A friend of mine has a Shih Tzu, Molly, whose tongue always sticks out. Apparently, this condition isn’t terribly unusual for brachycephalic dogs; Shih Tzus, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Boston Terriers and Pekinese dogs experience it the most. The issue is that the shape of these breed’s skulls makes it difficult for their teeth and mouth to restrain their tongue, so it hangs freely.
Because Molly’s tongue is always lolling out of her mouth, you can’t help but notice it. It doesn’t seem to bother her though; she scarfs up her CANIDAE dog food enthusiastically. The other day, however, my friend rushed Molly to the veterinarian’s office because she saw an unusual stripe of color on the side of Molly’s tongue. Fortunately, the discoloration on Molly’s tongue was nothing serious.
The vet said that when a part of a dog’s tongue hangs out of her mouth constantly, it simply gets dry. If the tissue remains dehydrated, it can become stiff, rough and discolored. The discoloration my friend saw is a type of pigmentation that results from the mild irritation.
My friend was told that she could rehydrate Molly’s tongue by regularly dropping a bit of water on the part that sticks out, but that it wasn’t necessary. The vet said that if Molly didn’t seem to suffer because of her dry, discolored tongue then it was okay to leave it alone.