Why Are My Dog’s Gums Bleeding?
We sometimes forget this, but…
Dental health for canines is as important as it is for humans. Your dog’s gums bleeding is as alarming as it would be if they were yours.
In most cases, dogs’ gums bleeding is linked to poor oral hygiene.
It may be the result of an inflammation, but it might also be a signal of something more serious that could be going on in the background.
Let’s find out what bleeding dog gums are caused by and what they could mean…
What are Bleeding Gums?
Bleeding gums is an unfortunately common condition in which your dog’s gums bleed easily.
You might also notice places like the gumline or roof of your dog’s mouth could appear swollen or reddened.
And it might be worth mentioning that bleeding isn’t necessarily always a symptom of bleeding gums per se.
In fact, it manifests a lot more silently than that. Some of the most common symptoms are inflammation or irritation along the gumline, as we’ve already mentioned.
Here are some other symptoms for bleeding gums you can be on the lookout for. Notice how subtle most of them are, so the earlier you notice them, the better and faster you can take a step towards treating your pooch.
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Difficulty or loss of interest in chewing on bones/toys
- Loss of weight or appetite
- Teeth loss or loose teeth, they may also be yellow or brown
- Chewing on only one side of the mouth
- Sneezing and nasal discharge might be signs of a tooth infection
What It Means When Your Dog’s Gums Are Bleeding
Take the right step by first identifying why your dog’s gums are bleeding – only then will you know what you need to know to treat it.
Foreign Bodies or Injuries
One not disease-related cause for bleeding gums could be an injury your dog has endured or a type of foreign body penetration.
If your dog chews on many toys, bones, or sticks, his gums might have been hurt by a splinter.
We also all know our dogs to be very curious creatures, sniffing and snooping around everything, and ‘testing out’ everything by first putting it in their mouths.
As a matter of fact, if your dog’s gums are bleeding heavily (rather than slightly or rather than being inflamed), it is more probable their gums are cut rather than it being a gum disease or infection.
Still – that doesn’t mean you can skip getting them checked!
Toxic Foods or Substances
Your dog’s tummy isn’t the only thing toxic foods can hurt!
Your dog’s gums bleeding could be a sign he has ingested something harmful or poisonous for him, which can be either food or a substance. Think chocolate, garlic, or even bleach or antifreeze.
Poor Oral Hygiene and Systematic Diseases
Neglecting your dog’s dental health leads to poor oral hygiene, which in turn can cause infection or inflammation.
Bacteria and saliva in your pooch’s mouth, as well as food remains, all combine to create a sticky film over his teeth called plaque. Failing to maintain clean teeth for your dog can easily lead to a build-up of tartar and plaque!
Plaque build-up can be dangerous and can result in diseases that can be fatal for your dog.
One of these medical conditions is gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a reversible oral inflammation caused by bacteria that accumulate with the build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth.
You can thankfully treat gingivitis if you catch it early enough – but leave it untreated, and it can progress into more serious gum or periodontal diseases.
As sad as it is to talk about, but our furry friends are not safe from cancer.
Cancer is actually one of the causes of dogs’ gums bleeding, and it is the most serious one.
It is also a challenge to detect, since by the time you notice that your dog’s gums are bleeding, the malignant oral tumor might have progressed.
A good way to ensure your pet friend’s long term health is to take them for regular oral check-ups so that any oral tumors can be identified early enough to remove.
Prevention and Treatment
We’ve talked about poor oral hygiene, now it’s time to talk about proper dental care.
Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is key to avoid gum diseases caused by plaque and tartar build-up.
You’ll also be stimulating your dog’s gums and promoting their health. Not to mention minimising bacteria.
Dental chews and bones can also work towards making your dog’s teeth stronger.
Once you have noticed that your dog’s gums are bleeding, book an appointment with your vet as soon as you can.
As soon as they’ve identified the cause, they can then advise you on a treatment accordingly.
Your vet can prescribe a treatment plan that includes medication, such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory pain relief, or even dental cleaning procedures and dietary changes.
The cost of poor oral hygiene or neglecting your dog’s dental health could be much higher than it seems.
It only takes a couple of minutes per day to make sure your dog’s teeth are clean and in check! Failing to do that can lead to consequences that are only unfair for your dog to deal with.
And as we’ve said, you want to stay away from these diseases – they can lead to serious pet health problems that can be fatal.