Just like humans, every dog’s teeth are surrounded with gums. The gums are mucous membranes that not only holds our canine’s teeth in place but also give us some insight into our pet’s health.
Gums act primarily as a protective barrier, and also produce mucus as well as et a constant supply of blood which is why they have a natural pink color.
Wherever you notice a change in the color of your pet’s gum, it often means something isn’t right with your pet health wise.
What Does a Normal Dog Gum Look Like?
For a normal and healthy dog, the gum color should be a beautiful bright bubble gum pink color. Even you press a healthy dog gum, you should notice a change as a the gum lightens up to a white or pale pink color and then revert quickly to the former bubble gum pink color when you take off your finger.
It takes some time for flight dog’s gum to return to its natural pink color when you press them and that time frame is called the capillary refill time.
Your dog’s healthy gums should also be wet and smooth if you had to run a finger over them. If you notice they at either dry or sticky, then something must be wrong.
Common Gum Problems in Dogs
1. Blue Gums
If your dog is not getting the right amount of oxygen to circulate through its blood vessels, then it will begin to have blue or purple gum. This color of gum is linked to a condition called cyanosis and this condition comes in two different types, the central and the peripheral.
Different issues may be responsible for the cyanosis condition but whatever the cause is, there is no way it will not affect the animal’s respiratory system.
Pulmonary thromboembolism, Pneumonia, congestive heart failure, and other problems that can block the airways often lead to this purple or blue coloration of the gums because of some decrease in the flow of oxygen. All the above listed conditions are serious and require immediate attention.
2. Pale Pink or White Gums
If you notice that your dog’s gum is white or pale pink, then there is a problem that requires immediate attention. This colours are usually a sign of lack of blood or hemoglobin.
This means your dog has either lost blood or is dealing with anemia. There are different underlying diseases that can lead to anemia in canines, and also trauma can cause your pet to experience severe or acute blood loss.
The normal pink color the animal’s gum should have usually fades because there is not enough blood to circulate in your dog’s body. Every condition that leads to anemia is a serious one and calls for an immediate visit to the vet.
3. Bright Red Gums
We have mentioned that if your dog’s gums look pale then something isn’t right, so also if your dog’s gum looks too red you should be worried.
A bright red gum would mean either your dog is dealing with gingivitis, over heating, or even stomatitis. Dogs that are dealing with heat stroke often have bright red gums and this happens as they pant in an attempt to blow off the heat and calm their body’s down.
When your dog has bright red gums it could also mean that your dog has inflammation in its gums or even has an infection that might be spreading. All these problems can make your dog begin to bleed through it’s gums and they also can be very painful.
4. Growths on Gums
Warts and oral tumors can commonly be found on the gums of your canine. There are times when these growths and warts may disappear or heal without any kind of treatment, but other times they can be dangerous, contagious or cancerous.
Papilomatosis is one of the many diseases that can easily be spread from one dog to another and this condition usually causes some pink fleshy warts on the animal’s gums, and sometimes they show up in other body parts.
However, This may not giving many reasons to be scared the way other tumours and growth do. Other tumours may be cancerous and lead to serious health concerns, and also cause pains and difficulty eating.
5. Bleeding Gums
Gingivitis, stomatitis, and even growth may often lead to some level of sensitivity in your dog’s gum and this may also cause easy bleeding. If you notice your dog has bleeding gums, then it is important that you visit a vet immediately before the condition gets worse.
How to prevent gum problems in dogs?
Depending on the reason why your dog is dealing with a gun problem, there is no guarantee that your dog’s gum problem will be preventable.
1. Blue gums
For dogs that get diseases that may hinder proper breathing and oxygenation, such conditions will cause blue or purple gums but the sad part is that these diseases are often unavoidable.
Make sure neither you nor your guests smoke around your pet and get ensure to get veterinary treatment as soon as you can if your dog is having difficulty breathing for any reason. Note that some diseases, such as heart failure, are totally unpreventable.
2. Pale pink or white gums
Typically, Preventing the paling of your pet’s gums is usually difficult, if not almost impossible, mostly because you would need to prevent some of the illnesses that cause this problem.
An acute blood loss and medical condition that leads to anemia should be treated immediately as that is the only way to prevent pale or white gums in dogs from developing.
3. Bright Red Gums
If you can keep your canine at a normal or regulated body temperature, it will help you prevent the occurrence of bright red gums that can be seen in an overheated dog.
However, if your dog’s red gums are as a result of either stomatitis or gingivitis, then a regular dental care must be performed to prevent such issues from occurring.
4. Growth on gums
You may be able to decrease the occurrence of warts if you reduce the level of exposure of your dog that already has pink warts.
If it is discovered that the growth is cancerous or it is a different type of mass then there just might be nothing you can possibly do about it when it comes to options for prevention.
5. Bleeding gums
If your dog’s gums are bleeding as a result of poor dental care, then you need to consider regular brushing of the teeth, as well as regular visits to the vet for dental care.
Treating gum problems in canines
The thing with treatment plans for gum problems is that the vary according to the different gum problems in dogs. For problems that involve the dog’s gums that are discovered to be related to respiratory conditions, an instant oxygen therapy is often needed in addition to drugs that are specific to the underlying medical condition.
For example, a pale pink or white gum in a dog, it may require a blood transfusion as a result of anemia or blood loss. Also, If there is a growth involved, surgery may be needed to detach them from the animal’s gums.
Note that dental care that involves cleaning, medications, tooth extraction, and in some cases even a cold therapy laser treatment may be essential to tackle a bleeding or bright red gums in dogs.
In conclusion, if a canine is overheated or has bright red gums, then simply cooling it down may be all you need to address this.
Have you ever noticed any of the above conditions in your dog? please do not hesitate to share your experience with us by leaving a comment below and also remember to share and help other dog owners learn.