From Dog
bacterial glossitis in a dog[1]
Severe stomatitis and glossitis secondary to lymphoma in a dog[2]

Glossitis refers to inflammation of the tongue.

Often this is secondary to stomatitis or periodontitis, but 50% of cases of tongue lesions are associated with other diseases, including:

- Lymphoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma - predisposition in the Poodle, Labrador Retriever, Samoyed
- Melanoma - Chow Chow, Shar Pei
- Hemangiosarcoma[3] - Border Collie, Golden Retriever
- Fibrosarcoma[4] - Border Collie, Golden Retriever
- Malignant histiocytosis[5]
- Benign tumors - squamous papilloma, plasma cell tumor, granular cell tumor - Cocker Spaniel

Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms with supportive evidence of inflammatory changes on histopathological examination of biopsy samples taken under general anesthesia.

Treatment is usually symptomatic and supportive. With foreign body penetrations, these are readily rectified with removal of offending object and use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials. With periodontitis, dental descale, teeth extractions and broad-spectrum antimicrobials such as clindamycin and metronidazole are usually required. In cases of eosinophilic glossitis, use of immunosuppressive drugs such as prednisolone, azathioprine or cyclosporin are usually required.

With systemic diseases and neoplasms, treatment is directed at the primary disease.


  2. Veterinary Dentistry
  3. Dennis MM et al (2006) Frequency of and risk factors associated with lingual lesions in dogs: 1,196 cases (1995-2004). J Am Vet Med Assoc 228(10):1533-1537
  4. Syrcle JA et al (2008) Retrospective evaluation of lingual tumors in 42 dogs: 1999–2005. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 44:308–319
  5. Cornegliani L et al (2011) Sublingual reactive histiocytosis in a dog. J Vet Dent 28(3):164-170
  6. Viegas C et al (2012) Tongue nodules in canine leishmaniosis - a case report. Parasit Vectors 5:120
  7. Foglia Manzillo V et al (2005) Papular-like glossitis in a dog with leishmaniosis. Vet Rec 156(7):213-215
  8. Tafti AK et al (2005) Calcinosis circumscripta in the dog: a retrospective pathological study. J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med 52:13–17
  9. Arnold P et al (1998) Solar glossitis in sled dogs. Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd 140:328–332
  10. Pedersen NC (1999) A review of immunologic diseases of the dog. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 69:251–342
  11. Arzi B et al (2008) Oral manifestations of systemic disorders in dogs and cats. J Vet Clin Sci 1:112–124
  12. Bredal WP et al (1996) Oral eosinophilic granuloma in three cavalier King Charles spaniels. J Small Anim Pract 37:499–504
  13. Loretti AP et al (2003) Accidental fatal poisoning of a dog by Dieffenbachia picta (dumb cane). Vet Hum Toxicol 45(5):233-239