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When Owl was born, I noticed that his breath smelled a little like nail polish remover.

That acetone type breath is usually a sign of diabetes in animals. In fact, since some people can smell it easier than others, I have even had vets ask me to come and sniff a cat’s breath to see if it “smelled diabetic”.

So I mentioned it to several doctors and nurses.

All of them seemed puzzled, and didn’t know what I meant.

My mother agreed about his breath – she smells it too – but since no one was concerned, we decided not to be concerned.

And I guess it wasn’t a concern, because he’s fine.

I mean, sure, he didn’t grow much for three months and he screamed non-stop for months and months and months, but overall… he’s fine.

But I still smell his breath.

Usually his breath smells great. Like honey. I love sniffing his honey breath. I thought it would go away when he started solids, but no, he always has very sweet breath.

But sometimes, the acetone smell returns.

When my mother was here for her brief visit in January, Owl got sick. My mother commented that his breath smelled like acetone, and sure enough, it did. Since he had been off his food slightly (VERY slightly), we figured that maybe the acetone breath was connected.

After all, someone on Atkins also gets that breath, because they’re burning fat and protein instead of sugar.

I noticed it again last week.

Once again, Owl was sick.

Now, “sick” for Owl just means a mild fever and only one helping of cereal instead of three, half an English muffin instead of one, and so on.

But the next day, sure enough, there was the breath!

So I googled it.

According to Dr Google, the only reason your child’s breath should smell like ketones is if your child is dying of diabetes. Like, you-should-rush-to-the-emergency-room kind of sick.

Clearly, Owl is not in a diabetic crisis.

He isn’t drinking constantly, he isn’t losing weight (he’s still only 28 pounds, but he isn’t shrinking), he’s happy. He does eat constantly, but that’s just Owl.

So what’s with the breath??

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