Q:

Why does my dog have pale gums?

A:

Quick Answer

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, pale gums are a symptom of anemia in dogs, and it is important to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible to ensure proper testing and treatment. Anemia is a medical condition in humans and animals that causes reduced circulation of hemoglobin and red blood cells. Additional symptoms of anemia include listlessness and a lack of stamina.

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Full Answer

Diseases that cause blood loss and diseases that cause red blood cell destruction bring about anemia in dogs, explains Pet Health Resources. Common conditions that cause blood loss include trauma or injury to the blood vessels, parasites, intestinal tumors and clotting disorders. Diseases that cause red blood cell breakdown include blood parasites, autoimmune disease and cancer.

According to the Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin, gastric-dilation volvulus, also referred to as "bloat," is a life-threatening medical condition that causes pale gums and requires immediate attention. Gastric-dilation volvulus causes the stomach to twist out of its normal position, leading to trapped gas and food. Dogs with gastric-dilation volvulus can't take in food or pass gas or fecal matter. Additional symptoms include dry heaves, pain and bloating of the abdomen, rapid pulse, salivation and difficulty in standing. Treatment for gastric-dilation volvulus involves surgery and dietary changes.

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