Did you just notice that your Golden Retriever has a black spot on their tongue?
It can be a bit of a surprise to see that dark spot on an otherwise perfectly pink tongue.
You might be wondering what that spot is, and whether or not you should be concerned.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Why some Golden Retrievers have a black tongue spot
- What does a dark tongue spot look like?
- Is it a sign of sickness?
- Can purebred Golden Retrievers have a black tongue spot?
Let’s dive in!
Why Do Some Golden Retrievers Have a Black Tongue Spot?
A dark or black spot on a Golden Retriever’s tongue is simply skin pigmentation.
Just like other skin on Golden Retrievers is dark, such as the nose, lips, and paws, dogs can have patches of pigmentation on other body parts, including the tongue.
It just means those skin cells have more pigment than others.
A Golden Retriever can be born with a dark spot on their tongue or it can appear later in their life.
Tongue spots also have a genetic component, so if one or both parents have tongue spots, it’s more likely that their puppies will too.
What Do Tongue Spots Look Like?
Tongue spots are blue or black in color and are the same texture as the rest of the tongue.
If you notice that a spot is raised and not flat with the rest of the tongue, you should consult your veterinarian.
They can be various shapes and sizes, and there can be multiple spots as well.
When Do Golden Retrievers Get Black Spots On Their Tongue?
Golden Retrievers may be born with black spots on their tongues, or they may develop them as they’re growing up.
Should I Be Concerned About My Golden Retriever’s Tongue Spot?
Dark patches on your Golden’s tongue are very often normal, and typically not a reason to be worried.
Normal tongue spots are flat, not raised, and simply darker in color than the rest of the tongue.
If you notice that your Golden Retriever’s tongue spot is looking raised, or it’s hardening, you should consult your veterinarian.
These changes could potentially be signs of an oral cancer, so it’s always best to inform your veterinarian if you see these signs.
It’s also not a bad idea to let your vet know if you observe any new spots on your dog’s tongue while at your dog’s annual exam, so they can take a quick look and make sure it’s all good.
Of course, a raised or hard dark spot is not the only sign of an oral disease in dogs, so if you notice any other changes in your dog’s mouth, talk to your vet.
Does a Black Tongue Spot Mean a Golden Retriever Isn’t Purebred?
There’s a myth that a dog must be mixed with a Chow Chow if it has a dark tongue spot. Chow Chows have tongues that are solid blue-black in color.
However, this myth isn’t true. Many purebred dogs have spots on their tongue, including Golden Retrievers.
The only way to know if a dog is purebred or mixed breed is to do a DNA test, such as Embark.
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About the author:
Alisa Healy is a professional dog trainer in the Chicago suburbs, with a wide range of training experience from shelters to in-home training to dog sports. She is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner and is passionate about helping people and dogs live fulfilling, harmonious lives together.