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What is Bleeding from the Mouth?

It can be very upsetting to find your dog bleeding from the mouth.  A small amount of blood from a nick should not cause you to be concerned.  However, if your dog is continuously bleeding from the mouth, he must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. A foreign object could cause breathing difficulties and a condition such as an abscess could quickly become painful. 

Bleeding from the mouth may be caused by:

  • Laceration on the dog’s tongue or mouth
  • Oral trauma
  • Canine ulcerative paradental stomatitis (CUPS)
  • Abscess or fractured tooth
  • Gingivitis
  • Foreign object lodged in gums or throat
  • Blood clotting disease such as Von Willebrand’s Disease

It is important to find the cause of the bleeding.  Excessive bleeding is a serious condition which can cause your dog to go into shock. A bleeding dog with a clotting disorder may need to have an emergency blood transfusion.

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Why Bleeding from the Mouth Occurs in Dogs

Laceration on the Dog’s Tongue or Mouth

Your dog may have cut his mouth or tongue by chewing on toys, sticks or even rocks.  A laceration can be caused by another animal bite (dog, cat, raccoon, rat or possum).  If your dog got into the garbage, he may have cut himself on a can or other sharp object.

Oral Trauma

Oral bleeding may be caused by a fall, impact with a car or by being physically hit on the mouth. Additionally, tongue trauma can occur during freezing temperatures; a dog licks metal and must then rip his tongue free (tongue gets stuck). 

Canine Ulcerative Paradental Stomatitis (CUPS)

 

Canine ulcerative paradental stomatitis is a disorder that causes painful ulcers on the lining of the dog’s mouth. The ulcers are triggered by plaque on your dog’s teeth.  The ulcers can open and bleed.  Breeds that are more predisposed to CUPS are the German Shepherd, Dachshund, Labrador Retriever and the Maltese.

Abscess or Fractured Tooth

An abscess or a fractured tooth may be causing your dog to bleed from the mouth. The abscess may cause additional symptoms such as facial swelling, fever, pain and loss of appetite.

Gingivitis

 

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums due to bacteria and plaque. Gingivitis is a very common condition in dogs.  The infected gums can become very painful, swollen and can also start to bleed.

Foreign Object

Dogs can get a piece of toy or stick stuck in between their teeth.  Grass seeds, fishing hooks and porcupine quills can also pierce the tongue, face, under the tongue or the gums. Foreign objects lodged in your dog’s mouth can cause great discomfort and bleeding.

Blood Clotting Disease

 

Von Willebrand’s disease is the most common inherited, blood clotting disorder in people and in dogs. It is caused by the deficiency of a clotting protein. There are three different types of Von Willebrand’s disease. They are classified by whether the clotting protein is reduced, moderate or completely absent. Without the clotting protein, the platelets are unable to bind together to stop bleeding. Without proper medical treatment, the patient can bleed to death.

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What to do if your Dog is Bleeding from the Mouth

If your dog has prolonged or repeated bleeding from the mouth, he should be examined by a veterinarian. 

If your dog is heavily bleeding, the veterinarian team will first need to stabilize him. They may administer an IV to help keep your dog hydrated.  If the patient has lost a lot of blood, he may need a blood transfusion. 

After the patient is stable, the veterinarian may recommend a complete blood count (CBC) and x-rays.  If the CBC determined a low platelet count, the veterinarian may recommend a buccal mucosal bleeding time test and a specific blood test for Von Willebrand’s disease, which measures the levels of the clotting protein.

Dogs with dental or gum conditions may be referred to a veterinarian dentist.  Deep and large lacerations may need sutures.  The mouth will need to be cleaned several times a day with a disinfectant.  Your pet will not be able to eat hard kibble. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics to help prevent a bacterial infection.

If the veterinarian finds a foreign object in the dog’s mouth he will remove it.  Your dog will need to be sedated during the procedure.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Von Willebrand’s disease in dogs but the disease can be managed and controlled.  The veterinarian may also recommend soft, wet food instead of dry kibble, which can cause gum bleeding. Hard chew toys and rough housing should be avoided.

Dogs with clotting disorders should not be given nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), estrogens, heparin or sulfonamide antibiotics. 

Additionally, if your dog ever requires surgery, let the surgeon know that your companion has a clotting disorder.  The surgical team is then prepared and will have blood transfusions available.  It is also a good idea to know your dog’s blood type, in case of a bleeding emergency.

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Prevention of Bleeding from the Mouth

Regular visits to a veterinary dentist may help prevent a tooth abscess, plaque and gingivitis.  It is a good idea to keep an eye on your dog when he is playing outside. Unsupervised dogs can chew on things they should not be chewing on (sticks, rocks grass seeds). Additionally, they can be attacked by wild animals or exposed to physical abuse. 

Von Willebrand’s disease is an inherited genetic condition.  The only way to prevent the disease is to not breed carriers of the disease.

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Cost of Bleeding from the Mouth

The cost of treatment will depend on the veterinarian’s diagnosis.  The treatment of canine ulcerative paradental stomatitis may range from $500 to $4500.  The cost of treating gum disease can be $800.

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Bleeding from the Mouth Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Germen retriever

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4-5 months

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Bleeding In Mouth

My dogs mouth is bleeding

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in answering, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. It would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment if needed.

Oct. 17, 2020

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Dachshund

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Six Months

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Bleeding

Bleeding continuously in mouth Because of cut

Sept. 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is feeling better. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 23, 2020

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American Bulldog

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Fever Bleeding Inside His Mouth And One Eye Is Completely Red

My mom dog is running a fever and he is panting and as his mouth is open we can see blood on the inside of his mouth back to his throat. He is lethargic not eating and one of his eyes is completely red.

Aug. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, your dog sounds really quite sick, and it would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Without being able to see him, there is no way that I can say what might be going on with him, and it sounds like he needs to be seen by a veterinarian. They will be able to examine him, see what might be going on, and get treatment for him. I hope that he is okay.

Aug. 26, 2020

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Boston Terrier

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Ten Years

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1 found helpful

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Bleeding From Mouth

I noticed my dogs mouth bleeding a few weeks ago and thought nothing of it because he gets in to skuffles with the other dogs and has never had any issues. It hasn't stopped and today when I looked in his mouth his teeth are rotting on the left side and his mouth appears to be eroding away and his breath is horrible. His last vet visit was fine and no need for concern but the trauma to his mouth has me concerned. He hasn't been eating a lot and he's losing muscle mass (head cave in) i don't want him to be in pain or suffering but I don't have hundreds and thousands of dollars to spend either.

Aug. 4, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question Since this seems to be a somewhat recent occurrence for him, It would probably be best to have another exam with your veterinarian, and ask them to look specifically at his mouth and the muscles in his head, and see what might be going on. Most dogs do need regular dental cleanings, and if they don't have those, they can get bacteria and periodontal disease. Without being able to see him, it is hard for me to say what might be involved in his treatment, but once your veterinarian has looked at him, they will be able to give you a better idea. I hope that all goes well for him and he feels better soon.

Aug. 4, 2020

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Labrador Retriever

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Seven Years

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Bleeding

My dog has occasionally been bleeding out of his penis for the past week, and today when I took him on a walk he started bleeding from his mouth. He has been acting like he normally does and has been eating well. Do you think you could tell me what the issue may be?

July 21, 2020

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I'm sorry that it's happening. Without seeing him, it is very difficult for me to say what might be going on, but I would suspect a platelet disorder or a bleeding problem of some kind since it seems to be coming out of more than one area. It would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible, as they can do some testing and examine him and see what might be going on. I hope that all goes well for him.

July 21, 2020

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Luna

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Shihpoo

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10 Months

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Moderate severity

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Lethargy
Lethargy, Bleeding From Teeth/Gums

I have a 10 month old Shih-poo that started acted lethargic two days ago and then began bleeding from her gums yesterday. I took her to the vet yesterday and she was positive for Anaplasmosis (tick borne illness)and they started her on Doxycline. She went to play with her ball this morning and was bleeding again just from picking up her ball. She is definitely quieter than her usual spunky self. Can Anaplamosis be the cause of all her symptoms, or should we look for other causes of the mouth bleeding?

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Paisley

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Morkie

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8 Years

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Bleeding From Mouth

Starting today, 6/24, my dog has been bleeding from her mouth every time she licks something or laps at something. She has bled from licking EVERYTHING. We tried giving her ice, ice water, and many other things to try and make her stop. She doesn’t seem to be in pain at all from it, but it makes me feel really sad to see her bleeding

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Bella

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Boxer

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11 Years

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Bleeding

Now 11 yr old boxer cut lingual frenulum 3 years ago on a nylabone. Required her to be sedated and stitched, soft food ordered for 10 days with antibiotics. At 11 she has recently began struggling with her dry dog food. I began softening her food about 2 weeks ago and she has returned to her normal eating pace. Tonight as she finished her dinner I discovered her frenulum bleeding. She has not actively chewed on any of her toys today. Is there a possibility that the soft food has strained her tongue where she previously had to have it stiched? The bleeding seems to be minimal as she has stopped licking in the manner that she was upon completing her dinner tonight. 3 years ago I did not discover the cut until the following morning. The cut caused her to slowly ingest blood which in turn irritated the lining of her stomach resulting in her committing a large amount of blood.

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gizmo

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Chihuahua

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11 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

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Bleeding
Thirsty
Lack Of Appetite

my chihuahua is around 11 years old and has lost a couple of his teeth recently. he just started bleeding from his mouth. it’s not much but it mainly happens at night or in the middle of the night. so far it’s only happened 5 times. it appears bright red and about the size of a dime or smaller. he hasn’t drank much water in the past 2 days nor has he eaten his dog food. i’ve given him white rice thinking he was throwing up blood until i realized its coming from his mouth somewhere. he’s also been acting completely normal even playing and running around. any advice would greatly help!

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truffles

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Maltipoo

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14 Years

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Sensitive Face,Bloodfrom Mouth

I have a 14 yr old maltipoo.We were at the vet just yesterday and this morning I noticed blood coming from her mouth,on her blanket but not on the couch but on my arm when I pick her up.She wont let me near her face at all.She does eat drink pee and poo normally and shes not whining.I just dont want her to lose too much blood should I wait or go to emerg Its a 2hr trip

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