27 Jun Swollen Tongue in Dogs
The tongue serves as a remarkable organ with a wide range of functions in dogs. It enables vocalization, grasping and swallowing food and water, chewing, grooming, and suckling. Additionally, it plays a role in regulating body temperature through panting.
Precise movements of the canine tongue are crucial to prevent accidental harm during these activities.
The tongue is a long muscular organ covered on the top surface by specialized mushroom-shaped structures called papillae. These papillae have tiny pores leading to taste buds. The majority of the tongue is made up of muscle bundles intermixed with tough connective tissue and fatty tissue. It has an extensive network of blood vessels, making it prone to profuse bleeding if lacerated.
The tongue is surrounded by openings of salivary gland ducts, which release saliva into the oral cavity. Dogs have four pairs of major salivary glands, along with several minor glands that drain into the mouth. The major salivary glands in dogs include the parotid, mandibular, sublingual, and zygomatic salivary glands.
When the tongue becomes inflamed, it is referred to as glossitis. Glossitis can occur alone or in conjunction with inflammation of other soft tissues in the mouth (stomatitis), the gums (gingivitis), or the lips (cheilitis).
Glossitis can have various underlying causes, and it is important to consult a veterinarian if you suspect your pet may be experiencing this condition.
It is worth noting that tongue problems often stem from general oral health issues. The high rate of cellular turnover in the tongue makes it more susceptible to diseases, especially those related to nutrition.
Common signs of glossitis in pets include foul breath (halitosis), tongue ulcers, loss of appetite (anorexia), difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), excessive drooling (ptyalism), labored breathing (dyspnea), and behavioral changes associated with pain.
Causes of Glossitis: