What Causes Black Gum in Dogs

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What Causes Black Gum In Dogs

As a pet owner, you are going to worry about your pets’ health. Any time you notice one slight little difference it is only natural to go into a worry overdrive. Our pets are a member of our family, we love them and care for them.

However, if your dog has black gums you may be worried. Some dogs have this normally, others do not. 

It is safe to say that if your dog seems to have any issues with breathing, or eating, or if they seem unwell, seek out veterinary attention immediately. Remember, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. 

Similarly, you should also seek out a vet if the black gum appears raised in your dog’s mouth. 

black gum in dogs

Some Dogs Have Naturally Black Gums

Some dogs will have natural black pigmentation in their mouth, it can be fairly common for some breeds. 

This means that black gums in some dogs can be a genetic pigmentation, and nothing to worry about. However, you should know your dog to make sure that this is natural and normal for them, so you should frequently check their mouth. 

This is just good practice. 

This natural black pigmentation in some dogs can be in their mucus membranes that make up the gums. It is as normal as having different colored fur. Of course, this is not common in every dog. 

Black Gum in Dogs

There are actually few breeds of dog that will have totally black mouths (gums, tongues, or mouths overall), but more will have black spots that are totally natural. Sometimes this pigmentation can even look blue or purple. 

The dog breeds that are most common include; Chow Chows, Shar Pei, Dalmatians, Australian Shepherds, Irish Setter, Pit Bulls, Mastiffs, and Newfoundlands. 

The color and appearance of your dog’s gums can tell you a lot about their health and so if your dog has unnatural black spots on their gums this can be a sign of poor health and a need for a veterinary trip. 

This ruling also counts for if their gums are anything aside from their natural color, red, white pale, and so on. Blue gums are a sign of cyanosis, yellow gums can be a sign of jaundice. 

Group portrait of adorable puppies

But what about black gums?

Why Your Dog May Have Black Gums

If you notice your dog’s gums are black, and they shouldn’t be, the first thing you should do is take them to the vet to have proper tests done. 

You should also figure out if the gums have indeed turned black, and they have not just eaten something or got something stuck on their gums, or stained their gums. 

Luckily there are not too many diseases that will cause black gums in dogs, however, the ones that there are less than nice to hear about.

The most common diseases that will turn your dog’s gums black are as follows. 

  • Gingivitis – Gingivitis is a periodontal disease in its early stages. It can be seen in your dog’s mouth as a black line on their gum around their teeth. If this is present the gums will also be inflamed. Look out for color and texture changes in their mouth too.
  • Periodontal Disease – Okay, we know we technically mentioned this with gingivitis, but let’s elaborate. Periodontal diseases when a dog’s teeth and gums are not properly maintained. 

Gums will darken, and maybe change color, there will also be other symptoms such as bad breath and potential bleeding.

  • Melanoma – Melanomas are a type of tumor in the mouth. It is well worth finding out if it is this, as it is common in dogs. Finding it early is important in preventing this disease from spreading.
  • Periodontal tumors – Again similarly, this is when an abnormal growth occurs in the mouth. It can lead to the darkening of gums. These times can be malign or benign, but your vet should find the cause. 
  • Acanthosis nigricans – This is a skin disease that even we get, however, dogs can get it too. It is known for discoloring particular areas of the body, gums can be affected and will usually darken.

What Should You Do?

The best thing you can do if you notice any abnormalities in your furry friend is simply take them to see a vet. Take them at the first sign that there is an issue, as catching things early can prevent spreading diseases or worse. 

Your vet will know what to do and will be able to help you a great deal. Black gums where they shouldn’t be? Get Fido to the vets!

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