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Black spots on tongue. Hypothyroidism?

Species: Dog
Breed: Beagle
Age: 8-11 years
My dog seems to have multiple symptoms... Harsh,dry cough, hair falling out in clumps, weight gain, and many small black spots under tongue. I thought it might be her thyroid but the spots under tongue are throwing me off. She hasn't been around any other pets and traveling to vet stresses her out, also she doesn't act as if she is in pain. Is this something I should stress her out with by taking her in?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is an interesting set of symptoms. There really is no condition that I can think of that would cause black spots to appear under a dog's tongue. The vast majority of the time when a client has brought in a dog because they noticed black spots on the tongue they have been just normal pigment spots. Sometimes these spots can get larger over time. I think that in many cases the spots were always there but the owner just noticed them because they were examining the pet more closely looking for clues as to what is going wrong with the dog.

Now, if the spots look painful or seem to be bothering the dog then that's a different story and I would get them checked out right away.

A poor hair coat and weight gain certainly can be signs of hypothyroidism. It's not a bad idea to have your vet examine your dog and perhaps do some blood tests to determine if the thyroid is a problem.

However, coughing is not a symptom of hypothyroidism. If this is a sudden cough then it might be that she has a problem like kennel cough. If it has been going on for a while then I would be concerned about something more serious such as heart disease or another type of lung condition.

It does sound like a veterinary checkup is a good idea. However, be prepared for your vet to want to do some tests. If this were my case I'd want to be doing a full set of blood tests (biochemistry, CBC and thyroid) as well as some chest xrays.

Hope everything works out ok!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.