so i just got an 11 year old American bull dog from the rescue center we are fostering and we have not taken her to the vet yet. she has been getting really pink in the mouth and on her gums, sneezing a little and rubbing her face? we feed her from a plastic bowl and we also have another cat and dog could it be allergies? some times its whiteish and some times it gets really pink
Hi. Yes, almost definitely it is an allergy - maybe more than one allergy. Ask the rescue center if the symptoms were visible by any of the staff there. If so, they certainly should not have fostered her out until the problem had been both diagnosed and treated.
I am going to suggest these in order of likelihood ...
First, plastic bowls are not good for dogs. Not only are they chewable (often resulting in ripped gums and other injuries, including the potential for blockage, throat trauma, and more), they also contain chemical colorants within the plastic and sometimes even painted surfaces, all of which can be toxic. Throw the plastic bowl away and acquire a stainless steel or a ceramic bowl.
Next, there is the possibility your foster dog is allergic to your cat (or more likely, cat hair). This is not as unusual as you might think. It is worth asking the rescue center whether they have any knowledge about the dog's history, whether it was ever homed with cats, etc.
Next, are you feeding the dog the same food it was being fed in the rescue center? If not, she may be reacting to the new food - or more likely one of the proteins in the new food. Take a look at my article, which tells you all about food allergies: http://www.infobarrel.com/Is_Your_Dog_Allergic_To_Its_Food
If you are feeding dry food - read my article on dry food here: http://www.infobarrel.com/Why_Dry_Dog_Food_Is_Bad_For_Dogs
And if you have fed anything from this list, it could be she is reacting to it: http://www.infobarrel.com/Everyday_Foods_That_Are_Poisonous_To_Dogs
And finally, have you noticed your other pets scratching at all? If so, there may be a flee infestation, and your foster dog may be allergic to them. Equally, your foster dog may have acquired flees while in the rescue center from another dog housed there.
But now a word of caution ... all dogs gums should be pink. But the pink should not be a glowing, angry color, as this suggests a problem may exist. You can test the color (only if your foster dog is trustworthy, calm and friendly) by gently pressing the gum area with your finger. When you remove your finger, the area should be white and then return to it's normal pink color within 2 seconds. If this does not happen - tell the vet when you go in to see him.
If the gums are (as I suspect you are telling us) bright pink/red in color, then this suggests a systemic infection or a toxin is present - and needs fairly urgent veterinary investigation before it gets any worse.
Some dogs develop something called plastic dish dermatitis because plastic food bowls, no matter how well we attempt to clean them, become scratched and pitted, providing a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria that can cause what you are describing. Stainless steel bowls are a much better choice for doggie dinnerware since they are virtually indestructable and don't become scratched and pitted as time goes by. Switch his dinnerware over to stainless steel from plastic and you should see the bright pinkness fade within a week or two.
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