Q: What is a healthy colour for a dog’s tongue?
A: Most dogs have pink tongues – Chow Chows and Shar Pei being the exceptions with black tongues. Pink tongues make it fairly easy to check for mouth disorder symptoms. Some dogs have coloured speckles on their tongues, but black spots that were not there previously can be a sign of melanoma, a type of cancer. Lighter (often white) marks on a dog’s tongue can indicate a reaction to a toxin or allergen.
A dog with a bluish tongue colour could have a condition called cyanosis – which basically means he has a shortage of oxygen in his blood. Cyanosis is more noticeable in the gums and other mucous membranes and can be a symptom of a number of underlying causes, including heart disease, respiratory disease and exposure to a toxin. If your dog’s tongue is bluish in colour and you are sure that he has not eaten anything (including chewing on toys with transferable dye) that could transfer this colour then I would advise you ask your veterinarian for an examination to check if the tongue discoloration is due to cyanosis.