why does my dog have black gums
Once plaque on your dog's teeth hardens into tartar, the bacteria cause inflammation of the gums. This inflammation is known as gingivitis, and it presents as a reddening of the gums where the teeth meet the gumline. Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease. If you notice a thin black line along the border where the teeth and gums meet, the bacterial army has invaded under the gumline. This characterizes the next stage of periodontal disease, and it is one scenario where black along the gums indicates a health concern. As the bacteria accumulates and invades deeper into the gums, roots of teeth and supporting bone structures, the periodontal disease progresses to advanced stages that can result in tooth loss, bone decay and internal organ damage as the bacteria infiltrate the bloodstream. You can be proactive in preventing advanced periodontal disease with a home dental care routine.
The following are some causes of pale gums in dogs.
Notice how most of these conditions are an emergency! Shock. in the case of shock, the blood may be concentrated in certain body parts (the most important organs) causing less blood flow to the gums. The causes for shock are many and may encompass several of the conditions below. See also the capillary refill time section. Chronic renal failure (kidney disease). The kidneys normally make a hormone called erythropoietin which is responsible for telling the bone marrow to make red blood cells. When kidney function is impaired, less of this hormone is made, therefore the dog becomes anemic and develops pale gums. Internal bleeding. This may be caused by several factors. Dogs who have been injured such as being hit by a car may bleed internally. Or the liver and/or spleen and sometimes kidneys have been damaged.
A stomach ulcer may trigger internal bleeding, and often dog owners will notice their dogs will produce produce black, tarry stools. Another cause of internal bleeding is a which may rupture and bleed causing lethargy, pale gums, collapse, and fluid in the belly ( ). Auto-immune disease. This is a condition where the dog's immune system attacks itself. In the case of hemolytic anemia, the immune system starts destroying red blood cells which leads to anemia and pale gums. Hemolytic anemia is a condition that can be triggered by an immune-mediated cause. A blood clotting disorder. In this case, the blood doesn't coagulate normally, causing a predisposition to bleed abnormally or excessively. Examples are conditions like thrombocytopenia and thrombocytopathy. Affected dogs may develop pale gums, bleeding, blood in urine or stool, and bruises on the skin.
Heart disease. A heart problem may cause a drop in blood pressure and coughing, tiredness, rapid breathing, poor appetite, pale or bluish gums, weak pulse, and an enlarged abdomen (ascites). Bloat. In this case, the dog will have a distended abdomen, may try to vomit, may appear in distress, and will have ghost-white gums. The pale gums in this case appear because the stomach torsion stops blood from returning from the lower body back to the heart, explains veterinarian. Severe parasite infestation. This can be seen when dogs have a heavy load of intestinal worms (such as hookworms) or a severe flea infestation. Yes, fleas can consume 15 times their own body weight in blood and trigger parasitic anemia, according to theASPCA. Also, tick-borne diseases like babesiosis may cause anemia. Exposure to rat poison. often contains warfarin, an anticoagulant, causing affected dogs to bleed profusely.
Heavy metal toxicity. Zinc toxicity results from the ingestion of objects made of zinc (think pennies minted after 1982). Zinc interferes with the absorption of iron meant for the production of red blood cells and triggers anemia, explains veterinarian. Affected dogs develop pale yellow-colored gums and skin along with a brown, orange tint to the urine. Some may even develop acute kidney failure. Cancer. There are some forms of cancer, such as bone marrow cancer, that cause a decreased production of blood cells. Cancers affecting the liver and the spleen ( ) can also cause significant internal bleeding into the abdomen. *Note: In humans, pallor is often associated with anemia which is often due to reduced iron intake. Anemia can affect dogs, too, but for different reasons. Lack of iron is mostly unheard of in dogs because their diets are rich in iron.
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