The usual color of the gums of cats is pink. Any variation in this tonality indicates the presence of a pathology. That is why it is good that we check the gums regularly. Especially when we suspect that the cat is sick.
Pale and whitish gums appear in some serious situations such as anemia or shock . Therefore, this tonality is alarming and reason more than enough to go to the vet immediately. They cannot be solved at home.
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The color of the cat’s gums
A healthy cat will have pink gums . The mucous membranes and the skin will also have this coloration, which is what is considered normal. But sometimes this tonality changes. In addition to paleness, colors such as yellowish, bluish, deep red, gray or even small dots can be detected throughout the gum.
Any change in coloration is a red flag . It is indicating the presence of diseases that can affect such important organs as the liver or the heart. But, in addition, colorations such as an intense red or grayish represent veterinary emergencies that must be attended to immediately.
In these cases, the prognosis will be reserved. When the color of the gums is white, the cat may be suffering from anemia, of lesser or greater severity, or a shock. Therefore, it is also essential to go to the veterinary center.
What is anemia in cats
Anemia is a symptom that can appear in multiple pathologies. For example, in viral diseases such as panleukopenia or bacterial diseases such as hemobartonellosis. That is why it is necessary to contact the veterinarian. The cause of anemia must be identified in order to treat it.
This professional is the only one who can examine the cat and perform the necessary tests to reach a diagnosis. Anemia occurs when there is a decrease in the number of red blood cells in the blood . It may be because not enough are produced, none, or because they are destroyed.
Anemia is detected by checking the hematocrit and hemoglobin values in a blood sample. It is very important to pay attention to white gums. A severely anemic cat has a guarded prognosis. If you don’t get care, you will die. In addition to pale gums, mucosa and skin, there are other signs of anemia. They are as follows :
- Soft spot.
- Tiredness, which leads to a decrease in the cat’s usual activity and an increase in the time it spends asleep.
- Loss of appetite, being able to eat less or, directly, stop eating.
- Depending on the disease that causes it, different symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting or fevermay manifest .
Types of anemia in cats
Anemia can be classified into several types based on the ability of the bone marrow to re-manufacture more red blood cells. It is a very important fact that the veterinarian will take into account, since it helps determine the prognosis. Thus, anemia can be called:
- Regenerative anemia:in this anemia, more red blood cells are eliminated than the bone marrow manages to replace, but it still has the capacity to manufacture them.
- Non-regenerative anemia: itis a more serious situation because the bone marrow no longer produces red blood cells. Therefore, the prognosis is worse.
How to treat cat anemia?
It is very important to find the cause of the anemia. Treatment should focus on resolving it. In addition, if the cat does not eat and the anemia is severe, it is very possible that it will have to be admitted.
In this way you can hydrate and receive all the necessary medication intravenously. It is also essential to encourage him to eat as soon as his condition allows it . It can be made with food specifically formulated for convalescent animals. It is usually very nutritious and palatable wet food.
In addition, it is very soft in texture, which facilitates its intake. It can also be dissolved in water and made into a paste to be syringed. Another option is to offer him the food that he likes the most, because the important thing is that he eats, whatever it is. The most serious cases will need a blood transfusion.
Shock in cats
Shock is the result or final state of some pathologies that are causing very serious damage to the body, which cannot meet its basic needs. Therefore, it is clear that this is a veterinary emergency. For the cat to have any chance of survival, you must go immediately to the vet.
This will try to stabilize you and protect your organs as much as possible. But even starting early treatment, the prognosis is reserved. In addition to the paleness of the gums, other symptoms are identified such as a decrease in heart rate, absence of pulse, low temperature and, finally, coma. It is classified into different types :
- Hypovolemic: it is the one that occurs when there is bleeding, trauma or very serious dehydration.
- Cardiogenic: it occurs as a result of some heart disease or the presence of a drug.
- Distributive: it is typical of generalized infections or obstructions of blood flow, such as those caused by filariae or a thrombus. It is also the one that occurs in cases of anaphylactic shock.