A closer look: Bleeding Gums in Dogs
Bleeding gums is a common symptom in dogs, as there are several underlying conditions that can cause oral bleeding.
While a veterinary examination is warranted when bleeding of the gums is recognized, it is not typically a symptom that indicates emergency medical attention on its own.
Urgent medical attention is needed if bleeding of the gums is excessive or extremely prolonged. Emergency care is required if other symptoms, such as extreme lethargy or difficulty breathing are present.
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In dogs, bleeding gums most commonly indicate underlying dental or oral inflammation or disease.
Depending on the severity of the underlying disease, the amount of bleeding from the gums may vary. Gingival bleeding may be recognized only once, such as after a traumatic injury, or can present intermittently if the underlying condition is chronic, such as a tumor. More severe underlying causes may experience more frequent gingival bleeding.
In addition, dogs that have underlying bleeding conditions may experience excessive or prolonged bleeding of the gums. Bleeding that does not resolve or results in excessive blood loss is a severe condition requiring emergency treatment.
Testing and diagnosis
Diagnostics may include:
- Physical examination
- Oral examination under sedation
- Biopsy of the gums
- Diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, ultrasound, CT or - MRI
The required treatment depends on the underlying cause, but may include:
- Dental cleaning, which may include extraction of teeth
- Dietary modification
- Medications, including anti-inflammatories or antibiotics
- Supportive care, including oxygen therapy or fluids
- Surgical intervention
Gums that are red or inflamed, particularly at the margins of the gums, may be mistaken for bleeding gums.
If other areas of the mouth are bleeding, blood can collect at the margins of the gums and give the appearance that the gums are bleeding.
In certain bleeding or clotting disorders, red spots or blotches may appear on the gums, and can be mistaken for bleeding gums.