If you ever notice that your dog's gum has a blushing or purplish tint, it might indicate a condition called cyanosis. In this blog, our vets from Fort Pierce will discuss what causes skin discoloration in dogs and how it can be treated.
What is cyanosis in dogs?
Cyanosis in dogs is when their skin and gums turn bluish or purplish due to a lack of oxygen in their blood. This means their body isn't getting enough oxygen. It can make their tongue, gums, and certain areas with less fur look blue or purple.
What are the signs of cyanosis in dogs?
In addition to blue or purple skin, cyanosis in dogs, it's important to keep an eye out for those indicators as well:
- Respiratory distress, such as panting
- Coughing or wheezing.
- Extreme tiredness
- Confusion or disorientation
If you see any of these signs in your dog. It's important to seek emergency care right away. Cunosis can be caused by heart or lung problems, so a vet can find the cause and provide treatment.
What are the causes of cyanosis in dogs?
Many different abnormalities in the respiratory system can contribute to cyanosis since the respiratory system is how oxygen enters the body. These conditions include:
- Smoke inhalation
- Choking or Foreight Objects
- Heart Problem
- Heartworm Disease
- Paralysis of the larynx
How is cyanosis in dogs diagnosed?
Your vet will likely perform an initial physical exam, like measuring the dog's oxygen level, by placing a small device called a pulse oximeter on an area of your dog, such as the tongue or tip of the ear.
If cyanosis can't be determined with a physical exam online, your vet may consider pursuing diagnostic in their in-house lab, tests such as blood work, chest X-rays, and assessment of heart function.
How is cyanosis treated?
Treated cyanosis usually involves giving oxygen right away. Sometimes, vets may take out excess fluid to ease lung pressure and help them expand, or they might make a small hole in the windpipe to make breathing easier.
You might also need special medicates to help with breathing. The exact medication will depend on what is causing your dog's cyanosis.
In some cases, your vet might recommend changes to their daily route or a special diet to address the underlying issue causing the cyanosis.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.