My Dog Is Scratching And Rubbing At His Mouth Area And His Gums Are Inflamed And Appear To Be Sore And Itchy. What Could This Be?


5 Answers

Matthew Crist Profile
Matthew Crist answered
Most commonly when you see this behavior in a dog, it is usually some type of irritation caused by chewing on something or being stung of bitten by something.   At times, the chewing variety of irritation can lead to a vet visit to have a splinter or two removed from a very sore K9 mouth.  Even more common than chewing irritation, dogs like to snap at and eat bees, wasps, flies, mosquitoes and anything else they can get their happy little muzzles around.  

Your initial investigation should reveal any potentially red flags.  You do not want to see clear evidence of wood splinter being imbedded in the gums or any broken or obviously infected teeth.  These will both require an immediate trip to the vet’s office for a surgical resolution and antibiotics.  Localized swelling and natural irritation are early signs of a last defense sting or bite from some form of bug your loving companion has devoured.  As long as no lethargic behaviors are exhibited, the swelling should easily be reduced by a small dose of Benadryl in a dosage of 1milligram per pound of body weight.  It is always recommended that you check with your veterinarian prior to administering any type of over the counter medications to your pets.  If at any time your pet’s condition starts to deteriorate, you will need to get them to a vet immediately to have them checked out for poisoning, infection, allergic reactions and other dangerous conditions. 

Knowing your dogs patterns and behaviors, much as with knowing those of your family, and your ability to react calmly and rationally in all circumstances can often be the determining factor in saving the lives of the pets.  When in doubt, always consult a professional veterinarian.
Jacquelyn Mathis Profile
Sounds like it could be a bee sting. Sometimes they snap at them and the bee will get them in the mouth. Had this happen to our dog once. Give some benadryl, but call the vet first to find out how much. Hope this helps.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I have a 5 year old JRT that does the scratching on the skin in 1 spot on her mouth too! It seems to be for her gums, but there's no irritation there outside the skin, no bad teeth, nothing! She does it quite often, I'd say a few times weekly. The vet said it might be her gums bothering her?
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I have a jrt as well and she does that when she has fleas. It's really weird but if she ever has a flea. That's when she is scratching at her gums. I don't know why tho.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Jack Russells are usually mischievous dogs--is it possible he has gotten into anything?  This could be an oral irritation from something that he ate or drank that is now irritating the gums.  Giving him a small amount of milk mixed with water may help sooth any irritation present.
He may also be having an allergic reaction.  Usually dogs react to bee stings or other insect bites by having swelling around the face, muzzle, and eyes but it is possible it could just be locally affecting his mouth.  Benadryl at a dose of 1 milligram per pound of body weight will help is this is related to allergies.  Do not use the Cold and Sinus variety.  This can be given up to 3 times a day.
Dental tarter and abscessed teeth can cause inflamed gums.  Usually this is a more chronic or long term problem.  The discomfort is like having a low grade head ache.  If he broke a tooth this can be very painful and that could be why he is itching.
Viral diseases can cause inflamed gums.
It would be best to have him examined by a veterinarian to make sure there is not a serious medical cause.

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