for years with no problem. Am I doing something wrong?

A. Peppermint candy is a placebo for bad breath: it only masks the problem. You need to determine what is causing the bad breath in the first place.

It could be gingivitis (a gum disease) or a dental problem. It's worth checking with the vet.

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Joe Farkas DVM

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