Black Gum Labs: Everything You Need To Know

Black Labradors are gorgeous and simultaneously one of the most recognized dog breeds worldwide. From their looks to their rich history, active personality, and intelligence, Labs are loved for a number of different reasons. But despite their popularity, there have been tons of misinformation about Black Labs. For instance, people often believe that Black Labradors will have Black Gums. But is that really possible? Come, let’s shed some light on it. 

Nearly all dogs are born with pink gum, and so does Black Labradors. However, in some rare cases, there can be Black Labs with Black Gum. It may happen when the dog’s body produces too much melanin resulting in darker pigmentation in and around gums. Black Labradors and other breeds with darker coats and skin can also have Black gums. Though, again, the phenomenon isn’t general and is only found in rare dogs.

What Color Should A Black Lab’s Gums Be?

According to breed standards by American Kennel Club, a Black Labrador’s gums should be of pink color. Maximum dog breeds, except a few chosen ones, have pink gums similar to that of humans. Pink gums mean the Lab has healthy oral as well as physical health. 

In some cases, Black Labradors can sometimes have black or a mix of black and pink gums as well. This may happen due to the presence of excessive melanin, with can result in higher pigmentations. When a black Labrador has Black gums with pink under/ upper line or background, it isn’t a concern. However, if their entire gum is black or pink and has gone through a sudden discolouration, then it is a concern that needs a quick medical diagnosis. 

What Do Black Gums Mean On A Dog?

Normally dogs have bubble-pink color gums, just like humans. Upon pressing with fingers, gums suddenly turn white or pale pink, and then even without wasting a second, they again gain that bubble pink color.

This examination is known as Capillary Refill Time “CRT” and is used to examine gums’ health. The quicker they gain pink color, the healthier they are. Whereas if the refill time is delayed, it indicates poor blood circulation, dehydration, low blood pressure, and other such issues. However, that is not the case with all dogs.

There are many dogs present around whose either entire gum is black, or it has some black-brown patches. 

Most commonly, dogs have black gums due to excessive Melanin production. Dogs can be genetically predisposed to have darker gums, and that’s normal pigmentation. However, that’s not the only possible case. There could be a number of reasons why your dog’s gum is black or turning black. Let’s discuss some most important of them.

6 Reasons Why Dogs Have Black Gums

Due to Ageing:

Some dogs suddenly happen to get black patches in their gums, and that is simply due to aging. As a dog ages, the color change from pink to black or dark brown is common, and it can also appear on the tongue. This is a simple aging result of Hyperpigmentation and has no physical impact on the canine otherwise.  

Due to Melanoma:

Another common reason why your dog’s gum has turned black from pink is due to ‘Melanoma.’ Melanoma is a relatively common tumor that can possibly turn into cancer. It happens due to the unregulated proliferation of melanocytes and Melanin-pigmented tissue that contains melanocytes.

Melanoma first appears around the dog’s gums, typically toward the middle on the backside of the gums and other parts inside the mouth. If mistreated or left untreated, Melanoma can spread to other body parts very easily. 

Or, dogs with black gums often generate the risk of amelanotic Melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer.

  1. Black patches on the dog’s skin can also be a result of bruising or bleeding underneath. 
  2. Black raised patches in a dog’s gums can be a result of blood clothing due to some kind of injury, nerve problem, or other health problem. 
  3. Redness or Blackness along a dog’s gum is also a sign of gingivitis or other gum diseases. Sometimes it can appear due to Sepsis, a serious infection in the canine’s bloodstream. 
  4. Simultaneously, a dog’s gums can also appear black, greyish, or slightly blue due to Cyanosis. Cyanosis is a result of a lack of oxygen and the buildup of carbon dioxide in tissue.

What Do Healthy Dog Gums Look Like? What Color Should My Dog’s Gum Be?

Healthy Dog gums appear powdery pink, bubble gum pink, or salmon colored. Dogs’ gums should always be moist, soft to the touch, slightly slippery, and clear of any patches or spots. Some dogs with healthy gums may also have minor black or brown patches, but until and unless these spots are flattened, that should never be a concern. 

The best way to check a dog’s gum health is by opening your canine’s mouth and pressing the gums softly. The quicker they gain their original bubble gum pinkish color, the healthier they are. However, if they take time to turn back to normal, it might be a matter of concern.

Does A Black Mouth Mean A Dog Is Smart?

Well, absolutely not. Mouth color has nothing to do with the smartness or intelligence of a dog, and it is just a myth. Some dog breeds are known for their intelligence, but a dog can only be smart when trained to be. 

However, what this myth revolves around isn’t Black Mouth dogs but Black Mouth Curs.

Black Mouth Curs, also known as Southern Cur and Southern Black Mouth Cur, is a dog breed known for its intelligence. Originating from the Southern United States, this dog breed, if trained well, can outsmart humans for a while. 

Are Black Labs Destructive?

Destructive nature has nothing to do with Labrador’s Color but with the kind of care and environment, they are kept at. Labradors can turn aggressive and destructive regardless of their color, shape, size, age, and whatever given condition. Labs who are not well exercised, not well trained, and left alone at home without human love around can turn destructive. Since Labradors are destructive in nature, 

Which Dog Breed Has Black Mouth?

As per National Canine Research Council, Chow Chow and Chinese Shar-Pei are the only two dog breeds present across the world that have Black Mouths. 

However, there are some dogs who may have complete or partial black gums. These dogs include,

  • Dalmatian
  • Rottweiler
  • Collie
  • Irish Setter
  • Pomeranian
  • Golden Retriever
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Pitbull
  • Saint Bernard
  • Australian Shepherd
  • German Shepherd

Wrapping up…

While dogs must have pink gums, it is common for a few of them to have partial or complete black gums as well. However, if your dog’s gums are suddenly turning black or of any color other than pink, it is always better to rule out any medical concern. No matter how normal it is for the breed, taking your Vet’s advice is crucial and would help you with managing your dog’s health in the long run.

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