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Ask Bondi Vet - My Labrador has smelly breath

In every episode of Ask Bondi Vet, Pete Lazer is joined by one of our Bondi Vets, to discuss the answers to your pet questions.

Pete Lazer - Hello and welcome to Ask Bondi Vet, proudly brought to you by Bondi Vet pet insurance, my name's Pete Laser, we are joined by one of our Bondi vet’s, Dr. Danni. Danni thanks for joining us. This is the place you come to, to answer all of your pet questions and today we've got a question from Wes, who asks:

My 5 year old labrador has smelly breath. How can I make that smell go away?” -Wes on

Sounds like a very specific problem to his 5 year old labrador, but no doubt one many people have engaged before.

Dr Danni Dusek - Yes nobody loves smelly breath and unfortunately I don’t have any miracle answer for this today. Certainly need to head down to the vet to get him examined, cause there’s lots of causes for smelly breath. So it could be dental disease, it could be an infection in the mouth, issues in the throat, potentially gut diseases and there’s also metabolic diseases like diabetes and kidney disease as well that can change their breath. So there’s certainly many, many things it could be at this stage so heading down to your vet you’ll be able to get some answers and some good guidance on how to manage whatever it is.

Pete Lazer - Have you ever met a dog with good breath though? Cause I don’t know the difference between good breath and bad breath in a 5 year old labrador.

Dr Danni Dusek - I guess there’s some certain levels of bad isn’t there. I guess the freshest breath isn’t so fresh still. But..

Pete Lazer - But it’s one of those times where if you have a noticeable difference that’s when you need to take action.

Dr Danni Dusek: Absolutely, if you are actively noticing that your dog has really bad breath, then there’s definitely something there that we need to look into for sure. So you shouldn’t be noticing their breath. That’s one thing i would say.

Pete: Ok thanks Danni. Of course always ask you vet if you do have any specific questions Otherwise leave your questions at our Facebook page, or get onto

Cockatiel plucking her feathers

Hi! I hope you can help me with my cockatiel, I write from Spain and here they aren't that common so vets don't know much about treating them. I have a 5 years old female cockatiel and she is very affectionate, 2 years ago I had to spend a couple of months at a hospital and my parents during that time were either working or visiting me, so she felt lonely and started plucking her feathers. Even after I went back home she continued with this behaviour and hasn't stopped. I took her to different vets, they told me to give her small amounts of a syrup that was meant for calming itching and an antibiotic in case it was something producing an itching, but neither worked. I also tried a spray called "Pluck-no-more" with the same results. In case she was lonely we got her a mate, but it may be also female since they don't pay attention to each other at all. She rubs her cloaca on the perch often but the other tiel ignores it (the pet shop said it was male but they said the same with her and then she laid an egg...). The layer that covers the feather while growing (not sure of the name in English) doesn't grow normally, looks more like bland plastic than a hard cover like the ones on my other birds pin feathers (besides her, I have another cockatiel and a lovebird). Is as if the feathers on the plucking areas aren't growing correctly. The areas she plucks are under the wings, the part where wings join the body, and the body area that is covered by the wings while resting. While plucking she lets out small cries. The fluff covers these areas so by just looking at her isn't easy to tell, unless you watch her while preening. I let her play outside of the cage very often, but lately she can't fly well and I think it may be caused by the loss of these feathers. As I said, vets in this area are more specialized in cats and dogs and know little about parrots, so I hope you can advise me since these birds are native to Australia. Is there some kind of balm or spray I can apply on her skin to soothe it? Some medicine I can ask my local vet to use? I love her and it hurts seeing her in pain everytime she preens. Any advice would be much appreciated. Greetings from Spain!