I have a 10 year old Himalayan cat. He is generally healthy, but he seems to have an odor problem. The odor is coming from his facial area, smells like rotten fish, and is very offensive. You can smell him without him opening his mouth, and if you get within a foot of his face. I had his teeth cleaned about 1 year ago and the smell subsided mostly for about 2-3 days, but came back after that. The vet said he didn't have any abcessed teeth nor any gum problems. His teeth were really yellow before I got them cleaned, but they aren't too yellow now. I thought it might be his food causing it so I changed what I was feeding him. That didn't seem to help. I have limited options with what I can feed him since he has FUS and has to have the urinary tract food. I now feed him Eukanuba. Any ideas as to what might be wrong with him? He has Herpes, which causes him to sneeze and expel mucus a lot, as well as have watery eyes. I don't know if that has something to do with it, or if it's just his teeth. Should I have to get them cleaned every year? I hate having to put him to sleep to do that. Thanks for your help!
Cats aren't known for having pleasant breath, but you shouldn't be able to smell it a foot away.
Have you had his kidney function checked? Kidney probs can cause bad breath.
Also, I'm wondering if he has a sinus infection? That could make his breath bad too.
I haven't had his kidney function checked, but he has had this smell problem for years, so I don't think it's a sinus infection. At least the vet never noticed it. I suppose those don't go away if they're not treated. I'll ask the vet next time I go about his kidneys. Thanks!
Another thought I just had. Since he is a Himmie who has sinus probs, I'm assuming his face is quite flat?
If so, could food be getting stuck in the folds of his face and causing the smell?
Do you ever clean the wrinkles around his muzzle?
It's possible. That would be a quick remedy. He doesn't have too many folds, but he does get food and water all over himself when he eats and drinks. I'll try it and let you know. Thanks!
If he has teary eyes, the tears may have built up enough of a permanent discharge in the groove under his eye that allow bacteria to have a party. Often cleaning below the eyes with saline and gauze helps and you can use a Q tip to apply peroxide on the skin fold below the eyes to help disinfect it also.
Note that peroxide will cause eye irritation if not careful though.
It is also possible that it has nothing to do with eyes. It may be an ear infection, which often stinks. If the smell is emanating from the mouth or jaw, he may need a dental scaling again or if he is very unlucky, he may have developed a cancer of his jaw or facial bones and an infection can set in because of this. It is very common for senior pets to need a dental at least one or more times annually.
You should really have him checked out rather than fret and worry about putting him down for a facial odour. I would consider getting a second opinion if your regular vet does not give you a satisfactory answer.
Martin Slome DVM
Centre Street Animal Hospital
7700 Bathurst Street
Tel: (905) 771-9855
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