Stained fur (saliva staining) in dogs
Saliva staining explained
Saliva stained fur is usually red, pink, brown or orange. It develops when an area of fur is constantly licked, chewed or nibbled. Over-grooming indicates a problem, for example, pain, an itch or even a behavioural issue such as stress.
Staining can also appear from the corners of the eyes; we call this ‘tear staining’. Tear staining should be checked by a vet.
When to contact your vet
Contact your vet if you notice your dog developing saliva stained fur. Most problems are much easier to treat if they are caught early.
Consider insuring your dog as soon as you get them, before any signs of illness start. This will ensure you have all the support you need to care for them.
Published: January 2019
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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.
Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst