Oxygen is carried in the blood by hemoglobin. Methemoglobin forms when hemoglobin iron is oxidized, and it cannot carry oxygen in the blood. Methemoglobinemia is a disease where too much methemoglobin is present and the body no longer has the oxygen supply it needs to function. This disease was first described in a mixed breed dog.

  • Signs and symptoms

    Your dog may have a rapid respiratory rate, blue gums, and have exercise intolerance.

    Signs often first appear with a concurrent disease, such as a respiratory infection, that causes affected dogs to decompensate.

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  • Diagnosis

    Genetic and laboratory testing can be used to diagnose this condition. Please note that there are also toxins that can cause this condition.

  • Treatment

    Methylene blue can be administered to control the clinical signs, however, this is not a cure and is a long term therapy. Treatment of concurrent infections or inflammation is also recommended.

  • What to do if your dog is at risk


    • Please see your veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect a respiratory infection or any other breathing difficulties as these can become life threatening if not addressed.

  • Genetic Information

    This disease was first described in a mixed breed dog.

    This disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning that a dog must have two copies of the mutation to be affected.

    Gene names:

    CYB5R3 ‐ chr10

    Inheritance type:


  • Breeds affected

    This health condition affects the following breeds

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