The Dog's Tongue and Thermoregulation
Used with permission from 
Allsorts' Dog Pictures
Photographed by Robin & Harold Winter
Used with permission from 
Narnia Kennels

Arteriovenous Anastomoses (AVAs):  AVAs are found in many locations in many animals including in extremeties of human skin, the ears of rabbits, the mesentary and urine bladders of cats, and in the tongues of sheep, goats, and dogs.  In dogs AVAs are found most frequently on the tip and least frequently on the base of the tongue.  They can be a variety of different shapes including S-shaped, hook-shaped, bibranching, and Y-shaped and are 100-150 micrometers in length (Kishi 1988).

Blood Flow in the Tongue: Blood in the dog's tongue is carried by branchings of the profound lingual artery.  These branchings penetrate the tongue muscle before reaching the mucosal lamina propria of the dorsum of the tongue.  Under most circumstances AVAs in the tongue are open to allow arterial blood to pass directly through them to venules in the mucosal lamina propria and little arterial blood enters the superficial network of capillaries in the tongue where heat exchange with the environment occurs.

Control of Lingual Blood Flow

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