Tongue turning black in dogs

Written by daniel cobalt
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Tongue turning black in dogs
Some dog breeds, like the chow, have dark tongues. (black/blue tongued chow image by Scrivener from Fotolia.com)

Most mammals, including dogs, have pink tongues. There are times when a black, dark, blue or brown tongue or spots on the tongue are normal. A veterinarian should always examine spots or darkening that develops in adult dogs.

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Breed

Several breeds of dogs have partially or totally black or dark tongues including the chow, shar Pei, Eurasiers and Thai ridgeback. Puppies are born with pink tongues that darken as they mature. Chow chow puppies' tongues usually darken by 10 weeks of age, according to ChowWelfare.com.

Spots

Many breeds develop normal black spots on their tongues including Labradors, golden retrievers, collies, Rottweilers and German shepherds.

Nutritional

Deficiency in the vitamin niacin can cause your dog's tongue to turn black.

Damage

A tongue that has ulcers or inflammation can turn dark or black, according to VetInfo.com. Check your dog's mouth for damage, blood and a bad smell.

Disease

Melanoma, a type of cancer, can cause the tongue to develop black spots. Lack of oxygen due to conditions such as heart disease or toxins may cause the tongue to turn dark or blue, according to VetInfo.com. Kidney failure can cause uremia, which may cause the tongue to develop a brownish colour and ammonia-smelling breath, according to WebMD.com.

Fun Fact

Other mammals with black or partially black tongues include giraffes, buffaloes, bears and some breeds of cattle.

Tongue turning black in dogs
Giraffes may have black tongues. (licking giraffe image by Adrian Hillman from Fotolia.com)

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