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Bleeding Gums

Bleeding Gums

Wounds in the mouth or gums that cause them to bleed. Bleeding gums are often caused by dental diseases, although other causes such as traumas and infections may cause your cat or dog's gums to bleed. Dental diseases can cause pain to your pet and even shorten your pet's lifespan. It is therefore important to seek professional help from a veterinarian or dental specialist when your pet experiences bleeding gums.

How to Recognize

There are several reasons why a cat or dog may bleed from the gums. Bleeding from anywhere on the body is not normal, and a veterinary examination must be pursued to determine the cause of the bleeding and to administer treatment. The most likely pieces of evidence that will indicate bleeding from your pet’s gums include blood-tinged saliva that your pet drools or blood seen on your pet’s chew toys. A further inspection inside of your pet’s mouth may reveal the exact spot from which the blood is oozing.

Causes of Bleeding Gums

The most common cause of bleeding from the gums in pets is periodontal disease. Bleeding can also result from a small cut or scratch on the gum. Small objects, such as sticks, that become lodged between the gum line and a tooth can cause bleeding as well. Other potential causes of bleeding gums including growths, such as polyps or tumors, and certain illnesses, such as liver failure.


A veterinarian will conduct a preliminary examination of your pet’s oral cavity. He or she may also draw blood to perform a complete blood count and chemistry profile. This blood work will determine whether or not the bleeding is caused by an underlying internal illness. In the more likely event that the bleeding is caused by periodontal disease or an oral growth, the blood work will confirm that your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia for treatment.

Similar Symptoms

If your pet is bleeding from the gums, observe for other signs and symptoms of a problem, including reddened gums, an unpleasant odor to the breath, loose teeth, teeth that are caked in yellowish-brown tartar, lumps or bumps on the gums and foreign objects stuck in the gum line. If swelling of the gums, jaw or face is observed, or if your pet appears lethargic and has a decrease in appetite, do not delay in bringing your dog or cat to the veterinarian for an evaluation.

Possible Conditions

Periodontal disease is a likely culprit for your pet’s bleeding gums. Once tartar forms on your pet’s teeth, the bacteria infiltrate the gum and cause inflammation and bleeding. Left untreated, tooth loss and bone deterioration will occur, and the bacteria can enter the bloodstream to adversely affect renal and cardiac health. While it is naturally disconcerting to discover a growth on your pet’s gum, keep in mind that not all oral growths are cancerous tumors.

Treatment for Bleeding Gums

If your pet’s oral bleeding results from periodontal disease, a dental procedure will be necessary. Your pet must undergo general anesthesia for this procedure, during which the veterinarian will be able to perform a thorough examination of your pet’s entire oral cavity. The teeth will be scaled and polished. Any teeth that are loose or exhibit a problem under the gum line will be extracted. If your pet’s oral bleeding is caused by a growth, the veterinarian will anesthetize the dog or cat so that the growth can be biopsied and sent for a pathology to determine what kind of mass it is. Further treatment will depend on the results of the pathology. If the bleeding is caused by an underlying condition, such as liver or kidney failure, then treatment of that condition will be implemented.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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