Welcome to Sphynxlair! Connect with Sphynx owners & enthusiasts around the world!

Black Tongue?? 7 vets have no clue??

Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
5
Points
4
Hi everyone!

First post on here so I hope I post everything okay haha! I have a Sphynx (half Canadian half donsky) who is 9 months old called Mew.

She recently got spayed a few weeks ago and was absolutely fine after her surgery other than wasn't very fussed about food and a bit sleepy. Two days later she went in for her post op check up and the vet noticed she had a black tongue (which she definitely didn't have before). This vet obviously was clueless and just said it was totally normal in cats and not to worry about it, unfortunately I wasn't at this appointment my boyfriend was so he just accepted what the professional said and went on his way, later on that night told me what had happened and I of course wasn't happy with it so we ended up taking her to the out of hours who were baffled at her tongue and the vet saying it was normal (because it's clearly not if it wasn't black before). The two vets did the routine checks of her heart, temperature, etc and everything was normal so she said perhaps it was an iodine staining if she had maybe licked her wound after the op or possibly necrosis but it's only on one side of her tongue the bottom of her tongue is completely pink so that was ruled out. She offered to take a biopsy of her tongue and send it for tests but I didn't want to put Mew through all that if it was maybe just a staining so I said we would take her home and keep an eye on her to see if it went away.. which it did for the most part but then a few days later it came back again.

She's now in a new vets that a friend of mines works in and she's been seen off 4 different vets there (that's 7 vets in total) who also have zero clue what is causing her tongue, she was put on antibiotics which didn't help and all the routine tests were run again and she is perfectly healthy otherwise from what vets can tell having a feel around her stomach, glands, etc.

She is eating, drinking, pooing, peeing, sleeping and chasing our other cat about as normal.. she genuinely seems like her normal self which is why I can't figure out what is wrong with her. I've tried taking a bit of the black off with a cotton swab but it's almost like a hard coating and doesn't wipe off easy, the last vet she seen last week advised just keeping an eye and see it it would fade again which we agreed on but upon checking her tongue last night it's once again black.

The photo attached the top two photos were taken on Sunday and the bottom two were taken last night (3 days later) and her tongues black again :(

I've messaged the vet again but I feel we are just going in circles with them as nobody can give us a straight forward answer.. I read on a few forums relating to her breed it could maybe be from oils on her skin? It does remind me of the oil build up they get between their claws/toes. I've contacted her mum's human parents who have her brother from the same litter and both of them are completely fine with pink tongues, she said she's also never seen it.

I was wondering if anybody has had anything similar with their little one and if they could maybe direct me into something I can pass onto the vet to hopefully get this sorted once and for all?

Thanks for reading!

Jenny
x

inCollage_20181108_001043571.jpg
 

Catzzzmeow

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
25,007
Likes
28,145
Points
673
Not a vet but my suggestion to speak to your vet about is possible cyanosis? Cyanosis in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

I have attached some info above. Perhaps there was a severe lack of oxygen during surgery? It also says can be related to cardiac issues it says. Do you know what type of anesthesia they used? They say not to use Ketamine with this breed in case they have underlying/unknown heart issues etc...I’m just reaching for ideas.

Let us know if you find out more info. If your vet says this could be something to research, I would definitely consider getting their heart scanned for HCM. @Jennyaitchison
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
5
Points
4
Not a vet but my suggestion to speak to your vet about is possible cyanosis? Cyanosis in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

I have attached some info above. Perhaps there was a severe lack of oxygen during surgery? It also says can be related to cardiac issues it says. Do you know what type of anesthesia they used? They say not to use Ketamine with this breed in case they have underlying/unknown heart issues etc...I’m just reaching for ideas.

Let us know if you find out more info. If your vet says this could be something to research, I would definitely consider getting their heart scanned for HCM. @Jennyaitchison
See it's a funny one because whatever it is comes off when she chews on things or it flakes off to the sides of her mouth which you can see in the photo. She chewed the cotton bud I tried to take a swab with and it was all brown when she did as if it had transferred. The vet just got back to me and wants to send her for the biopsy which makes me sad because I don't want to stress her out but I don't know what else to do :( I'm definitely going to mention the heart screening at her next appointment.
 

Yoda mom

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
11,793
Likes
9,801
Points
653
@Jennyaitchison , (((hugs))) and positive vibes to Mew

Do you have a vet university hospital you can contact ?
Patti gave great advice

Sending a lair full of prayers for Mew that you get answers

Following closely for updates

Did Mew have a tube in her mouth during surgery ?
Did she have any complications during surgery ?
Oxygen level drop etc?
(My dogs heart rate went down during surgery my vet told me about right away and they give
Meds during surgery .)

I did see this when I googled sphnyx with black tongue amd just wanted to share amd ask vet if it could be a fungal infection?
"My Sphynx cats tongue turns black every noun and again. First it was just a small (2mm) strip down the middle. That went away and the tongue was pink again for a couple of months. ... Your cat's black tongue is likely due to a fungal infection on the tongue due to the antibiotic treatment.Feb 17, 2010"

Was mew on antibiotics?

Just trying to brain storm
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
5
Points
4
@Jennyaitchison , (((hugs))) and positive vibes to Mew

Do you have a vet university hospital you can contact ?
Patti gave great advice

Sending a lair full of prayers for Mew that you get answers

Following closely for updates

Did Mew have a tube in her mouth during surgery ?
Did she have any complications during surgery ?
Oxygen level drop etc?
(My dogs heart rate went down during surgery my vet told me about right away and they give
Meds during surgery .)

I did see this when I googled sphnyx with black tongue amd just wanted to share amd ask vet if it could be a fungal infection?
"My Sphynx cats tongue turns black every noun and again. First it was just a small (2mm) strip down the middle. That went away and the tongue was pink again for a couple of months. ... Your cat's black tongue is likely due to a fungal infection on the tongue due to the antibiotic treatment.Feb 17, 2010"

Was mew on antibiotics?

Just trying to brain storm
Yes she was at the vet hospital when she went to the out of hours, they were the ones that suggested possible necrosis or iodine staining.

She had a tube down her throat yes, they told us the surgery went completely fine and there wasn't any complications. Yeah she was on antibiotics but only after her tongue turned black not before and they were given to her to try and get rid of the black tongue.

I know I've been brainstorming myself for weeks now trying to figure out what it could be and suggesting things to the vet but I don't seem to get very far :(
 

Yoda mom

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
11,793
Likes
9,801
Points
653
((Hugs))) I would try google search veterinarian university hospital in your area
And or even a cat specialist vet ?

Perhaps rule out fungal or yeast infection ? As a starting point ?
I am so sorry u n Mew are dealing with this issue

Can the vet biopsy with a swab without anesthesia (***** NO ketamine ))))
My vet used Isoflurane


Want antibiotics was Mew on after surgery for the tongue ?
Some antibiotics work better than others for Sphynx

has Mew ever had tetracycline ?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
5
Points
4
((Hugs))) I would try google search veterinarian university hospital in your area
And or even a cat specialist vet ?

Perhaps rule out fungal or yeast infection ? As a starting point ?
I am so sorry u n Mew are dealing with this issue

Can the vet biopsy with a swab without anesthesia (***** NO ketamine ))))
My vet used Isoflurane


Want antibiotics was Mew on after surgery for the tongue ?
Some antibiotics work better than others for Sphynx

has Mew ever had tetracycline ?
The vet has told us the only way to get a diagnosis is a biopsy which we just got a quote for (£400!!), Urgh it's so difficult. I'm not sure which medication she was on but I'll try find the packet when I'm home and update you! The vet has said that she has to be sedated for the swab unfortunately which is the main reason I really don't want to do it as I don't want to keep putting her under stress :( I've mentioned a yeast infection to the vets but they just told me the best way to test would be this biopsy :( I have searched for local cat specialists for the breed but couldnt find any, we are in Glasgow, Scotland.

I don't recall her ever having that but I will check the meds when I'm home!

Thanks for your advice I really appreciate it! x
 

Yoda mom

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
11,793
Likes
9,801
Points
653
Awhhh Mew
Prayers sent you get answers!

Perhaps reach out and post a thread lookimg for a vet in Glasgow , Scotland area?
We have several ,e,beard I believe near you

Also , are you able to talk with the breeder amd ask about Mew seeing his/her vet ?

@Jennyaitchison , oh look ...
I found this vet university
They have a contact # and I see clinical services
University of Glasgow - Schools - School of Veterinary Medicine
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
5
Points
4
Awhhh Mew
Prayers sent you get answers!

Perhaps reach out and post a thread lookimg for a vet in Glasgow , Scotland area?
We have several ,e,beard I believe near you

Also , are you able to talk with the breeder amd ask about Mew seeing his/her vet ?

@Jennyaitchison , oh look ...
I found this vet university
They have a contact # and I see clinical services
University of Glasgow - Schools - School of Veterinary Medicine
That was the vet school she was at for the out of hours, they were the ones that said it could be iodine staining.
I've spoken with her breeder she said she had never seen it before, her cats are registered at the same vet she was spayed in that told us the black tongue was normal :(
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2018
Messages
162
Likes
177
Points
71
@Jennyaitchison Welcome to the lair and sorry to hear about these issues! I read through the thread, and I didn't see Toxoplasmosis mentioned... I did a quick google search too and it came up with a black tongue as a main symptom. Mew might have picked it up at the vet's?!
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
53
Likes
87
Points
29
@Jennyaitchison I've never heard of this happening. What I WILL say is to demand the vet treat it as a yeast infection FIRST before doing the biopsy. Don't allow them to tell YOU what order to do things, especially if you don't want to put your kitty through that kind of stress (yet). It's YOUR cat and YOUR decision. Of course, if you'd prefer to do it their way, it's totally up to you, but don't allow them to bully you into a decision before trying other options. Of course our babies mean the world to us and we'll do anything we can to keep them healthy, but do it YOUR way. I'm praying this is not a serious issue and that time isn't of the essence. Good luck. Fingers crossed. My prayers are with you and your Mew
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
53
Likes
87
Points
29
@Cinafina Oh my! Good looking out. Sounds about right for what we're reading, but how is it the doctors haven't mentioned it? Could it be because all the testing still hasn't shown any medical issues? This has me so baffled!
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2018
Messages
162
Likes
177
Points
71
@Dublin Riis Yea, I was wondering how it didn't come up... :rolleyes: It sounds like just the sort of thing that your pet could catch in an environment where there are lots of animals coming and going. I know most vets do their utmost to prevent cross-contamination, but there will be instances where something gets missed.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
5
Points
4
Hmm, yeah ill definitely run that past them too. I've just cleaned her paws and they were absolutely filthy, I'm not sure if that's down to her tongue wiping off and the residue is on her paws or if maybe the oil between her claws is wiping onto her tongue and causing the black tongue. I've told the vet im going to keep her super clean (I normally give it a week or two between cleans) and see if this maybe makes any difference. I'm basically trying everything other than the biopsy that's definitely my last resort. I bought some coconut oil and a baby toothbrush to brush her gums and tongue but nothing came off.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
5
Points
4
The only thing that makes me think it couldn't be that is the fact she is fit and healthy other than the tongue. Its all very confusing :(
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2018
Messages
162
Likes
177
Points
71
The only thing that makes me think it couldn't be that is the fact she is fit and healthy other than the tongue. Its all very confusing :(
It's not always easy to tell when they're sick since not all cats will exhibit the exact symptoms expected. From what I read it can be diagnosed with a blood test, but they'd need to be specifically testing for Toxoplasmosis as standard bloodwork doesn't cover it. I would definitely mention it to your vet, and Mew shouldn't need to be put under for a blood sample, right? :(

The yeast infection does also sound like a possibility, and I would also explore all options before a biopsy...
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
215
Likes
310
Points
81
I'm sorry to hear about Mew's issues. My mom's dog had a similar symptom, her tongue turned black. It turned out to be a cardiac issue and was treated with pills.

I hope it turns out to not be serious.
 

admin

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Messages
22,170
Likes
14,205
Points
643
I really wonder if its the sebum (oil) from the skin, is she oily? A few things you might try, of course ruling out any serious medical conditions, less bathing (too much bathing produces more oil) go 1 month without bathing, put a shirt on her and you will reduce the areas where she can lick. That would be my thoughts. :)
 

Sheldon13

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Sep 2, 2014
Messages
1,751
Likes
1,968
Points
228
The two most common causes of black tongue in PEOPLE are fungal infection or medication side effect. You say it is flaking off so that points more to a surface infection, ie fungal, which can explain why it comes and goes. Most of the time this is a self-limiting infection and is caused by improper sloughing of dead tissues on the surface of the tongue. A common organism of cause is Candida, which can be treated with antifungals, such as ketoconazole.

Hope it helps.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

susi794

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
13,536
Likes
12,601
Points
673
Sounds like you’ve received some good advice. I have no experience with this at all, so sadly, I have nothing to offer other than Lair Prayers.
Much love,
Susi and the gang
 

Monica

Senior Lairian
Senior Lairian
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
397
Likes
994
Points
123
This thread is intriguing... I do hope you find out the answer for you and your kitty's sake, as well as all our curiosity!

Simply based on appearance alone, it does look like sebum or even dried blood. The facts that it comes and goes, flakes off, and is located only on the top side of the tip of the tongue would lead me to think it is being caused by something, organic or otherwise being licked. Have you checked your home for possible environmental causes?

Also, I noticed the dark bit on her left bottom lip. It appears in the same place in all 4 photos. Can you give any more information about that? Is it a laceration?

You said the blackness has come and gone, and is removable, although very difficult. Is it appearing more at a certain time of day (mornings, nights, after play or after naps)? Is it faded or just the same after she has a meal? Does her mouth have a noticeable, new smell? Finally, when it faded in those days after the vet appointment, did you do anything to facilitate this change?

Sorry for the barrage of questions! I'm truly concerned and interested in finding out what this is...
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
53
Likes
87
Points
29
@Jennyaitchison The vets are just as baffled as the rest of us, however the biopsy would be my last resort if it were Dublin. However, I understand neither of us know what's going on and I'm sure we'd all be scared to wait too long to finally get the right answer
@Sheldon13 makes all great points.
 
Top