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December 27, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Arizona, USA:

My three year old child has breath that frequently smells like acetone, and someone once told me -- if a dog has breath that smells of acetone, it's a strong indicator that they have diabetes. I don't know if that's even true, but it has me worried. Do you know if it's true or if the same is true for people? We live in a very dry place so we all drink a lot, but I have not noticed any other of the symptoms on the list.

Answer:

Thankfully, testing for diabetes is simple to do and can be done in a pediatrician’s office. I would bring this concern to the attention of your son’s pediatrician. I bet the acetone smell is more related to maybe not drinking enough water — not necessarily diabetes.

MSB