Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC

Macroglossia in Dogs

An English Bulldog with a very large, long tongue hanging out to the left side of her mouth sitting on a tiled floor with a person behind her

Macroglossia is the medical term for an abnormally large tongue. The name comes from macro which means large and glossia which means tongue. It is not when the tongue is simply big, but when it is severely enlarged causing cosmetic and functional difficulties including speaking, eating, swallowing and sleeping. The tongue protrudes beyond the teeth during a normal resting period. Dogs with this condition cannot fit their tongues all the way in their mouth, hence it's always hanging out, often off to the side. They have difficulty drinking and eating and usually make a mess when drinking from a water bowl.

Close Up side view of an English Bulldog with a few inches of tongue hanging out of the left side of her mouth

That one-to-two inch tongue hang-out is normal for her. The vet told Babyface the English Bulldog's owners that her tongue is simply too long for her mouth. It NEVER goes all the way in.

Stoney the Boxer is laying outside next to a sidewalk with several inches of tongue hanging out of the left side of her closed mouth

Stoney the Boxer shown here at 6-years-old has macroglossia. Her owner says, "You should see the mess she makes with a bowl of water due to her very large, long tongue!"

Stoney the Boxer laying on a carpeted floor with a plush toy between her paws and a black slipper next to her with several inches of tongue hanging ouf of the left side of her closed mouth

Stoney the Boxer shown here at 6-years-old has macroglossia

Newborn toy puppy  with a very large tongue as wide as the pups head sticking out of its mouth and being held in the air by a person

Newborn toy breed puppy with macroglossia

Newborn Toy puppy  with a very large, wide curled tongue that does not fit in the pups mouth sticking out and being held in the air by a person

Newborn toy breed puppy with macroglossia

Newborn Toy puppy being held in the air. It's mother and littermates are in the background. The newborn puppy has a very wide, large tongue that is sticking out because it does not fit in the pups mouth

Newborn toy breed puppy with macroglossia

Close Up - The newborn puppy being bottle feed and its tongue is so large it does not wrap around the nipple of the bottle

Bottle feeding a newborn toy breed puppy with macroglossia.—"The pup can get some suction at the base of his tongue. I can get 4cc of milk into him. He needs to drink 9cc for his age and size so I tube feed him the rest."

Close Up - The newborn puppy with an orange tube across its large tongue and down its throat as it is being tube fed as a person holds it

Tubefeeding a newborn toy breed puppy with macroglossia

A person holding a newborn puppy with an orange tube going into the pup's throat as its very wide, large tongue sticks out

Tubefeeding a newborn toy breed puppy with macroglossia.

Newborn toy puppy is sleeping on a towel with its head to the left as its very large, wide tongue touches the blanket it is laying on

Newborn toy breed puppy with macroglossia sleeping. Notice the excess tongue that does not fit inside his mouth

Close Up - Newborn toy puppy face with its very wide, large tongue sticking out and touching the white blanket it is sleeping on

Newborn toy breed puppy with macroglossia sleeping.

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