The Chow-Chow, for example, has a purple or purple-spotted tongue.
Chow Chow dogs are known for their dramatic looking blue-purple tongues.
If the tongue, gums, and mucous membranes in the mouth have turned purple or blue, this could be an indication of cyanosis. This is usually a result of an insufficient supply of oxygen to the blood, usually caused by a heart or respiratory disease.
The Chow’s blue tongue makes it unique in the canine world, with one exception: the Chinese Shar-Pei. As with the Chow-Chow, the Shar-Pei breed standard requires bluish-black pigmentation on the mouth and tongue, with exceptions for diluted colors which may show lavender pigmentation.
Chow Chows are not the only ones with this unique trait. If you’ve ever seen a Chow Chow, you’ve probably noticed their unique blue-black tongue. Chow Chows, like Chinese Shar Peis, actually require a blue and black tongue in their breed standard.
Chow Chows are known for their distinctive blue tongue, although it is not known why this trait occurs. Only one other breed of dog has a completely blue tongue – the Shar-Pei.
The Pomeranian is a small breed of dog that weighs only about 3.5 kilos. Some individuals have a blue tongue or bruises, although most have the more common pink tongue.
Dogs’ tongues can be pigmented with black spots or pigmented skin cells called melanin that closely resemble the freckles on your face. These pigmented cells appear on the tongue of some dogs, including German Shepherds.
Not all Rottweilers have blue tongues, and pink tongues with blue or black spots are more common. However, it is not uncommon to see one of these dogs with a completely blue tongue.
Blue Tongue in Dogs Explained
Cyanosis in dogs is a sign of poor or decreased blood flow, often in isolated body organs. The heart is the biggest culprit of poor circulation. A dog with a heart problem will have a blue tongue because the heart is having trouble circulating blood around the body.
Fact 2: Tongue color indicates good or bad health
Our dogs’ tongues are mostly pink in color. Pink is a normal color.
Some dog breeds, like the Chow and Chinese Shar-Pei, have purple tongues. A few other animals that also have purple-black tongues are: the giraffe, the polar bear, and several breeds of cattle.
Some dogs have naturally black gums or black spots in their mouths due to pigment differences. German shepherds and pit bulls are two examples. Other dogs, such as the Chow-Chow and Great Pyrenees, have black roofs in their mouths, also due to natural pigment differences.
Polar bears. Believe it or not, despite their snow-white fur, polar bears have black skin that helps them absorb heat and stay warm in their frigid home. This black skin extends to their tongues, giving them a dark blue color that contrasts starkly with their white fur.
You’re no doubt wondering if you should be concerned about that black coloration on your Labrador Retriever’s tongue. Black tongue markings don’t mean your dog isn’t purebred, and it doesn’t mean he’s ill. You don’t need to fret. Many healthy purebred Labradors have black spots on their tongue.
More than 30 pure breeds are known to have members with the blue-black tongue trait. Spots on a dog’s tongue are like freckles or birthmarks on humans. If a dog looks like a Chow but has an all pink tongue, it is most likely not a purebred Chow.