Capillary Refill Time (CRT)

Checking the mucous membranes and capillary refill time is essential to evaluating the health status of any animal.

Note: Normal mucous membranes should be pink and moist.


With a thumb or finger, apply pressure to the gums just above or below a tooth.


Once the gums under the thumb have been blanched out, the thumb can be removed. The blanched out area should return to normal color in less than 1-2 seconds.

Note: If the dog is dehydrated, the membranes will be dry and the capillary refill time will be prolonged (>2-3 seconds). A dog in shock will also have an increased capillary refill time. A video of this procedure is found below. 


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