Hair On Dogs Tongue

March 2008
Dr Gerhard Steenkamp

While you are performing an intra-oral examination on a 7 year-old German Shepherd dog, (under general anaesthesia) you see the following lesion on the tongue (see photo)

 Hair On Dogs Tongue March 2008-01 Hair On Dogs Tongue March 2008-02

a) What is the lesion present on the dogs tongue?
b) What is the significance of this lesion?
c) What treatment should be performed, if any?


 Hair On Dogs Tongue March 2008-03  

a) There is heterotopic hair growing on the dorsum of the dog’s tongue, in sulci paramedian to the median sulcus (See photo of close-up)  They grow more commonly in the median sulcus of tongue (see photo 3)

b) These lesion are usually incidental findings and most commonly of little or no significance
c) Unless there is infection of the sulci no treatment is indicated.  In cases where there is an infection of the sulci the whole sulcus can be removed by wedge excision.  Epilation will be of little value as these hairs usually just grow back.


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