Oral problems in dogs can be difficult to detect because owners rarely see the inside of the dog's mouth. If a dog is having trouble eating, a veterinarian can diagnose the cause, which could be tongue ulcers.
Tongue ulcers in dogs are raised areas of tissue. They can be firm to the touch. Ulcers can grow together to form one large mass on a dog's tongue, according to the 2005 book "Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat" by Thelma Lee Gross, Peter J. Ihrke, and Emily J. Walder.
Symptoms of a tongue ulcer in a dog include increased saliva production, which could be bloody. The dog's breath could smell bad and it might lose interest in chewing on toys.
Tongue ulcers can be caused by oral cancer, according to Michigan Veterinary Specialists. Tongue ulcers can also be symptoms of an autoimmune disorder.
Tongue cancer is removed surgically. The autoimmune disorder is often triggered by an adverse reaction to medication. Taking the dog off the medication can stop the tongue ulcers from forming.
Most dogs that have a portion of the tongue removed are able to eat and drink just fine afterwards.
- Michigan Veterinary Specialists: Tongue Cancer
- "Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat"; Thelma Lee Gross, Peter J. Ihrke, Emily J. Walder; 2005.
- puppy tongue image by Sandi Chetwynd from Fotolia.com