A pet owner has shared a warning on the one major sign that indicates your dog needs to go to a vet immediately.
Sutton, from New York, noticed her dog appearing “grumpier” than usual — but she put her behaviour down to old age.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Pet owner’s warning about dogs.
For more Lifestyle related news and videos check out Lifestyle >>
But when her dog went into a cardiac arrest, she knew something was seriously wrong.
“If you have a dog, this info could save their life,” Sutton said.
“I learned about this the hard way last week when my dog went into cardiac arrest… One small thing that you can easily check I had never known after owning my dog for years.
“If your dog is in distress, especially at a medical level, it can be hard to tell if there is something seriously wrong or if they are just wound up or tired because they don’t have the words to tell us.
“I have a very sassy little dog who was acting more irritated.”
In a wild twist, Sutton discovered her dog’s distressing behaviour was actually a sign she wasn’t getting any oxygen.
Pet owner Sutton has shared a warning on the one major sign that indicates your dog needs to see a vet immediately. Credit: @suttonloves
“For a human to lose oxygen, what happens? You turn blue, this alerts you and other people around you that you need help and oxygen,” she explained.
“But a dog has no exposed skin which means they could be suffocating due to an invisible medical condition right next to you and you can have no idea… or can you?”
Check your dog’s tongue
She said the best way to know if your dog is losing oxygen is to check their tongue.
“If a dog is losing oxygen or having low oxygen intake due to health issues, their tongue will turn darker purple or blue,” Sutton said.
“This will appear very dark on the underside of the tongue, kind of like branching out from the middle. Top side of the tongue will turn dark as well.
“Any discolouration darker than their normal tongue colour is cause to investigate to be sure that they’re getting the oxygen they need or they’re getting medication that can open their airways.
“During her cardiac arrest, my dog’s tongue turned almost black.”
Sutton said checking your dog’s tongue can alert you in the event of an emergency situation.
“If your dog has breathing or heart issues that are ongoing, you can also use this as a metric to check them,” she said.
Untitled design – 1 Credit: @suttonloves
Fortunately, her beloved dog survived.
“I check my dog’s tongue several times a day, she’s still recovering,” Sutton said.
By sharing her experience, she wanted to warn pet owners to always check their dog’s tongue if they notice any unusual behaviour.
“After telling two other people who are dog owners and them not knowing about it, I knew I had to share this,” she said.
“Now for people who already knew this, that’s awesome but I needed to share this in case it could help save anyone’s dog.”
‘This is scary’
Her video has been viewed more than 1.3 million times — with many pet owners thanking her for sharing the helpful information.
“This is scary,” one said.
Another shared: “My dog at the age of four was diagnosed with heart disease. The vet caught it early because he was stressed and panting at his appointment. His tongue was blue. He’s seven now and still very mild because we caught it early.”
One revealed: “I couldn’t save my childhood dog but my current dog made it because as soon as her tongue got blue we rushed her to the vet and she is fine.”
Meanwhile, some dog groomers and vet employees shared their own tips to help pet owners know what to look out for.
“Wow I had no idea how many people didn’t know this. This is one of the first things I learned as a dog groomer to check for signs of stress,” one said.
Another added: “If the tongue is discoloured, it’s a lack of oxygen. If the gums are discoloured, there’s a lack of blood flow — something I’ve learned as a dog groomer.”
While one shared: “Vet receptionist here. I always check gum colours to see if they are nice and pink. If they are white, yellow or tacky we rush them to the doctor.”
For more engaging lifestyle content, visit 7Life on Facebook.