ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Canine tongue color and signs of illness

Updated on February 18, 2012

Did you know that it is possible to tell if the dog is sick simply by looking at the color of the tongue? A dog’s tongue is unique. Apart from its usual function of tasting the food, the tongue acts as a conveyor that delivers food and water to the mouth. This muscle can be a texture sensor…tough when licking bones but tender and soft when cleaning newborn. Dogs show their affection by slobbering humans with wet kisses. Dog’s have a one of a kind temperature regulator…the tongue. This vascular muscle of a dog that contains taste receptor cells is used to lick and heal their own wounds. An owner will learn about the state of the dog’s health by paying attention to the color of the pet’s tongue.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
http://www.flickr.com/photos/snuzzy/2583289662/sizes/m/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/aodhanmorgan/4201800943/sizes/z/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/birdies100/96369079/sizes/m/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/therapycatguardian/2749888450/sizes/z/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulbeattie/3558188902/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/snuzzy/2583289662/sizes/m/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/snuzzy/2583289662/sizes/m/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aodhanmorgan/4201800943/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aodhanmorgan/4201800943/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/birdies100/96369079/sizes/m/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/birdies100/96369079/sizes/m/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/therapycatguardian/2749888450/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/therapycatguardian/2749888450/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulbeattie/3558188902/sizes/z/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulbeattie/3558188902/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Canine tongue color

The normal color of canine tongue is pink. In some breeds, the pink tongue is speckled or dotted with black or blue. The tongue is a sensitive organ that changes in color when physiological change in the dog’s body occurs. Color other than pink is an indication of a health concern. Chow Chow and Shar Pei are breeds that have naturally black tongues thus determining the health by examining the tongue would be rather difficult for these breeds.

White tongue

White tongue indicates low red blood cell count. Commonly, anemia is due to canine leukemia. It can also be associated with tick borne diseases.  White tongue seen in injured dogs is a sign of internal bleeding. Dogs, apart from being inquisitive, are also indiscriminate eaters. A dog that has been lapping toxic substances would have a white tongue. Tongue discoloration in this instance is an indication of poisoning.

Blue/black tongue

If your dog is not a Chow Chow and you noticed the pet’s tongue to be black, you may need to take the dog to an animal hospital ASAP. Blue or black tongue is an indication of cyanosis, a condition where the body suffers from insufficient oxygen supply in the blood. This condition is commonly attributed to a heart or respiratory disease. A black tongue can result from exposure to toxins. Uremia is another cause of tongue discoloration. Kidney failure in its terminal stage will be unable to filter the toxins from the body resulting to discolored and ulcerated tongue. Foul breath, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite are other symptoms of this disease.

Reddened tongue

Reddened, swollen and black spotted…these are manifestations of melanoma, a type of cancer. The black spots can be hard to detect if the dog has a black tongue. Other symptoms will be noticed when the disease progresses. The size of the tongue will increase due to severe inflammation and growth of the cancerous tissues.

Helping the pet

Unlike the ears or the eyes, infection is not common in canine tongues. Nevertheless, it would be a good habit to examine the tongue of the pet every now and then. The discoloration of the tongue can be as simple as the licked dye from a chew toy. However, the discoloration can also be a sign of a life threatening disease. Nothing beats prompt medical attention in ensuring the pet’s complete recovery from an illness.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)