While we haven’t quite figured out how to decipher the language of our canines, their tongues can communicate in a different sort of way. Your dog’s mouth is one of the most important parts of its body, and the tongue within, is a critical component. Without appendages capable of holding or grasping objects, a dog uses its mouth much like we use our hands.
Your dog’s tongue serves a variety of purposes including bringing food and water into the mouth, assisting with chewing and swallowing, cleaning the body, regulating body temperature through panting, and cleaning wounds to aid in the healing process.
If you know what to look for, your dog’s tongue can be a guide to understanding its current health and body situation. You should include a regular examination of your pooch’s tongue, alongside regular at-home wellness inspections of the fur, skin, teeth, and ears. Always check for bruises, bumps, cuts, and bleeding, most of which typically signal temporary injuries. The color of the tongue itself is a primary indicator of more severe health issues, like dog joint pain. A tongue should be pink in color when healthy, unless of course you own a breed that has a black tongue, such as a Chow Chow.
What the Colors Signify
Deep Red: A tongue which has turned deep red in color may signal a bacterial or viral infection, fever, diabetes, gall bladder or kidney stagnation, hyperthyroidism, and cancer.
Bluish or Purple: This color may indicate pain or congestion in the body. It can also signal an issue with their vascular or respiratory systems.
Pale or White: Animals with a weakening body condition often show this color tongue. Leukemia, anemia, blood pressure issues or blood loss, malnutrition and gastric issues can all cause the tongue to turn pale or white.
If you do observe a change in the color your dog’s tongue, it is best to schedule a visit with your veterinarian for a full evaluation. Catching most of these issues early can make treatment far easier than if left unaddressed.
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