My Dog’s Gums are Bleeding

It is often said that the mouth is the gateway to your health. Your dental health is often the first thing to be affected when there is an underlying condition. Dogs are generally the same. However, some symptoms, such as bleeding gums, come with mixed causes. It could be as simple as a scratch, or something much worse. 

Causes range from mild oral inflammation and plaque buildup on the teeth to various stages and types of oral cancer as well as certain systemic health conditions which may be going unnoticed and untreated.

Symptoms of Bleeding Gums in Dogs

The symptoms of bleeding gums in dogs will likely begin in a quite subtle manner that could go unnoticed.  Here are some of the symptoms of bleeding gums for which you should be watching:

  • Visible blood 
  • Halitosis (bad breath) Swollen gums which are red or dark pink in color
  • Yellow or brown teeth 
  • Appetite changes
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty chewing on bones or dry kibble 

Causes of Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can be caused by a lot of different things, as we mentioned above. Your dogs gums could be bleeding because of: 

  • Trauma or injury 
  • Foreign objects
  • Ingestion/consumption of toxins
  • Infection and inflammation from poor oral hygiene 
  • Inflammation resulting from systemic diseases

Let’s break these down further. 

Trauma or Injury

This is the obvious one. Your dog likely chewed on something a little too zealous, something scratched their gums, or they hurt themselves. Small scratches will heal on their own, but if you’re worried about infection or if the cut is large, take them to the vet to be safe.

Foreign Objects

Does your dog like to put everything in its mouth? If so, then they may put the wrong thing in their mouth. It could be a plastic toy that broke and got lodged in their gums, a stick, or something else entirely that causes irritation. A vet will be able to remove the object and evaluate the damage. 

Ingestion of Toxins

Some poisonous chemicals can cause bleeding as a side effect. If you laid out rat poison, if your dog got into your cleaning supplies in the medicine cabinet, or if you believe your dog ingested something they shouldn’t have, take them to the vet immediately.

Inflammation from Poor Oral Hygiene 

Have you ever flossed and noticed that your gums looked inflamed or bleed afterwards? The same thing can happen to your dog. If their gums are weakened due to poor oral hygiene, they will be more prone to bleeding. 

Your dog needs to have his teeth brushed on a regular basis, too, and your pet needs periodic dental cleanings by your veterinary professional who is trained to do so; bacteria and plaque can form in your doggy family member’s mouth just as it can in your mouth and it can do the same type of damage to him as it does to you

Inflammation from a Disease

There are a number of diseases that can cause chronic inflammation, such as oral inflammation, parasitic, bacterial or fungal infections in other parts of the body, or from various types of cancer. 

When Chewing on a Bone or Rawhide

This is the most common reason. Dog’s gums will likely bleed when they chew on harder toys. These toys are designed to scrape away tartar and improve gum health. Sometimes, your dog’s gums will be irritated or your dog will be a little too enthusiastic about the bone, which will lead to bleeding. 

Jagged ends, typically from where chunks split off from the roll, can also stick them right in the gums and make them bleed. 

Allow them to chew on the rolls for only short periods at a time and always take away sharp


Treatment of Bleeding Gums in Dogs

Treatment for bleeding gums in dogs will be dependent upon the cause found for the condition.  If the cause is determined to be purely periodontal in nature, then your veterinary professional will recommend appropriate veterinary dental care by a veterinary professional who is trained to do it.  

If you’re concerned, your vet will be able to point you in the right direction!