When you go to the hospital or have a check-up with the doctor, he will make observations and carry out a variety of tests on your general health in many manners, such as checking the inside of the mouth, having a look in your eyes, examining the breathing rate, and taking the pulse rate.
The same is correct with dogs. In other words, there are a variety of methods in which you could measure the basic general condition and health of your pet with some observations, including things like temperature, breathing rate, or the mucous membranes color. Among these signs, white or pale gums is one of the easiest and clearest things to spot in dogs, which would indicate that something might go wrong with them.
In general, white gums in dogs could be the results of a variety of issues. Keep reading this post find out some of the most common reasons of this canine health issue.
What should dogs’ gum look like?
In general, the usual look of dog’s gums varies a lot, depending on the breed. However, for most breeds, the gums color are often pink to pale pink. These colors mainly come from the capillaries, the tiny blood vessels, in the mucous membrane of your dog. As a general rule, let’s imagine the salmon-pink color that you often notice with most of the bubble gums.
As gum color is one of the most important symptoms of ill-health in pets, you need to keep a mental picture of his natural pinky shade. To examine this, gently hold the upper lip of your dog and raise it up a little bit when he is resting. Generally, the gum should be in pink color, not bluish, dark red, black, or pale.
You would also need to do a capillary test to see whether the well-being of your dog is normal. To perform this, you should use your finger’s tips to gently press the gum and release. If your dog is healthy, his gum should briefly appear pale or white, then return back to the pink in a couple of seconds.
In some cases, the gums’ color might not be applicable to a dog with naturally dark gums or black patches, such as Shar Pei or Chow Chow. For these breeds, you need to look at the color of the eyelid instead if you think that something is not well with him. In addition, a tongue that is paler than usual could mean a health issue and require an immediate check from the vet.
What are the reasons of white gums in dogs?
Anemia is often leading cause for white gums in dogs. In general, it is a medical condition indicated by a reduction in blood volume or decreased red blood cells count in their blood. Eventually, this leads to insufficient supply of oxygen to different organs and body tissues as well as cause white gums in dogs.
- Poor generation of red blood cells
New red blood cells are often generated constantly to cover the dead cells. However, this might fail for some reasons such as bone marrow disease, iron deficiencies, or kidney disease.
- Damage of red blood cells
The main cause of damaging red blood cells is often mediated disease. In addition, there are other factors, including congenital defect, toxins, and infections.
- Blood loss (external or internal bleeding)
Some underlying factors could also cause anemia (and white gums) in dogs such as trauma, bleeding disorders, tumors, spaying, surgery, and parasites (tapeworms, fleas, and ticks). According to many canine experts or vets, internal bleeding is often considered as a common problem in elderly and large dogs.
Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycaemia, is generally a condition which could be caused by a variety of reasons, and is most likely to happen in small breeds of dog. This is simply because they do not have a huge appetite and so keep a very delicate balance of blood sugar. Simply reasons like being too cold, eating an incorrect diet, being stressed, missing a meal, eating late, or not eating enough could result in a decline in the level of blood sugar. In addition to white gums, a dog might also get disoriented, shaky, appear aggressive and be slow to react to you.
To deal with a sudden drop in the balance of blood sugar in dogs, you need to feed them if they are hungry, warm them when they feel cold, or calm them when they look stressful. If your pup suffers from this health issue regularly, you might need to consult your veterinarian about longer term treatments to the problem.
3. External parasites
External parasites in dogs such as high flea counts or ticks basically function as small vampires which gradually drain the blood of your pet. As a result, it results in anaemia and white gums in the dog! The best and quickest method to resolve this problem is probably using a veterinary recommended and effective product to prevent ticks as well as fleas, including high-quality spot-on anti-parasites. In addition, whenever you return from a walk, especially during the summer time, it is advisable to check your pooch over for ticks and make preventive plans in advance.
4. Internal parasites
White gums in dogs could also be the results of invisible internal parasites that latch on the intestinal wall of your dog. Similar to external parasites, those internal things feed on the nutritional elements in your pup’s blood. In turn, this could lead to white gums and anaemia, which happens when the red blood cells and haemoglobin are compromised.
In general, intestinal parasites such as whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworm are often spread between dogs very easily, and by contact with the affected area they can reproduce prolifically soon and result in a high worm count inside the body of your dog.
Internal parasites often infest to the extent that causes white gums, along with other signs as well, including diarrhea, loss of weight, and increased appetite. Therefore, make sure that your pet is wormed frequently with a high-quality wormer whose spectrum is broad enough to treat all kinds of internal parasites. If you have not recently kept up with the worming protocols of your dog, then it is time to sort out everything.
5. Other causes of white gums in dogs
There are a lot of different conditions that could also cause white gums in dogs, including:
Shock : Unexpected white gums might also be a symptom of shock in dogs. This is basically an emergency state marked by a loss of blood pressure accompanied with perfusion, which is the fluid passage via the circulatory system to organs or tissues. According to veterinary perspective, shock could occur, for example, after a trauma like a vehicle accident. In this case, it is advisable to call the vet for urgent attention, regardless of the cause.
Liver shunt : Another condition named liver shunt could be also a reason for permanent pale appearance in dogs. In this condition, the circulatory system of the pooch will bypass his liver, which hampers the detoxification function. As a result, the gums might demonstrate the resultant toxins accumulation through a change in the color.
Dehydration : In general, dehydration is likely to cause a decline in the blood pressure of your dog in the extremities. As a result, white or pale gums will show up.
Poisons and toxins : Other problems such as poisons and toxins can lead to white gums in dogs. Therefore, take care to discover whether your dog has digested something that they should not, such as a poison, household cleaner, or toxic plant.
For any dog owners, it is important to look after their four-legged friends carefully to make sure that they are not developing any conditions or sicknesses. To do that, they should notice any sudden changes in the appearance, appetite, or behaviors of their pet.
In general, white or pale gray gums are one of the most common signs of health issues in dogs. In these cases, regardless of the exact causes, it is better to visit your vet for proper and immediate treatment.