Thursday, April 5, 2012

Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Drooling

Dogs drool; there is no way around it. Some will drool more, some less, depending on the breed and other factors. (From our observation also on the gender—girl dogs don't drool! LOL. All boy dogs we have had drooled a lot. JD's waterworks could turn a desert into a lush garden!)

Drool

Saliva is a good thing.

Not necessarily all over your Sunday outfit, but it certainly has an important function in your dog's mouth. It is an enzyme-rich liquid that lubricates food and starts the digestive process. (That's why most of the waterworks, as in JD's case, get turned on in anticipation of a meal.) Saliva also contains some other cool stuff, such as antibacterial agents.

So what constitutes excessive drooling?

Excessive doesn't mean more than you'd like, but more than would be normal for your dog. This is always the key. A symptom is something that is abnormal for the individual/breed in question. Excessive drooling also goes by the name “ptyalism.”

If your dog starts drooling more than usual, do pay attention.

Quite often, excessive drooling is associated with a problem in the mouth.

Foreign objects: anything that got stuck in the gums, tongue, roof of the mouth, between the teeth, or in the esophagus. Use your best judgment whether you can remove it safely. When it doubt, always err on the side of caution and call your veterinarian..

Injuries: look for bleeding, wounds, ulcers, and other deviations from normal appearance.

Ingestion of a caustic material: red or discolored oral tissues and pain are typical.

Dental issues: periodontal disease, tooth abscesses, fractured teeth, and oral infections or inflammation can all lead to excessive drooling and also a lot of pain. These things are not to be played with.

Tumors: look for any lumps, bumps or any tissue that looks strange. These symptoms should definitely be taken seriously.

While foreign objects and injuries might be a judgment call, always see your veterinarian if you suspect dental disease or find any strange masses or pigmentation in your dog’s mouth. Warning signs of a potential emergency include pain, an inability to swallow, difficulty breathing, vomiting, lethargy, a foul odor from the mouth, weakness, extreme agitation, or profuse drooling that lasts for more than a few hours.

If you didn't find any problem in the mouth, you might not be out of the woods.

Excessive drooling might be a result of a problem not related to the mouth. Jasmine (I know I said that girl dogs don't drool) will drool when her stomach is upset. Nausea causes drooling, as can neurologic diseases that impair a dog’s ability to swallow.

Excessive drooling can be one of the signs of heat stroke, though in such case you're likely to get tipped off by excessive panting first. Do get familiar with the early symptoms of heat stroke; it is a life-threatening situation.

Dogs suffering from gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) also tend to drool a lot because the entrance to the stomach is twisted shut.  If your dog is drooling, trying to vomit but little or nothing comes up, has a distended abdomen, and is in pain, get him to the veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.

Pain or anxiety of any origin can result in excessive drooling.

It is important to pay attention to your dog. Know what is normal.  Don't dismiss anything out of the ordinary. Symptoms usually like company, so look for other signs, such as bad breath, fever, changes in appetite, changes in behavior …

It's your dog's health,
Jana

Further reading:
Dog Drooling Excessively
My Dog is Drooling Excessively
Dog Drooling and Salivary Gland Problems

Related articles:
Symptoms: Recognition, Acknowledgement And Denial
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Panting
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Drinking
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Bad Odor

55 comments:

  1. My dog was consistently drooling and whining whenever he eat anything. When I looked in his mouth I didn't see anything so I took him to out animal hospital. The vet found a wood chip lodged deep between in his teeth. After getting it removed, he only drools when I bring out the dog treats!

    Sara Welsh | http://www.coolvet.com/

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    1. A very good call taking him to the vet! Glad it was just a foreign object and got fixed easily!

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  2. Our Lab has had 3 or 4 episodes of excessive drooling in the last month or so. By excessive, I mean there is a steady constant dripping where I have to keep wiping her because her neck gets soaked and she drips all over the floor. She's not usually much of a drooler unless there's food tempting her so this is not at all normal for her. I'm writing now because we just noticed that she's doing it again. She's been fine all day and we went for a walk a few hours ago. She was fine through the walk and was very playful when we got back. She's resting now but doesn't seem to be in any pain or distress. She's not whining or whimpering. I checked her mouth (I do every time) and don't find anything foreign. She always has her nose to the ground and she'll often chew on things she finds in the grass but she usually drops them after she checks them out. I'm thinking maybe she's been getting something in her mouth that caused some stomach upset and that's why she's drooling, since nothing seems to be wrong inside her mouth. Before she had the first episode about a month ago, she had never had this problem before and she's 5 years old. In the past, it has always happened around this time of day and by the next morning she's not drooling anymore. Any ideas? Is there something I can give her in case it is being caused by stomach upset? She hasn't vomited and never has the other time either. I just thought of something else. She sometimes pulls when we walk and today she was pulling a lot for the first (about) 10 minutes of our walk. Is it possible the strain on her throat from the pulling could cause the drooling? I can't remember if we'd walked right before the previous episodes. Thanks for any suggestions you might have.

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    1. Whether or not it consistently happens after walks is a good thing to know. If she isn't showing any other signs of digestive upset, though, I'd wonder whether it's an oral/dental problem. I'd have that checked, including x-rays and the whole shebang.

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  3. I was out of town and left my brothers to watch my dog when i got hm today i found one of my dogs very skinny and she did eat but after words threw up and was stumbling over herself she even started to drool she is acting strange should i worry

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    1. Yes, do worry. Please see a vet as soon as possible.

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  4. Me and my Uncle trying to mate a Shih Tzu and King Charles and it was a success but by and by our Shih tzu (A Girl) and her mouth is full of saliva and we don't know why...

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  5. I let my Morkie out of the room for a whole day yesterday and I think my family may have given him more to eat than he can handle. So far, he's only thrown up 3 times and he keeps drooling. I'm worried.

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    1. How old is he and WHAT did he get to eat?

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    2. 4, maybe 5 years old. His normal dog food(Beneful) and some bones.

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    3. Well, don't want to add to hysteria but I'd be leery of Beneful. More importantly, what bones?

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    4. Cooked chicken bones? Those can be quite dangerous. How is he doing right now? Might need to see a vet a look for a bone stuck somewhere, obstruction etc.

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    5. He just keeps deciding to walk in circles. He'll sit/lay down after a few seconds of wandering around slowly. He doesn't walk as fast as the day before yesterday. And the place I take him so he can see the Vet isn't open on Sundays

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    6. Still vomiting? Did he poop? What is the gum color? No emergency vet in your area? Usually there is an emergency hospital or a vet on call.

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  6. No. No. Pink with spots of brown. And not that I know of. I just hope he'll be fine by morning since that's when we'll take him to the vet

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  7. My dog started to drool a lot after he had a fight with my grandma's dog. I don't know what to do since it's the first time it happened. Maybe you can help me?

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    1. I'd worry about injury of some kind. A tooth might be broken, there could be a wound that isn't readily visible. Please have him checked.

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  8. I have also mentioned several times in my blog about the dogs and their drooling habits. Sometimes the drooling is not taken seriously because it is considered something natural and even when it is happening due to some serious problem like mouth infection etc.

    http://purrsngrrs.com/dog-drooling-problems/

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  9. Our Greyhound started excess drooling for two days now and not keen on eating. mouth, gums, and tongue are good. he does have acid problems with his stomach and takes Famotadine everyday (10mg). hes also been enjoying digging in the yard recently and just loves it. we keep it to a minimum because being a Greyhound he can over do the running around and digging too much and moan about the soreness later those nights. do you think all the excess excitement could be causing the more acid and leading to extra acid?

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    1. I think that the acid reflux is a reflection of an underlying problem. Please listen to this great podcast on GERD.

      Stress or excitement MIGHT be involved, but it is likely that your dog is what is called "sympathetic dominant" which can be improved via nutrition too. I think that long-term use of antacids isn't really good for him and doesn't solve the problem, just masks the symptoms of it

      Excess drooling for two days could be from an oral issue (whether dental disease of sorts, or perhaps something stuck in the oral cavity?) but also from unhappy GI tract.

      Both of these things could affect interest in food, though GI issue probably more likely so.

      If it was me, I'd see a vet, have the mouth thoroughly examined and the GI problems revisited.

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  10. My 4yr old active border collie/spaniel suddenly started hanging his head down. Next day his jaws were swollen. He can't eat. Heavy thick watery drool. Can't move. Glassy eyes. High fever. Has been on keflex for 2 days. No improvement. Help me please

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    1. Sheryl, be on your way to emergency vet.

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  11. I just adopted a 3 month old maltipoo today they gave him a second dose of shots but when we got home he started panting and drinking a lot of water he's pooped only twice and peed about 3-4 times he's also acting like he's gonna puke and you can hear his stomach making the sounds but he acts as if he swallows it but we did just leave the vet today so I don't really know. Should I be worried?

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    1. I'd at least call the vet and tell them about it.

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  12. My 6 month old border terrier drools a lot when being walked, after about 20 mins she is sick, she brings up a stomach full of soliver, clear in colour and no smell. After she is sick she is right as rain and we carry on. She eats and drinks well and toilet normal. Good weight and happy. No physical pain, no bad breath, nothing tender to touch etc. I have taken her to the vets and they listened to her chest and felt her all over, they have said she has extra large soliver glands but nothing is wrong to keep an eye on it.....I have now put her in a harness to take pressure away from her neck but it's still happening....any suggestions as I'm still worried.

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    1. Hi Eve, I have to say I've never heard of this problem before. Is there any heaving involved? Or does it just come out? I'd find that worrisome too. I'd at least seek a second opinion. It might be a good idea to get the second opinion with an integrative vet.

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  14. My dog is 8 years old. She is an English bulldog but she has never panted or drooled as much as she has been within the last couple days. Not only has she been drooling and panting a lot but she has also started peeing on the floor. It's almost like she can'ts hold it but she does it just randomly. Is this something we need to get checked?

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    1. Yes, please, have it checked. Any CHANGE should be checked. Is there increased drinking to go with the potty accidents? I'd start with check-up and urinalysis at least; ideally I'd throw in at least basic blood work as well.

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  15. I have a 10 an 1/2 month old full blooded Pit Bull. He is the baby of our family. He is the sweetest pup you'd ever come across. He hasn't been eating like he normally does, and he has had a fever and now the bad breath is here, and it smells horrible. I've planned on taking him to the vet later this week. But I was wondering if there was anything you thought could be wrong. I've checked his mouth, nothing. I've checked pressure points for pain, nothing. When we're playing with him he's fine. But when not he doesn't act like him self. He has shaked from like being cold an we quickly get him warmed up. I've been told it could possibly be from the weather changing and he could just have a cold. But what makes me a worry wart. When he was just a couple months old, he got parvo, an we cured it at home an got him better , set with him day in an day out for 2 an 1/2 weeks straight. Luckily the good lord was with us an helped cure him. But I'm curious if you've ever come across anything like this, with any pups??

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    1. Here is the thing with little puppies - they are extremely vulnerable to ANY disease and extremely vulnerable to not getting enough nutrition.

      Please do not wait until later this week and take him to a vet right away. Bad breath can be from internal issues as well, not only dental issues.

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    2. My dog is 2 and a half years old. she ate like 50g of pedigree and 40 ml of milk... She hasn't pooped today. She vomited once and she s salivating extensively after that... There s no vet available till tomorrow morning what shall I do? She is weak and not at all active from 2 days... Plz help I can't stop worrying

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    3. Hi Nisarga, does your dog get milk regularly? Many dogs are lactose intolerant and could well be that the milk upset her system.

      She does sound ill but it doesn't sound like an emergency. You're seeing a vet today, right?

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  16. My dog has had blood in poop. Excessive salivation. Always like a string and very frothy all over the floor. From last 5 days. Tough time keeping my infant away as he loves to crawl. Dog seems to be in stomach pain. Very quiet less active. Eating light and less. Drinking water and drooling. Vet visited home gave sone injection to relive pain and a laxative. That was 2 days back. But I know he is not improved much. We are very far from city in a remote village. No other vet here. He threw up some white froth and some pink colored semisolid just a while back can't figure what that is. Really worried ! My distancing due to baby is also making him more anxious.

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    1. Aarushi, your dog is in trouble, very sick and you need to find a vet to visit who can diagnose and treat this. Where do you live? There must be a vet somewhere in your area ... ?

      I assume your vet is suspecting a foreign body/obstruction, this might require to be removed surgically. Your dog needs some serious treatment.

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  17. My 7 yr old miniature dachshund has been more lethargic than normal lately, and after a short 10 minute walk she had drool on her mouth. She never drools. I have also noticed in the past week or so that she has a bump on her lower right back. Should I be worried/what could this be? Thanks!

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    1. Lethargy is one of the symptoms I take most seriously right there. Bumps I take very seriously as well. All in all, please do see a vet. Something is going on which definitely sounds serious enough to have it checked.

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  18. My one year old puppy (jack russell terrier mix) started throwing up (not much but a decent amount for her size), and now is drooling excessively. She's moving somewhat slow, and acting strange and very weak. She ate a decent amount today, and it doest seem like she has anything in her mouth, though she does play outside a lot and is very curious. She fell asleep now but is still drooling and acting & looking very sick. Could it just be an aftermath of the vomit/some little bug or something we should be concerned about?

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    1. I can't tell you what it is exactly but yes, please be concerned. Dogs throw up sometimes and might drool when stomach upset. HOWEVER, when lethargy, looking weak and acting sick comes into the picture as well, that is bad. Please see a vet today.

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  19. My 6 month old puppy is puking and has no appetite. I got him to drink a Lil water but it was hard. He puked up alot the first couple times now it's just white foam and drool. It's only been going on for 4 hours bit I'm still worried
    please reply at dferdig95@gmail.com

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    1. A sick puppy needs to see a vet right away. That is the only right thing you can do for your puppy.

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  20. My little 16 lbs mix dog is starting to drool excessively, we noticed bubbles on the comforter and couch from her drool. She is just dripping. We checked her mouth, no objects/blood/broken teeth. She is 7 1/2 hrs old. Should I see emergency vet or wait til morning?

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    1. Well, it is morning already, sorry.

      Drooling can be caused by oral disease (not everything can be easily visible), GI upset, or by licking or ingesting something unfavorable.

      If the drooling still continues, I would definitely see a vet.

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  21. Could salt cause it? I have a Maltese and she never drools. I made pasta and accidentally over salted the noodles. Throwing them away one penne escaped the bowl and hit the floor. Of course she was right there to tackle the problem lol but that really the only thing out of the ordinary today.

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    1. Strong or bad-tasting substances could cause temporary drooling. Wouldn't last very long though. And I don't know if one over-salted penne could do this, perhaps.

      It would happen immediately, though and it would be very temporary drooling though. If it is persistent, something else is behind it.

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  22. My dog is convulsing. Not like something is stuck in her throat but like she wants to throw up but is holding back. She threw up 3 times already. What to do?

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    1. I hope you sought veterinary help. What breed is your dog? Unproductive heaving can mean very dangerous things such as bloat.

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  23. hi. I have a one year old girl chihuaua and she is also pomeranian. Shes been vomiting up red stuff. So far 3 times
    She is drooling veryyy bad. Like ive never seen a dog drool as much as she is. She sounds as if she is having trouble breathing . Please help me

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    1. Savannah, you need to see a vet NOW.

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    2. Really ?! I am so worried . Thank you so much

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  24. We have two German Shepherds. Female 1 1/2 and male about 11mos. Our male was neutered yesterday and of course everything is different around the house getting through the recovery period. The normal things the dogs do together aren't happening right now. So today our female (who believes she is his boss/mom) puked bile and had diarreha in her kennel and is drooling. We called the vet and they said if she pukes again bring her in, but that it might be stress. Is it normal for a second dog to get that stressed when their "sibling" dog is under the weather?

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    1. It might not be from how he feels but from losing their normal play and interaction.

      I have to say that I think such violent reaction to change is possible but I agree that if she continues vomiting or having diarrhea (particularly both together) I would see a vet and run some diagnostics to make sure it's not an infection or something else physiological first.

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    2. Thank you so much, she seems to have improved through the day. Both dogs are now resting quietly in their kennels. We did make an appointment for morning just in case. She hasn't had another bout since before I sent this post (about 5hrs), but still some drooling. She is eating ok and acting mostly normal. A little tired maybe, but no one got a good nights sleep last night! She still runs out to backyard trying to get brother to come play, so that is a good sign. If she is still drooling in the morning we will take her in. Thanks for the advice!

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