How To Read Your Pets Gums

Our pets gums can give us insight into their overall health and wellbeing. It is important for you as pet parents to familiarize yourself with what is your pets normal. This way when something is wrong you know the first signs to look for and when you should reach out to your vet.

How to Read your Pets Gums

Believe it or not, our pets' gums can give you a lot of insight into the overall health of your pet.  All gums have a rich blood supply that gives them that distinct pink color.  If this color changes and the gums appear dryer than normal, your pet needs to be further examined by our veterinarian. 

Normal / Healthy Gums

Bubblegum pink is a great color to reference when checking your pets gums. If your pet’s gums appear this pink color and are slippery and wet to the touch, then they’re considered normal and healthy gums.  If you press on the gums with your index finger, the gums should turn lighter to a white or pale pink hue and then quickly (within a couple seconds after releasing) return to the normal bubblegum pink color.  

Gum Problems 

Pale Pink or White Gums:  This could be a sign that your dog has a lack of blood or hemoglobin. Typically this points to anemia or acute blood loss.  Certain underlying diseases may cause anemia, and trauma can result in severe, acute blood loss.  If the body does not have enough blood to circulate then the normal bubble gum pink color fades.  These conditions are serious and need to be addressed in a timely manner.   

Blue Gums:  The color purple and blue is a sign that there is not enough oxygen being circulated through your pet’s blood supply.  Medically speaking this is called Cyanosis, which can be caused by a variety of issues such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, pulmonary thromboembolism, and other respiratory problems .  These conditions are serious and need to be addressed immediately. 

Bright Red Gums:  If your pet’s gums appear red or very bright pink it could mean they’re overheated, have stomatitis or gingivitis. Seeing red gums is a sign of inflammation or infection in the gums.  Oftentimes, dogs with heat stroke have bright red gums from panting and trying to cool their body temperature off.  

Bleeding Gums:  Stomatitis, growths on the gums, and gingivitis can cause your pet’s gums to be prone to bleeding and very sensitive.  If you notice your pet’s gums are bleeding it is best to have them checked out by your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause.

Visible growth on Gums: Growths can be benign or go away on their own, and others are contagious, sometimes cancerous. A viral disease known as Pappilomatosis is a viral disease that is easily spread from dog to dog and results in pink colored flesh like warts on the gums as well as other areas of the body.  Growths should be addressed with your veterinarian to determine if they are cancerous or causing pain to your pet. Keep in mind that if your pet experiences visible growth on their gums it may be causing problems for them while eating as well. 

Yellow Gums: If your pet has yellowing on their gums, nostrils, eyes, and ears it can mean that your pet has jaundice.  Jaundice is the results of the  

Treatment can vary depending on the cause, so be sure to contact us immediately when you notice changes in your pet’s gums. This is the first sign that something could be wrong and it is super important to remember that early treatment is the best treatment.  

Treating these types of conditions early will help avoid further treatment and the higher costs associated with them. 

Go check out your pet’s gums and familiarize yourself with their normal healthy gums, so if they change, you will recognize this, and give us a call!

We’re always here for you and your pets: or call us at (845)-878-4833.



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