Bleeding Tongue

Bleeding Tongue

Bleeding tongue: A dog’s tongue is important for many things including eating, cleaning themselves, lapping up water, bonding with the pack and showing submission.  Luckily, there aren’t many issues or illnesses that affect dogs’ tongues, however they are susceptible to injury perhaps during general investigation with their mouths by biting, chewing or picking up something which may be sharp or have rough edges.   Injuries could also arise in many other innocent ways including chewing a bone, rough play or maybe even simply trapping their tongue between the teeth (hey, Im sure we’ve done that ourselves!)

Although small cuts or abrasions on other body parts may not be deemed all that much of a concern, tongue injuries can lead to significant problems. When a dog’s tongue is cut, it bleeds excessively and this bleeding can be difficult to stop.

When to See a Vet

See your vet immediately if the cut appears deep or the bleeding is difficult or impossible to stop.

An ice cube held directly on the wound will constrict the blood vessels, and help stop bleeding.

Applying direct pressure while holding the tongue with a gauze pad will work, assuming you can hold the tongue of course!

Everyday all-purpose flour can be used for small cuts to stop the bleeding.  Simply pack the wound with the flour and then hold a gauze pad tightly against the wound. The flour should help the blood to clot.

If it’s a small nick, keep an eye on it for a day or two to make sure it isnt getting infected.  If you can’t get the bleeding to stop, or if it stops and starts to bleed again, then don’t delay in calling your vet as your dog may need a stitch or two.  If you are in any doubt, then call your vet.


  1. Reply

    Hi, I saw this post after my 2 year old golden retriever cut his tongue today (while out for a walk, not sure how). The cut is only about 1/4 inch but was bleeding a lot – when I saw your recommendation about ice, it was impossible to hold cubes on his tongue but he was happy to suck/chew the cubes. 20 minutes later, the bleeding has all but stopped – thanks for the tip!

    • Reply

      lol … yes, holding icecubes with a goldie is somewhat challenging! … Im very pleased the tip helped though Gerry and I hope he’s all back to normal now xx

  2. Reply

    Many thanks for tip….our greyhound bit her tongue. She would not suck on an ice cube, but I put a bit of food on the palm of my hand, with an ice cube held over the top of it. Our greyhound licked the cube to get to the food. 1o minutes of this, every now and then letting her get to the food then replacing it and repeating the process, and the bleeding has greatly stopped. Many thanks

    • Reply

      Well done you! … sometimes we need to “think outside the box” a bit and you certainly did that and it sounds like it worked a treat too 😉

  3. Reply

    Hey i tried to give my dog an ice cube since she has a cut in her mouth but it seems to be on the roof of it and she won’t take the ice cube. Have you any other suggestions?

    • Reply

      Flour will stick and clot a bleed and is safe in the mouth if the ice cubes aren’t working. Getting the flour on the bleed, however, is a little more tricky! Good luck

  4. Reply

    Our blue heeler was poisoned and after vet care bit her tongue thanks so much .

    • Reply

      Really pleased we were able to give you a bit of help and confidence. Hope she is on the mend xx

  5. Reply

    I was grooming my dog today and cut his tongue. I cried n cried n he only yelped! I wasn’t going to just give him an ice cube and monitor despite the bleeding had stopped. I took him straight to the vet. It was a very small cuy but a cut none the less. They will be suturing my lil guy as the vet stated it’s bettet for the healing process as dogs do a lot with their tongue and he even though the bleeding as stopped, it can potentially get infected without suturing. So my dogs at the vet due to my stupidity and im online trying to find ways to feed this guy onece he’s discharged from the hospital. Balling my eyes out!!!

    • Reply

      oh you mustn’t blame yourself – these things just happen and nobody does it on purpose. The good news is that tongues are just about the fastest part of a dog to heal so once he is discharged from hospital, he should pretty much be very soon ready as normal. xx

    • Reply

      Don’t feel bad. I did the EXACT same thing a few months ago to our then 13-week-old Golden Retriever puppy. I was trimming up the fur between his paw pads with a brand new pair of grooming shears, when he suddenly turned his head around and licked the scissors just as I was making a cut. Talk about a blood bath! We rushed him to the ER vet and he had 3 stitches put in his tongue and he was on antibiotics for about a week and a half. In my 12 years of experience grooming our Golden Retrievers, I have NEVER done anything like this before and I felt BEYOND horrible. Even 3 months later, I still feel awful about it, even though he is completely fine now. The stitch at the very tip of his tongue wouldn’t hold and ended up coming out a day or two after it was put in, so he has a very tiny slit in the the left side of his tongue right at the tip. It’s very small, but still noticeable. I wish there was a way to fix it, but the vet said that a stitch will never stay in place at the very edge of the tongue and the slit is so small that it doesn’t cause him any problems at all and is purely cosmetic, but it still annoys me since he’s a show prospect! I know that it was a totally freak accident, but I still hate myself for it!

  6. Reply

    A couple of days ago my 11 month old puppy cut herself with a stick, we thought it was just on the side of her mouth but only just noticed that it’s under her tongue as well. We couldn’t figure out why she wont lap up water or give kisses anymore. The cut doesn’t seem to be bleeding but it is concerning…how long does a wound like this take to heal? I’m very concerned and any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    • Reply

      Tongues and mouths heal very quickly as a rule because obviously if the dog can’t eat, he wont survive. I would honestly suggest having the dog seen by a professional because although it may well just look like a cut to you, there is always the possibility of a foreign body lodged in the wound, say a splinter of bit of wood or debris still in it. This would prevent it from healing up quickly and likely cause infection too. If she were mine, I would be straight to the vet on Monday

      Good luck with her

  7. Reply

    When we noticed our dog licking his leg and it turned red from blood, we searched for what to do with a bleeding tongue. We tried the ice and then the flour but it kept bleeding because he kept licking his fur. We assume it was to attempt to relieve the pain or taste but also thought the licking kept opening the cut on the side of his tongue. So we got him in the car and headed towards the vet. As usual, he stuck his head out the window while we drove and we noticed he wasnt licking anymore so my wife and i drove around for 20 minutes. He spent most the time taking in the air but most importantly not licking! When we got home, no more bleeding! Thanks for the posts!

    • Reply

      Absolutely ingenious! We would never normally advocate dogs travelling with their heads out of windows for health and safety reasons but wow! loved reading your post and how you managed to use his natural behaviour to help him. What a star pair of owners!!! I will post your comment on the main page of our Facebook account because Im sure our followers would love it as much as I did. Thanks so much for posting.

    • Reply

      My 14 year old dog bit her tongue today whilst eating her food, what do you suggest she doesn’t have many teeth left in her mouth now. Keeps bleeding will it eventually stop

      • Reply

        Hi Donna,

        The easiest way to stop the bleeding is to let her lick ice cubes and water with ice in it – the cold water will constrict the vessels and help the bleeding to stop. If its really not working, you can try putting some flour on the bitten part of her tongue which should help to clot the bleed.

        Good luck

    • Thank you so much! I have a particularly tongue happy poodle. She stuck her tongue out right as I was trimming her muzzle. I didn’t even realized it was cut until I was wiping her face off and I had blood on my hand. She does like ice cubes so I managed to get her to lick one for 5 min or so. Bleeding persisted so I moved to flour. I couldn’t really tell where the bleeding was coming from so I grabbed a spoon full of flour and stuck her tongue in it. This seemed to help a little more but bleeding still was not stopped. That’s when I read your comment about the car ride. Loaded her up cause she loves to put her head out the window anyways. Drove around town doing 20-25 mph for about 15 minutes and low and behold the bleeding has stopped. She is none the wiser and my anxiety attack is over. Thank god for the internet.

      • Reply

        Awesome!!!!!!!!! Now that’s the kind of post we like to read … xx

  8. Reply

    We took my dog to the groomer this morning and when we picked him up they explained a small cut in his tongue due to licking while being groomed. Upon driving home the tongue started bleeding uncontrollably and we took him to our trusted vet. They gave him medication on the surface of the cut to stop and clot the blood. We were sent home with gauze and told to take up food and water until later and only feed soft foods. I’m very nervous to feed him later as I don’t want the bleeding to start again. They explained he would need to return later to have the wound possibly cauterized if the bleeding continues. Please send any advice.

    • Reply

      certainly eating, drinking and licking can set it off again so do give it a while before you let him eat. If it does start to bleed then ice cubes can help it to stop, flour on the cut or even cold air. I would say keep an eye on it and if it starts and you are unable to apply pressure to stop it, then ring your vet back straight away to organise a suture or cautery xx

  9. Reply

    I was petting my dog a lot and as I noticed he suddenly started to lick repeatedly. I thought he had gotten something in his mouth but he was bleeding. I tried doing what you said to do. And it was difficult but I managed to do it for a while. I’m worried because it’s still bleeding a little bit. He’s 4 months old and he’s very active. Though during this time he’s napping.

    • Reply

      Most likely he has a loose tooth as he is just a puppy or possibly he may have just bitten his tongue. I would think the tooth is the most probable and this would cause him to lick too. Keep an eye on him and you will probably find a tooth either missing or one appear on your carpet! Good luck with him

  10. Reply

    I was grooming my dogs paws (cutting some hair in between her paw pads) yesterday and in the space of a second she stuck her head there to see what was going on and I snipped her tongue!! 🙁 I started panicking. I gave her a lovely ice cold ice pop so the bleeding would stop and it did! I didn’t think I had to go the vet cause I controlled the bleeding straight away! But there’s a sort of chunk of tongue hanging from her tongue due to the snip, and every time she licks anything the piece of tongue will just open because of where it’s placed. So it doesn’t look like it’ll heal properly? But she seems ok. I’m gonna give it a few days and then if I see any sign of infection I’m going to bring her to the vets. Any tips? I feel so horrible, please help

    • Reply

      Hi Jess, what a horrible thing for both of you! Im glad the icepop worked. Without seeing the size of the cut I can’t really advise on whether it will heal satisfactorily itself or whether it may need a stitch or two. The plus side, however, is that mouths heal very quickly so if the injury isn’t too extensive, you may well get away with it. Just keep an eye on it as you are doing and if there are any problems at all, get straight to the vet.

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