If your dog appears to have trouble eating their normal food, check the dog’s mouth and gums for any underlying conditions. Open the dog’s mouth gently and carefully. Do the dog’s gums appear red or puffy? It could be a simple irritation, or it could be a sign of a serious condition.
Foreign Objects Cause Red, Puffy Gums
Peer into the dog’s mouth to see if there is anything stuck in the gums or between the teeth. Tiny sticks, bone splinters are even a scratch from playing with another pet can cause the dogs gums to become irritated and possibly even infected.
Use a clean thin cloth dipped in cold water to gently rub and massage the pet’s gums. If you observe any signs of pus or blood on the cloth, it is a good idea to consult with a veterinarian.
If you use holistic remedies, dipping the cloth in chamomile tea and rubbing the gums with it will relieve the pain and irritation and may possibly relieve the swelling until the pet can be seen by a veterinarian.
Serious Conditions of Red Puffy Gums in Dog’s Mouth
If you haven’t observed any puncture wounds on the dog’s gums, check for loose or chipped teeth. An abscessed or infected tooth could be the culprit. If you notice any loose teeth, you can wait a few days.
Continue to apply a cold cloth massage to see if the tooth falls out. If the puffiness continues or the dog refuses to eat, see a veterinarian immediately. The tooth may have become seriously infected and the dog may need antibiotics.
Dogs can have gingivitis, just like humans. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that is caused by a bacterial infection. If the dog has bad breath, along with the red, puffy gums, gingivitis may be the suspect.
Gingivitis occurs when food gets trapped between the gum and teeth and bacteria forms. This turns into tartar and then plaque. Early gingivitis may be controlled by brushing the dog’s teeth and massaging the gums with the cold cloth.
Severe gingivitis will have to be taken care of in a vet’s office. The vet will clean the dog’s teeth just like the dentist cleans your teeth. If the gingivitis is severe the vet may sedate the dog to do an intense cleaning.
Preventative Care for Healthy Gums
A good healthy diet and oral mouth care will help insure that your dog does not get red, puffy gums. Check the dog’s mouth and teeth as a regular part of the cleaning and grooming process. Dry dog food and chew toys will help control plaque build up.
If your dog will allow it, brush the teeth before or after bath time. Using a finger brush that is designed for a baby’s gum care may be easier for you and may be more acceptable to your dog.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Seriously puffy or red gums can indicate a life threatening issue for your dog. Always consult your veterinarian, especially if the dog is not eating or acting right.
Book: “Herbs for Pets” by Gregory L Tilford & Mary L Wulff
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