The most common cause for swollen red gums in dogs is gingivitis, an inflammation usually resulting from dental plaque. As untreated gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, the gums will become darker red and more painful. Gums that become brick red in a short time are a sign of red blood cell congestion because the animal's blood has thickened from dehydration. Brick red gums are an indication of heatstroke.
Holistic veterinarian Dr. Richard Pitcairn recommends myrrh as a treatment for red, inflamed or purulent gums. Buy tincture of myrrh from a health food store, holistic vet or online. Add 6 ml (1 tsp) to 240 ml (1 cup) of water. If your dog's gums are extremely painful, use a syringe to flush them with myrrh and water; otherwise use a soft-bristled toothbrush, baby-sized if necessary, to apply the mixture. Do this one or two times a day, depending on the seriousness of your dog's condition.
The Pet Lover's Guide to Natural Healing for Cats and Dogs suggests applying medical honey with antibacterial properties to inflamed gums or rinsing red gums caused by gingivitis with fennel tea. Purchase medical-grade honey online and fennel tea from a health food store.
If your dog suffers from chronic gum disease, supplement his or her diet with Coenzyme Q. It's sold in capsules of powder, which you can break and mix in your pet's food. Dr. Pitcairn recommends a dosage of 30mg to 60mg according to your dog's weight. Coenzyme Q10 is safe for long-term use.
Provide your dog with antioxidant vitamins A, C and E to fight periodontal infection, and with the minerals manganese and zinc to heal periodontal tissue. Prevent future outbreaks of red gums from gingivitis by letting your dog chew on raw bones too large for him or her to swallow. Chewing the bones will keep tartar from accumulating on his teeth and forming plaque.
Natural remedies for heatstroke
Red gums can be a sign of heatstroke in dogs. While a dog suffering from heatstroke should get veterinary attention as soon as possible, homeopathic remedies may help in the meantime.
At the first signs of heatstroke, which include anxiety, heavy panting and nausea, treat your pet with Aconitum napellus. If the heatstroke has progressed so that your pet's gums are brick red, use Belladonna. Common doses of homeopathic remedies are three to four pellets or three to four drops of liquid in a bit of water. Don't give your dog ice water, because it will further constrict his blood vessels.