Does my dog have blue skin? A Step-by-Step Guide

Causes of Blue Skin and Mucus Membranes in Dogs

Respiratory System Peripheral Cyanosis

This is most often caused by a blood clot cutting off the blood flow to a certain part of your dog’s body. Although a young pup can have blue skin in a certain area of the body if he or she has a congenital or inherited heart disease, considered right to left shunting in the heart. With this condition, blood is bypassing your dog’s lungs when circulating, and does not get enough oxygen to oxygenate the entire body. Here are some other causes of peripheral cyanosis:

  • Low body temperature (hypothermia) from exposure to cold
  • Shock from serious injury
  • Traumatic incident
  • Injury
  • Embolism
  • Lung infection or disease
  • Tumor
  • Abscess
  • Decreased supply of blood to the lungs
  • Improper lung function
  • Edema
  • Chemical ingestion (medicines, household cleaners)
  • Cardiovascular System Central Cyanosis

  • Congenital heart defect
  • Heart malformation (Tetralogy of Fallot)
  • Pulmonary artery disease or blockage
  • Cancer
  • Right ventricle enlargement
  • Hypertension
  • Blood clot
  • Neuromusculoskeletal System Central Cyanosis

  • Brain damage from injury, cancer, spontaneous bleeding, infection
  • Paralyzation from a tick bite
  • Botulism
  • Accidental overmedication of certain medicines
  • Ingestion of medication or household chemical
  • Spinal swelling or break
  • Treatment of Blue Skin and Mucus Membranes in Dogs

    Blue skin and mucus membranes are always treated immediately by giving your dog oxygen therapy. The veterinarian may also administer diuretics, steroids, and antibiotics. IV fluids will also be given to help increase your dog’s blood pressure and blood oxygenation. Further treatment will depend on the cause of the blue skin and mucus membranes. If your dog has heart disease of a defect, surgery will be necessary for successful recovery. This is a major surgery that is not without risks, which can be fatal, but without surgery, there is a small chance of survival.

    If the problem is from a toxin or medication, your dog will be given further oxygen therapy while administering methylene blue to counteract the chemical. If necessary, your veterinarian may decide to perform a blood transfusion. This procedure has a low risk level since the transfusion is done in the office. Respiratory problem treatment depends on the cause of the problem. If it is an infection, antibiotics will be administered. Diuretics, such as Lasix, will be used for fluid build-up in the lungs. Your veterinarian may also perform a thoracentesis to remove the fluid from the chest cavity.

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    How do I know if my dog is not getting enough oxygen?

    Symptoms of Low Blood Oxygen in Dogs

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Gagging or gasping.
  • Difficult and rapid breathing.
  • Excessive coughing and gagging.
  • Blue or purple tint to the skin (cyanosis)
  • Fast heart rate.
  • Pain when breathing.
  • Frothy discharge from nose and mouth.
  • is the dog with blue skin color really?

    When there is not enough oxygen being carried to the body by the red blood cells, the skin and mucous membranes (e.g., the gums) can turn a bluish color.