Dysphagia is a common problem after stroke that is often associated with tongue weakness. However, the physiological mechanisms of post-stroke tongue muscle weakness and optimal treatments have not been established. To advance understanding of physiological mechanisms of post stroke dysphagia, we sought to validate the unilateral transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rat model of ischemic stroke as a translational model of post stroke dysphagia. Our goal was to establish clinically relevant measures and chronicity of functional deficits; criteria that increase the likelihood that findings will translate to the clinic. We hypothesized that MCAO would cause tongue weakness and functional swallowing changes.