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Dr. Karen
Dr. Karen, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Cornell DVM, small animal practice
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My dogs tongue is discolored purple, his breath is very bad,

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My dog's tongue is discolored purple, his breath is very bad, he doesnt bark. What is this?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Karen replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your questions. While I can not tell you exactly the story in your dog since I haven't met her, I have a couple of ideas. The purple tongue is probably normal for her. It is either a variation of the light pink that you are expecting due to increased pigment or because she is part of another breed known for having darker tongues (like chow). Take a look at her gums, if they are nice and pink and moist, and return to pink quickly when you press on them, then the tongue color is probably normal for this pup and is not a problem.

Bad breath, if I had only one guess, is probably from dirty teeth. I deal with a lot of german shepards in my practice and most of them (most dogs in general) by the age of four have a lot of tartar on their teeth that makes their breath really smelly. The best thing would be to take her to the vet for a general check up and so you can know what is normal for your dog, and have her evaluated for a dental cleaning. You can also try brushing her teeth, and feeding her treats to help clean her teeth off such as greenies or other dental treats. Other causes include oral masses that are infected, infected teeth, and foreign bodies, these can be ruled out by a visist to your vet.

Finally, barking could be that your dog hasn't found a need to bark yet! My dog was eight before I heard him bark for the first time. Perhaps she is just very mellow. It is uncommon for dogs to not be able to bark, so since you just got her, it is more than likely she just hasn't been inclined to. If there was a medical cause such as a mass in the throat a veterinary visit would be required.

An initial visit to a vet with your new pet will be a valuable learning experience for you and your pup as you learn what is normal for your new family member.

I hope you have found this infomration helpful, best of luck to you and your pup and please let meknow if there is any more information I can provide you,

Dr. Karen
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