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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 24433
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog's tongue is kind of purple and he is having a hard

Customer Question

my dog's tongue is kind of purple and he is having a hard time breathing--panting
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with your dog?
Customer: He is a 16 year old border collie mix. He was outside in the shade (but it's very hot today). I was out with him in my garden and noticed his labored breathing.
JA: What is the Border collie's name?
Customer: Blackie
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Blacken?
Customer: That's all. He is inside and has been panting for about 45 minutes and doesn't want water
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this. Blackie's tongue is cyanotic which indicates lack of oxygen to his tissues. His labored and tachypnic (increased respiratory rate) breathing indicates advanced cardiopulmonary disorders such as congestive heart failure, chronic sterile bronchitis, or even cancer in his chest cavity at his advanced age. He's presenting in a life-threatening manner and requires the assistance of an on-call vet at your earliest convenience. A thorough physical exam including chest X-rays are important at this time. This isn't something you can manage at home. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.