The colour of your pet’s gums can tell a lot about their health. The gum colour in dogs and cats can vary, generally healthy gums should be a pale pink to pink colour.
Being familiar with what your pets’ gums look like is important so that you can identify any changes that may occur.
Gum colour and refill time is a first aid technique that can be used to assess your pet’s vital signs when they are unwell or have been in an emergency situation.
It is the small blood vessels known as capillaries that make the colour of your pet’s gums. If there are any changes in the blood it is also reflective in the capillaries and can change the colour of the gums from anything to bright red to a pale greyish white. Pale gums could indicate a reduction in blood supply, this is often a result of shock or sickness.
How to check your pet for:
Gum Colour – gently lift up your pet’s lip, what colour do you see? Bright red, pink, very pale pink, greyish white, greyish blue/purple, white or yellow? Remembering that pale pink to pink is representative of good blood flow and healthy gums.
Refill Time – gently lift your pet's lip, using your index finger gently press into the gum for a couple of seconds and release. How long does it take for the colour to return back into the gums where you pressed?
The healthy pink colour should return after 1-2 seconds of having released your finger. If it takes a long time for the even colour to reappear we recommend that you contact your local Greencross Vet.
The gum refill is a technique that can be used to assess your pet’s vitals if you think they are feeling under the weather, have been in contact with a toxin or have been in an emergency situation.
If at any time you notice that your pet's gum colour is not their usual healthy pink, contact your local Greencross Vet immediately.
Next time you're visiting your local Greencross Vets for a health check, why not ask to be shown how to check your pet's gum colour and refill time? We'd be happy to show you!