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Dog bleeding gums

Dog and Puppy Bleeding Gums

Bad breath, chewing problems and bleeding gums in a dog are all signs of canine gum disease.

This disease is a serious problem that affects about 85% of dogs. However, it is preventable with good dog dental care. Gum disease increases the risk of tooth loss as well as dog heart disease. In extreme serious cases, gum disease can lead to chronic inflammation, tissue and bone damage and even death.  Infections in the gum can spread throughout the body affecting several organs. Abscesses can spread from the gums into the cheeks, face, lips and destroy the skin and muscle. Gum diseases in dogs include:

  • Periapical abscesses - These surround the tooth, fractured teeth and are responsible for tooth pain
  • Gingivitis - This is similar to peridontitis where tartar, plaque and bacteria cause infections. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis.
  • Endodontic lesions which arise from periodontal lesions.

Dog Bleeding Gums

All pet owners should follow a proper and a regular dental care routine for their dogs, right from the beginning.

Apart from taking your pet for an annual dental exam at the vets, you need to incorporate a home “brushing program” as soon as possible too. While you can start this dental care routine at any age really, it is best to get your dog used to brushing teeth at a young age. This will help make the process easier and also keep infection away. In addition to a regular home brushing routine, you should also get your dog’s teeth cleaned professionally around twice or three times a year. However, in case you happen to notice a problem in your dog like bleeding gums after brushing, you may need to get him examined to rule out the possibility of a gum or a dental disease.

Gum diseases and dental problems are not just exclusive to humans; they can also affect dogs. Unlike humans, dogs have 42 permanent teeth on their mouth, by the time they reach adulthood. Studies indicate that gum diseases are very common in dogs and they affect most canines at some time or the other.

Therefore, in case you notice symptoms in your dog like bleeding gums, bad breath, drooling excessively and chewing difficulties, it is absolutely essential for you to consult a doctor at the earliest. Unfortunately, most pet owners do not realize how severe and dangerous gum diseases in dogs can be. However, do bear in mind that if your dog does not receive the appropriate canine gum disease treatment on time, he could suffer from many other health problems. These problems could be so severe at times that they could also result in death.

While there are a few types of gum diseases that canines are susceptible to, dog gingivitis is probably one of the most common ones. This condition is usually characterized by halitosis or bad breath. As the condition worsens, you may notice that your dog has bleeding gums and is drooling excessively. The symptoms also get more severe, till your dog may not be able to chew hard foods properly. After a while you dog may also stop eating completely, because of the pain and discomfort in the mouth. Eventually, your dog may even develop periodontitis.

Do bear in mind that dog gingivitis and periodontitis are serious diseases and require aggressive medical treatment. However, it is much better to follow the right steps for preventing gingivitis, right from the beginning.

Puppy Bleeding Gums

The sight of bleeding gums in little puppies can be quite disconcerting for just about anyone. However, puppy bleeding gums can occur due to several different factors and not all of them are a major cause for concern.

When human children lose their teeth it is natural for their gums to bleed a little; several children bleed a lot after losing a tooth, even though they do not feel any pain or discomfort. This also applies to puppies that lose their temporary teeth. In such instances, most of them will act like they are not in pain, even though there is a significant amount of blood on their gums, toys and other objects they held in their mouth.

It is also common for little puppies to chew on hard objects in the teething phase and it is mainly during these times when the gums begin to bleed. While this is not a major cause for concern, it is best to have your vet examine the puppy's gums, just to make sure that there is no major injury. You could reduce the risks of puppy bleeding gums in the teething stage, by giving your pet a chilly bone or a raw marrow bone to chew on. Also make sure that you keep cleaning your pet’s gums regularly, so that the blood does not stay in the mouth.

In case your puppy is not teething, but is still suffering from bleeding gums, you need to consult your vet, as early as possible.

Canine Gum Disease Symptoms

  • A thin thick saliva
  • Red or discolored or inflamed gums
  • Bad odor from the mouth
  • Pus pockets in the mouth.
  • Bleeding gums
  • Swelling around the mouth
  • Missing, broken or loose teeth
  • Refusal to eat food, particularly hard food
  • Receding gums
  • Drooling
  • Pawing the mouth repeatedly
Good dental care in dogs is a must if you wish to avoid the above problems. A dog’s teeth should be brushed preferably once a day or at least once a week. Brushing daily and after every meal will prevent the build up of plaque and tartar, bad breath, gingivitis and dog tooth abscess. Do remember that if your dog has not had his teeth brushed before it will take him time to get used to the process. Professional cleaning by a vet should be carried out every six months. Dog oral care should be started from a young age.

Peridontitis can be seen at any given age in a dog but generally affects 80% of dogs who are over three years old. Symptoms of peridontitis are similar to other canine gum disease and it is imperative that diagnostic tests are carried out to determine if it is indeed the disease. There are four stages of the disease - gum inflammation, bleeding and inflammation, symptoms just described along with slight bone loss and pus, and finally all the symptoms listed with severe bone loss. Treatment is surgical cleaning by a vet. Dog periodontal disease is a severe, irreversible disease that affects a dog’s teeth and gums.
  Submitted on September 13, 2011  

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