Wondering “Is my dog sick?” Start by checking the dog’s gums.
When you check a dog’s gums, you’ll want to check the gum color and appearance/feel of the dog’s gums. Here’s a guide to what it means if a dog’s gums are pale or discolored.
What Does it Mean if My Dog’s Gums are Pale and Discolored or Dry?
A dog with abnormal gums may be suffering from one of many health problems.
* What Does it Mean if My Dog’s Gums Are Pale? – Pale gums can indicate two basic problems. Pale gums in a dog can occur due to a lack of red blood cells from anemia. Anemia can occur in dogs as a symptom of a larger problem. A dog with low blood pressure will also have pale gums. A dog may have low blood pressure from internal bleeding, cardiac problems, and a wide array of illnesses and diseases.
* What Does it Mean if My Dog’s Gums Are Brick Red? – Brick red gums suggest an abundance of red blood cells and increased circulation. A dog with brick red gums is often suffering from heat stroke or another condition that causes the dog’s blood to circulate near the surface of the skin.
* What Does it Mean if My Dog’s Gums are Blue or Grey? – A dog with greyish or blue gums is suffering from a lack of oxygen in the blood, a condition called cyanosis. This means the dog is not getting enough oxygen into his blood stream. This improper oxygenation of the dog’s blood is called hypoxia. A cyanotic dog may be suffering from a lung disease or condition that creates hypoxia. A dog who is choking or who has an object obstructing his airway will become cyanotic, with blue gums. A dog suffering from a lung infection can become hypoxic, because fluid in the lungs will prevent the lungs from transferring oxygen into the dog’s blood stream.
* Why Are My Dog’s Gums Yellow? – Yellow gums indicate jaundice, a condition that occurs when an excess of bilirubin accumulates in the dog’s blood. The whites of the dog’s eyes also turn yellow in a dog with jaundice. Jaundice in dogs is most often the result of liver failure or a bile duct blockage.
* Why Are My Dog’s Gums Dry and Sticky? – A dog’s gums should normally be slick and wet to the touch. If the dog’s gums are dry and sticky, this indicates dehydration. A dog with dehydration is suffering from a lack of fluids in the body. For more information on dehydration in dogs, read Causes and Cures for Dehydration in Dogs.
To learn more about how to check a dog’s gums, read The Sick Dog Blog’s article How Do I Check My Dog’s Gums?
(Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo Photo)
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