Stained fur (saliva staining) in dogs
- Saliva staining develops when a dog over-grooms (licks, bites or chews) himself / herself.
- It often indicates a problem i.e. pain, an itch or stress.
- Saliva staining can be brown, red, orange or pink.
- It shouldn’t be ignored – book an appointment with your vet if you notice staining anywhere on your dog.
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.
Published: January 2019
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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.
Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst