Owning a dog should be a wonderful experience, but not when your pet gets sick or infirmed. Of course, regular check ups twice a year by the veterinarian usually keeps your dog feeling his best. But, what do you do when your dog’s tongue or gums turn blue? Quite a bit, as it turns out.
The Causes of Blue Tongue and Gums in Dogs
There are many causes of blue tongue and gums in dogs today. These can range from the breed of dog to infectious disease. Sometimes ticks or other parasites have this effect on dogs, or perhaps your dog suffers from an inflammatory or auto immune problem. What should you do if you notice that your dog’s tongue or gums have turned pale or blue? It may or may not be an emergency, so best to call your veterinarian or seek emergency care for your dog.
The Breed of Dog Matters
Sometimes, the breed of dog can result in your dog’s tongue or gums turning pale or blue. For example, Chows or chow mixes have blue-black tongues, as do Shar Peis. Talk to your veterinarian to find out if your dog’s breed explains the color of his tongue or gums.
Diseases that Cause Dogs’ Tongues and Gums to Turn Blue
Experts report that there are a variety of infectious diseases in dogs that can result in your dog’s tongue or gums turning blue. Among them, distemper that results in pneumonia and secondary bacterial infections. Non-infectious diseases, like heart disease or anaphylaxis, can also result in your dog’s tongue or gums turning pale or blue.
Smoke, Irritants and Toxic Substances Can Hurt Your Dog
Sometimes your dog reacts poorly to smoke and other vapors, causing his tongue and gums to turn pale or blue. Toxic substances, like strychnine, can also result in your treasured pet’s tongue and gums turning pale or blue. If you believe that your dog has been exposed to smoke, chemicals, irritants, or toxic materials and substances, or if you observe his tongue and gums turning a different color, you are advised to call the veterinarian or seek emergency care.
Trauma Can Spell Big Trouble for Your Dog’s Health
Veterinary professionals tell us that disease alone does not explain when your dog’s tongue or gums turn blue. Sometimes it’s the result of trauma to his thorax, larynx or, even, trachea. Sometimes items have gotten into his nasal passages or your dog is experiencing bronchial obstruction. If you believe that your dog has suffered some kind of trauma, or if you observe his tongue and gums turning a different color, you are advised to call the veterinarian or seek emergency care.
Keeping your dog safe, particularly in the summer months, can be quite a challenge. Dogs run outdoors more often and, as a result, can easily get themselves into trouble if not properly supervised or trained. Check out the American Kennel Club’s Summer Safety Tips to protect your dog from trauma, summer’s hazards and harm.
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