You may be used to checking your dog’s teeth, or even brushing them on occasion, all in the name of good oral health. However, it is important to know what is normal, and what may be a sign of something more concerning so that you can take action when it is needed.
What color should your dog’s gums be?
When looking out for any problems with your dog’s gums, it is first important to know what is normal for your dog. Every dog is different. Some may have color pigments and may have dark colors spots in line with their body coloring. However, you must find a non-pigment area and make sure it is moist and pink in color. If you press on the non-pigment area, it should go white and, on releasing your finger, it should then turn back pink within a few seconds. If this isn’t the case, it could be the sign of a problem.
Shock can be a serious cause of pale gums
Although it is relatively rare, shock can be a cause for your dog suffering from pale gums. If your dog has recently experienced trauma, then it might explain why your dog is having this side effect. Equally, an illness process might cause shock. Shock is a serious condition, and if you think your dog is suffering from this, then you need to seek a veterinarian to take a look.
If your dog has recently been through severe trauma and appears to be losing blood, then this can reflect in their gums as the lack of blood flow around their body will cause anemia. This could also be the case if your dog is bleeding internally, so if you are concerned that this may be the case, then it is worth checking their gums for any tell-tale signs.
Anemia caused by disease
Anemia isn’t a disease, but it is a symptom of illness. Anemia is the lack of red blood cells circulating in the blood and can be due to a range of illnesses. These may include Infectious diseases, kidney disease, and parasite infection. Anemia will cause your dog’s gums to be pale, so it is worth seeing your veterinarian.
When the red blood cell production is reduced
Red blood cell production will be reduced with some diseases, these may include kidney and liver disease. Red blood cell reduction may also be the body reacting to cancer, hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, exposure to chemicals or toxins, poor nutrition, or nutritional imbalances.
The most common cause of hemolytic anemia is autoimmune hemolytic anemia, which is an immune system illness where red blood cells are attacked and destroyed by the body. They are still being released into the body, but the life expectancy of the cells is shorter than expected. Hemolytic anemia can also occur as a result of cancer, or exposure to chemicals or toxins.
As with anything, keeping an eye on your dog’s gums can make you aware of an issue that might be otherwise unnoticed.