dog eating bone

why do my dog's gums bleed when chewing bone?

Dental bleeding is a common phenomenon in dogs. Gum bleeding is more prevalent while the dog is chewing bones. So, we did some digging to find out why dog's gum bleeds while chewing bones. Here is why your dog's gum bleeds while chewing bones?

Anatomically a dog's tooth consists of an outer crown, and inner Enamel, and Dentin. These three structures surround the pulp. Pulp houses arteries, veins, and nerves. Arteries and veins of dog teeth are very delicate and have a very small size. While eating hard or cooked bones, the sharp edges of bones got stuck in the gingiva. After getting entry into the tooth, bones then lacerate the delicate arteries and veins and cause bleeding.

dog teeth anatomy

We'll be discussing: whether bleeding gums is a normal or alarming situation? What can you do to stop the gum's bleeding? How can you prevent gum bleeding in a dog? And when you need to contact a veterinarian? Continue reading till the end to know the answers to all your queries.

1. Why Chewing bones cause gums bleeding in dogs?

Like human babies, pups are also born without teeth. Dog's deciduous teeth start to appear at 3 to 5 weeks of age. Dogs have 28 deciduous teeth and 42 permanent teeth. At around 4 to 5 months of age dog's permanent teeth start to erupt, and by 7 months of age, all permanent teeth are present.

You all know that bones are a treat for dogs. Dogs love to eat bones and Oftentimes they overdo it. These bones, when stuck at the gums, cause bleeding and trauma. Most dogs’ gums bleed while permanent teeth are developing. Because the gingiva is soft, and the chewed bones get entry into the internal structure of the teeth easily.
Once a sharp edge bone gets a chance to enter the gum of a dog, it will lacerate the arteries and veins with its sharp edge. In most cases, a stuck bone remains at the gingiva for a long period, because dogs can't use their fingers properly as humans to get rid of the stuck bones. The conditions worsen when sharp-edged bones stay there for a long time, causing excessive bleeding. Sometimes the bleeding turns into inflammation and ends up causing gingivitis.
The continuous bleeding also causes the build-up of microorganisms. This microorganism causes the dog's mouth to smell bad, and in severe cases, it can also cause tooth decay in dogs.

2. How to diagnose bleeding gums in dogs?

Bleeding often causes pain in the gums, so you need to examine the sign of pain carefully. These signs may include:

  • Dog keeping his mouth open for a long time
  • Dog touching his mouth with the forelimbs
  • Some dogs also bend their muzzle and give abnormal postures
dog bleeing gums

You need to observe these signs very carefully, if they are present then, examine the dog's mouth carefully to see if there is any bleeding at gums.
If you offer the bones of any type to your dog as food or treats, then you should check your dog's mouth after 3, 4 days to see if there is any inflammation, bleeding, or stuck bone.

Sometimes there is internal bleeding. The internal bleeding is even worse because it can deteriorate the whole tooth, and the inflammation can spread. Unfortunately, internal bleeding is tough to examine. So if your dog is showing the above signs of pain, but you haven't found any external signs of bleeding, then visit the veterinarian. The veterinarian will conduct a CT scan or X-ray to check the internal bleeding of teeth.

Dogs are more prone to gums bleeding from 4 weeks to 5 months of age because at this age, teeth are soft and developing. So, if you are offering a bony diet to your dog at an early age, then check the mouth of your pup often to see if there is any bleeding.

Now let's see, what are the most common symptoms of gums bleeding in the dog.

3. What are the symptoms of bleeding gums in dogs?

The symptoms of the bleeding start in a very humble manner and it is tough to notice the initial signs of bleeding without opening the mouth. Following are some initial symptoms of bleeding gums:

  • Bad breath is one of the most common early signs of gums bleeding, but most dog owners didn't pay a head-on this symptom until it worsens.
  • Secondly, the dog shows the initial sign of pain by the downward movement of the head. Dogs also try to touch the muzzle area with the forelimbs.

As we mentioned that early signs of bleeding gums are difficult to notice. So if you just started to offer bones to your dog, then be very subtle to observe the initial signs. So you could treat the issue at an early stage.

Late or chronic signs of bleeding gums are dangerous. Following are the signs of chronic bleeding:

  • Swollen and yellow or brown gums
  • Mood swings in a dog due to pain
  • Anorexia or change in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty in chewing. Specifically in chewing bones.

If the dog's gums are bleeding for two or more weeks, it will turn its teeth yellow or brown. A dog might become aggressive or dull due to pain. Bones that lacerated the blood vessels, cause traumatic injury at the gingiva. These traumatic injuries are awful. The pain of these wounds hinders the normal chewing process. Specifically, dogs face difficulty in chewing the bones.

The chronic signs of gums bleeding could be very treacherous in some circumstances. In case of chronic anorexia, dogs become weak and emaciated. Chromic anorexia compromises the immune system of the dog and makes it more prone to diseases. In case of negligence, the condition could even lead to death.

4. How to treat bleeding gums in dogs?

At the initial stages, treatment is easy, and recovery is quick. If you are fortunate enough to diagnose the bleeding gums at the initial stages, then you can do the following for the treatment:

  • First of all, stop offering cooked and hard bones to your dog, because, these kinds of bones can cause more injuries. Instead of bones, you can offer rawhides or any soft food to your dog.
  • Apply any anti-inflammatory ointment to the gums of the dog. It will provide relief, and also it will aid in wound recovery.
  • In case your dog is having pain, then you can give your dog a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. But use it after the consultation with a veterinarian.

The treatment of chronic bleeding varies. If there is severe traumatic injury and excessive bleeding, then it is a serious condition and needs instant treatment. In case of chronic bleeding, then you should follow the following procedure for the treatment:

  • First of all, monitoring is crucial. If the dog shows any sign of gums bleeding. Then thoroughly inspect the dog's mouth, to inspect is there any sign of bleeding. If you found bleeding, then see how much area has been affected till now. Tartar that builds up on teeth after the bleeding will help you to estimate, from how long the gums are bleeding?
  • Stop offering hard bones to your dog, and any kind of hard food. If possible, then cover the dog's mouth with a ready-made muzzle.
  • Reach the veterinarian as soon as possible in case of severe bleeding. The veterinarian may recommend the treatment after seeing the severity. Sometimes, the bleeding stops only with the prevention and the wound gets better with proper medication. In severe cases, the veterinarian may recommend the surgery.
  • It is crucial to follow after-treatment protocols and also to provide supportive treatment to the dog. Supportive treatment will hasten the recovery of the dog. For supportive treatment, you can add food rich in calcium and vitamins to your dog's diet.
  • Keep in mind, after treatment, gums bleeding can reoccur.

To avoid the recurrence of this condition, you can do the following things:

  • Follow the post-operative care properly.
  • Prevention
  • Maintenance and care of the dog's teeth

Now let's see how you can prevent the gum bleeding caused by eating bones.

5. How to prevent gums bleeding in the dogs?

The best way to prevent gum bleeding is to avoid offering a bone to dogs at a very young age. Because at a young age, the gingiva of the dog is very delicate, so they get injured very easily with bones. Secondly, at the age of 5-7 months, the permanent teeth of the dog start to erupt, if you offer excessive bones to your dog, it will cause injury to the gums. Sometimes, chewing excessive bones at an early age causes the permanent teeth to become disproportionate. That is why the teeth of wild dogs are mostly irregular.

The consistency of bones becomes harder after cooking, and despite being a super tasty treat, a hard bone causes more severe injury than a soft bone. So avoid offering cooked bones to your dog. Carefully monitor the internal mouth of your dog after one weak or after a fortnight. It is better to provide the dog, mixed types of food. That includes raw bones, dog feed, and meat.

6. How to care for a dog's teeth?

dog clean tooth

Like humans, dogs also face several issues of teeth and also several diseases, bleeding gums is one of them. Dogs' teeth disease could be very serious and any ailment related to the teeth of a dog can affect the overall health of the dog. But the good news is that you can prevent almost all the diseases of the dog's teeth by the proper care and cleaning. So here are the following things you should do to maintain the healthy teeth of your dog.

  • The first and most important thing is to brush your dog's teeth regularly. Brushing the teeth is like giving teeth a new life every day. Brushing removes all types of microorganisms from the mouth. And also stops the spread of infection. There are special, soft bristle brushes available, designed specifically to clean the dog's teeth. With the brush, you can use an antiseptic solution or any dog's toothpaste. It will maximize the effect of brushing
  • If your dog is aggressive and doesn't allow you to brush his teeth or if you don't have time for regular brushing, then you can go for Chews and Rawhides. Chews are the alternative to the brush. Chews and rawhides help to reduce the build-up of tartar and also keep the microorganism away from the teeth. But before using any chew, it is pivotal to concern the veterinarian.
  • The third and most important thing is to go for the routine examination. If everything is going normal, then you should visit the veterinarian after every six to twelve months for a proper dental check-up. If you are observing any sign of gum bleeding or any oral ailment, then you should visit the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Conclusion

You have read why your dog's gums bleed after chewing a bone. Now you also know; how you can prevent gums bleeding and what you can do for the treatment? But the important thing here is to understand is; every dog is different, and the owner's observation is the key. Hard bones might cause a severe injury in some dogs, while others have no effect. So, if you offer bones to your dog, then it is crucial to observe the dog properly for the early signs of gum bleeding and tooth infection. Also one should avoid offering a whole bony diet to their dog at a very young age.