Hanging tongue syndrome, as the name suggests, is when a dog is unable to prevent its tongue from hanging out of its mouth at all times. A dog with its tongue handing out all the time may look cute, but it can be a sign of other serious health conditions.
Hanging tongue syndrome is caused by some type of injury or trauma to the muzzle of the dog. The problem can also occur due to neurological problems, or malformed jaw, preventing the dog from being able to pull its tongue back in its mouth. Not being able to have their tongue resting inside their mouth, where it should be, results in the tongue drying out, and cracking, which causes great discomfort.
It is not unusual to see a dog with its tongue hanging out as it pants or just sits around relaxing, but it is unusual when it is unable to pull its tongue back in. The condition can be temporary, but it can also be permanent, and that is when it becomes problematic. So if you notice your dog’s tongue hanging out of its mouth all the time, then you should get your veterinarian’s opinion about possible solutions.
If your dog does have hanging tongue syndrome, then you should keep your eye on the tongue to make sure that problems don’t develop. If you notice changes in texture, color, or size of the tongue, or notice cracks and bleeding, then it is important to take your dog in for medical attention.
Caring for a Dog with Hanging Tongue Syndrome
If your dog has this condition, then it is important to pay close attention to the tongue to make sure more serious problems don’t develop.
- Keep your dog’s tongue lubricated by applying small amounts of olive oil on the surface of the tongue. Depending on how dry the environment in which your dog lives is, you may need to do this multiple times per day.
- Make sure your dog has constant access to drinking water, and actively encourage him to drink. This will keep his tongue lubricated as well.
- If your dog is not much of a water drinker, you can apply water onto its tongue with an eyedropper a few times per day.
- Provide him with ice cubes or frozen beef/chicken broth to lick, which will also help hydrate his tongue.
Hanging tongue syndrome is usually a chronic condition, so owners need to be vigilant to keep their pooch healthy and happy. If you are at all unsure about what do to, it is important to seek out the advice and recommendations of a veterinarian, otherwise a simple little problem like a permanently hanging tongue could develop into a life-threatening condition for your dog.