Veterinary Staff at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home were astonished recently to find a dog with his tongue completely anchored to his bottom jaw.
The dog, Bear, a ten-month-old German Shepherd Dog who came into the Home as a stray, had an extra membrane running the whole length of his tongue, holding it firmly in place.
Head Veterinary Surgeon Shaun Opperman said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this in 20 years of veterinary practice. He must have been born with this defect, and would never have been able to lift his tongue to lick or pant like other dogs. Although it didn’t seem to hinder him from eating or drinking, he must have been very uncomfortable at times’.
In a simple ten-minute operation Shaun severed the membrane, freeing Bear’s tongue. At first it lolled uselessly out of the side of his mouth, but staff were amazed by how quickly Bear learned to use it. ‘We have been feeding him with stuffed Kongs to help him build up the muscles’, said one Kennel Hand, ‘but I think he’s a natural. He’s always sticking it out, and you can’t go in his kennel without getting smothered in licks!’