Blue Skin and Mucus Membranes in Dogs
Cyanosis in Dogs
Cyanosis is a medical condition characterized by blue colored skin and mucous membranes, which occurs as the result of inadequate amounts of oxygenated hemoglobin -- the molecule which carries oxygen to the body tissues -- or due to hemoglobin abnormalities.
Unfortunately, dogs that are suffering from cyanosis caused by advanced lung/airway disease and severe heart disease have a poor long-term prognosis.
Symptoms and Types
Originating in the Respiratory System
Originating in the Cardiovascular System
Originating in the Neuromusculoskeletal System
Your veterinarian will first stabilize your dog's oxygen levels. This is usually done in ICU (intensive care unit) in a specially equipped oxygen cage. Once your dog is stable, your veterinarian will be able to perform a full physical exam.
A blood chemical profile, complete blood count, urinalysis, electrocardiograph (EKG), thoracic radiographs (and echocardiogram with Doppler, if heart or lung disease is suspected), and an electrolyte panel should be ordered to determine the underlying cause of the disease that is causing cyanosis.
A laryngoscopic (voice box) and/or bronchoscopic (lung airway) exam should be given. If bronchopulmonary (lung disease) disease is suspected, a transtracheal wash, a bronchoalveolar lavage or fine-needle lung aspirate may be performed. For pleural space disorders, a thoracocentesis (a procedure which removes fluid from the chest cavity) will be required.
Methemoglobinemia is a condition that can be measured; one of the most obvious indications is that the color of the blood will be darker than the bright red it is supposed to be. Arterial blood can be taken so that a blood gas analysis can be performed at the laboratory. Your dog's breathing patterns will also give your veterinarian a clue as to the origin of the cyanosis.
A type of paralysis that may be only slight; affects the way that an animal is able to move
The area between the folds of the pleura; airtight
The area found between the muscles and the endings of the nerves
The fold of membrane found between the left atrium and left ventricle
Irritating tissue with a great deal of some type of fluid
The prediction of a disease’s outcome in advance
A product made of fluid, cell waste, and cells
a) A cavity in certain animals b) Term refers to a rear chamber in the heart or a cavity in the brain
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
The puncturing of a hole in the wall of the chest as a means of drawing out fluid or air
Pertaining to the chest
Inside the cell
Relating to a disease of unknown origin, which may or may not have arisen spontaneously
The widening of something
The muscle in the abdomen that aids in breathing
The superior chamber in an animal's heart.
An allergic disorder that results in difficulty breathing.
A tool that is used to create a record of the electrical activity in the myocardium
A substance that causes chemical change to another
Less oxygen than normal in the blood
High blood pressure
The condition of having a part of a body part protruding through the tissue that would normally cover it
The protein that moves oxygen in the blood
a) inhaling b) getting out fluid or gas by the act of sucking.
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