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Check for gum color on a horse is a way to indicate disease, as red gums, pale gums or grayish-purple gums are signs that something is wrong. Flip up the top lip to check a horse's gum color with helpful advice from a veterinarian in this video on caring for horses.
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Hi, I'm Dr. Joanna Robson. I'm a doctor of veterinarian medicine with Inspiritus Equine Incorporated. I'd like to talk to you about normal gum color in horses and how to check for capillary refill time, something we call CRT. It's going to be very helpful information for your veterinarian if you suspect that your horse is sick. Your vet might ask you what is your horse's gum color? Normal healthy equine gums should be a nice rosy pink color. You can put your finger under your horse's lip and lift up and see the color of the gums above the teeth. He's got a nice healthy pink color. Horses that have red gums, very pale gums or even gray or purple gums can all be diseased and certainly should have an examination by a veterinarian. Capillary refill time or CRT is when we press our finger, we press our finger against the gums and it blanches and then we count the seconds until it turns pink again. Normal CRT is usually under two seconds in the horse. Prolonged capillary refill time could indicate that your horse is sick. So in recap, normal healthy gum color in the horse should be a healthy rosy pink color. Pale gums, white gums, gray or even brick red colors can all indicate disease. Normal capillary refill time should be two seconds or less. Check for CRT by blanching the horse's gums and counting one one thousand, two one thousand until you see the color appear back in the gum.
Specialty: Vetrinary Medicine