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Hanging Out with My Hanging Tongue!

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dog tongue

Bolty-Boy, Yorkie Poo guest blogger: Hey! I have temporarily come out of hiding to address an issue that personally affects/bothers me. I have this issue with my tongue. It does not appear to fully fit within the confines of my mouth. Most of the time, part of it is sticking out of my mouth and, no, I am not sticking my tongue out at anyone. It just sits there, drooping out a bit. What gives?

I did a bit of online research and came across a condition referred to as Hanging Tongue Syndrome. According to, when a dog’s tongue hangs out of his mouth, it could be caused by any number of things.

If the issue of a dog’s tongue hanging out is sudden, it could be the result of some kind of facial/muzzle injury. Was your dog accidentally kicked in the face when someone was stepping over him? Trauma is the most common cause of Hanging Tongue Syndrome. It could happen so quickly and easily…your dog is lying on the floor and you step over him but accidently brush your foot against his face. Of course, we realize you would not do this on purpose, but accidents do happen! Damage from facial trauma can result in loss of tongue control, either permanently or temporarily.

Look for other neurological symptoms: Are the pupils in both eyes the same size? Does your dog seem uncoordinated when walking or playing? Is he as bright and alert as he usually is?

For some dogs, a tongue hanging out could be indicative of an over bite or an under bite. Or, a more casual approach is to suggest that your dog is just relaxing a bit. However, if he cannot pull his tongue back into his mouth, then that could suggest a problem. Sometimes, I get so relaxed that my tongue hangs out and hits the carpet as I lay on my side. Then, I get fur/hair balls…and I am not a cat!

Check inside your dog’s mouth. Do you see any abnormalities? You may want to take your dog to the veterinarian for a thorough examination. Your vet may refer you to a neurological veterinarian for additional consultation.

In the interim, be sure to keep your dog’s tongue moist to avoid cracking and drying out.