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If you’re a new dog owner, you’ll often find your canine engaging in absurd activities most of the time. Although most of these are endearing and entertaining, some might worry the owner. They could even be a sign of underlying medical issues.

One of the most common habits is the dog sticking its tongue out. Now this behavior of a pet may have multiple reasons, which we will look at shortly.

Sticking Out His Tongue in Yorkies 

Animals are often seen with their tongues out in the open for the world to see. Most people find it an adorable habit and shower the little creatures with utmost love and affection. Sticking tongue out isn’t just restricted to canines. Other animals tend to do it too. The phenomenon is referred to as panting. This is a way for the animals to lower their body temperatures.

The concept is foreign to humans because we have a different mechanism of sweating. But the dogs tend to cool down their body by panting.

The process involves the dog releasing heat through its saliva. When the dog keeps sticking its tongue out, this heat and saliva are present on its tongue. The concept of heat transfer comes into play at this point. The heat will be evaporated from the pup’s tongue along with the saliva. This will leave a cooling effect on the animal’s tongue, and ultimately the body temperature will lower down.

Although the animals have anatomical sweat glands on their paw pads, it is firmly believed that they don’t sweat. Contrary to humans, they lower their body temperature via the mechanism mentioned above. In comparison, humans cool their bodies by releasing sweat through the sweat glands in their bodies, which evaporates and provides a cooling effect.

Why Sticking Out His Tongue Occurs in Dogs 

tongue out yorkie

Most of the time, a dog sticking its tongue out isn’t that big of a deal. It could be a cooling mechanism or due to the pup’s anatomy. Certain dog breeds with a non-symmetrical oral cavity to tongue ratio are destined to dogs sticking their tongues out. This means that the dog probably has a large tongue and a small mouth. Hence it is almost impossible for it to keep the organ cages in its mouth.

The condition is permanent in this case and has its drawbacks. If the organ is always in the open, evaporation will cause it to lose most of its moisture. This leads to a dried-out tongue and cracks as well as bleeding.

If these conditions are not treated properly, they could get infected and cause further problems and diseases. It is advised to take proper care of the wounds if there are any or visit a vet if the condition worsens.

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What is canine polydipsia?

Polydipsia refers to a significant increase in the thirst of an animal. The physical symptoms are observed when the animal starts drinking more water than necessary or drinks water from unusual places, with increased bowel emptying observed concomitantly.

To recognize an increased water intake by the pup, we must first establish healthy amounts of water intake. It is suggested that 20-70 ml/kg of body weight is a healthy amount for your animal.  

If the intake is markedly more than the suggested amount, there is a good chance that your canine has underlying medical conditions. 

The water in the body is controlled by diuresis. The primary hormone responsible for the conservation of water is the Antidiuretic hormone, or ADH. As the name suggests, this hormone prevents diuresis and promotes water conservation in the body.

In the case of excessive water intake by dogs, the chances are that there is a lack of ADH production in the body or the body isn’t responding to ADH. Hence your kidneys fail to prevent diuresis, and a heavy quantity of water is taken by pups, or what’s medically called polydipsia. 

The lack of response to ADH can be a significant marker for kidney failure, diabetes mellitus, or intoxicants in the body. 

Mellitus diabetes in dogs 

Diabetes mellitus is a prevalent disease in middle-aged dogs. It is an endocrine disease and occurs in around 0.3 to 1.3 % pup population. 

Diabetes mellitus is caused by a lack of functioning in the pancreas’ beta cells, which causes decreased insulin production. The Beta-cell ineffectiveness could either result from pancreatitis or an immune-mediated attack on them. Either way, the result will be a significantly low amount of circulating insulin in the animal’s body.

Common signs of Diabetes mellitus in animals are polydipsia, weight loss or polyphagia, etc. It can conveniently be diagnosed by physical signs and can be treated with insulin provision to the animal. This will make up for the lack of production inside the body.

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Hyperthyroidism in dogs 

Hyperthyroidism in canines is marked by visible weight loss. This weight loss is caused by increased production of the thyroid hormone. This hormone eventually causes an increase in the metabolism of the animal. If your dog is a young pup, you don’t need to worry about this. On The other hand, if it’s old, the chances of hyperthyroidism will increase.

Typical symptoms vary from Enlarged thyroid gland, increased thirst, anxiety, heavy/forced breathing, and weight loss with a concomitant increase in energy.

Its treatments involve a medical treatment that is a non-invasive method and aids in decreasing thyroid hormone production. At the same time, the other option is the surgical removal of the thyroid gland. A third option is radioactive iodine therapy. The iodine has a tendency to destroy thyroid cells without damaging the rest of the organs and hence is a painless treatment option.

Kidney failure in dogs

Kidney failure in dogs is often of two types. It could either be acute or chronic, depending on the rate at which it occurs. Acute kidney failure is rapid and over a short period, whereas chronic is a slower process and occurs over a more extended time period.

The acute failure may be due to the ingestion of toxic substances such as detergents or cleaning agents, or spoiled food.

In some cases, if blood flow to the kidney becomes low, the chances of infection will increase. Dehydration, heat strokes, or bacterial infections are also caused.

Chronic kidney failure has vague causes. Although a specific one has not been pinpointed, a common one is a dental cause. The dogs have a tendency to have bacterial buildup in their mouth. This bacteria eventually enters the digestive system and moves to the kidneys to cause failure by decreasing the functioning of the kidneys.

Symptoms include weight loss, changes in urination frequency and water intake, etc.

The best prevention of kidney failure is to protect the canine against chemical and toxic agents.

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Pyometra in dogs 

The condition is limited to female species of canines, and hence if your dog is male, you don’t need to break a sweat over this one. Pyometra is a disease of the uterus, or more commonly called the womb.

Its occurrence is marked in older female dogs who haven’t been neutered. The condition involves the collection of pus in the bitch’s womb. This pus collection is due to bacterial infection. The bacteria involved in E. coli, among others. The time frame is around the end of a bitch’s first season. The relation of infection with the season is that during this time, the dog goes through hormonal changes. This leaves the animal more vulnerable to infection.

Symptoms and signs include an unwillingness to move along with occasional discharge from the vagina. lOss of appetite, lethargy, and thirst are also significant markers.

Pyometra may lead to other diseases such as kidney failure or infections. The treatment is emergency surgery. By this, the womb of the animal is surgically removed.

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Other reasons why your Yorkie is sticking his tongue out 

Yorkshire Terrier Tongues Out

All of the above diseases have some sort of relationship with a dog sticking its tongue out. But the phenomenon isn’t just limited to this. Other factors may also play a role in such behavior.

Old Age

Changes in the behavior of canines, like all other living organisms, are common with age. The older the animal gets, the more are its chances of behaving absurdly. Sticking its tongue out isn’t an exception in this case.

The unfortunate thing about this is the lack of proper treatment or more targeted therapy. Some preventive measures can be taken. 

The therapy mainly entails pain management and medication to keep the mental health of the canine in check. Pain relief is obtained through drugs such as Rimadyl and Deramaxx.

Other measures you can take to prevent irregular behaviors in your pet include a healthy routine. Much physical activity with ongoing social interactions should be a priority to keep your dog’s social behavior in check.

Supplements such as Omega-3 fatty acids as well as collagen should be mandatory in the diet.

Dreaming

A dog sleeping with tongue out is a common occurrence and should not be necessarily fretted over. Moreover, dogs are often observed showing twitching or a slight shaking movement when they are sleeping.

If you observe this in your dog, you’ve got nothing to worry about since it means that it is in a deep sleep.

Although if you observe extreme shaking or more vigorous than what it usually does, you should check on it to make sure it’s not a seizure.

To check for the occurrence of a seizure, try dropping something on the floor or making a loud enough noise by some other means. If your dog is not having a seizure, it will immediately wake up at the noise. In case it has impaired hearing or is deaf, you might have to find another way.

Seizures

The standard operating procedures in case of your canine having seizures involve laying it down over a flat surface first. This is done to make sure it doesn’t topple over and injure itself.

Secondly, there is a significant chance that its body will overheat. This is due to the excessive movement that is being produced in the body. You can overcome this by cooling it down with wet towels.

Make sure not to take hold of the pup’s tongue amidst a seizure since this will cause more harm than benefit. There is a chance that the dog might bite your hand if you try to grab its tongue.

Lastly, stay with your dog till its episode is over and it regains control over its body. Seizures could be due to multiple reasons, and the best option is to get your dog immediately checked by a doctor.

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Pain

A dog may stick his tongue out in pain. This may come with yelping sounds. In such conditions, owners must physically feel which area is in discomfort.

Although it is a sign, if yelping is missing, then there is a chance your dog isn’t in pain. Often dental issues cause a dog sticking tongue out. Often gum issues or oral cavity diseases are a leading cause. Some genetic causes lead to dogs having smooshed faces. Ultimately they cant keep the tongue is due to underbite or overbite.

Inflammations of the mouth or other infections are at the top of the list. Some additional causes include loss of teeth. It is seen that most dogs that lose teeth have no barrier to enclose their tongue in. 

Hence, the tongue is seen chiefly protruding out of the mouth.

Cold

If the dog is cold and temperature regulation is not proper, some external means should warm the pup down. Sometimes a dog keeps sticking tongue out as a sign of discomfort. So if you notice the weather is particularly chilly outside, and the canine isn’t used to it, then warm it up.

Emotional Disturbances

Dogs often tend to get hyperactive and excited. This could be due to pent-up energy or other emotional triggers. Either way, ignoring them during this phase and rewarding them when they comply with instructions is a good tactic.

Poisoning

If your pet gets poisoned, you might have to take it to the ER. The vet or a stomach wash will induce vomiting.

Infections

Infections must be treated with a suitable antibiotic specific for the particular disease. Otherwise, antibiotics can cause resistance in organisms leading to ineffectiveness in the long run.

What Does It Mean If My Dog Is Sticking Its Tongue Out And Shaking While Sleeping? 

Sleeping Yorkie Tongue Sticking Out

The two common diseases associated with such behavior are

(1) Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)

(2) Macroglossia

BOAS, in simple words, is due to short airways. This obstructs airflow in the animal’s lungs, causing breathing problems. The problem is genetic and primarily found in bulldogs and pugs.

Macroglossia is an enlarged tongue. This is genetic and may cause the tongue to not fit in the mouth. Hence a protruding tongue is what it leads to.

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What to do if your Dog is Sticking Out His Tongue 

Yorkiepoo Dog with his tongue out

If your dog is continuously shaking and sticking its tongue out, you might want to contact a vet. Keep track of its behaviors and medical history. Also, observe any other unusual behavior such as loss of appetite, urine and stool colors, and habits.

Prevention of Sticking Out His Tongue 

If the dog sticks its tongue out of habit and there is no medical condition associated with it, try training it to keep it in by rewarding the act. 

Cost of Sticking Out His Tongue 

The dog sticking tongue out can often lead to a dried-out tongue and make it prone to rashes and scars. Hence if the canine can’t keep it in, you must lubricate it externally and prevent abrasion.

In Summary 

Dogs sticking their tongues out commonly isn’t much of an issue unless underlying medical causes are observed or other suspicious behavior is encountered. In this case, you must consult a vet immediately.

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