Coloration of Canine Mucous Membranes

 

In the previous entry commented that many times the mucous membranes are important as indicative of the state of health of our dog. I take photos of my dog that I used in the previous post to show what would be a normal coloration of mucous membranes.

Usually the mucous membranes have a pinkish color. If they appear paler (in some cases they become completely white), they are indicative of anemia, severe bleeding or shock. Bluish mucous membranes indicate Cyanosis (Abnormal amount of hemoglobin, molecule that is responsible for transporting oxygen). If they are yellowish they are a sign of jaundice (increase of bilirubin) and therefore of a problem in the liver.

If they are dry it means that the animal is dehydrated.

The mucous membranes also serve to assess the Capillary Refill Time (CRT). It is a quick test to assess blood circulation. It is measured by pressing with a finger the mucosa (usually the gingival), after pressing a white mark remains in the place where we press with the finger, that should return to its normal coloration (pink) in 1 or 2 seconds. If it takes more than 2 seconds it would be indicative of a heart problem.

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