Reasons for Excessive Dog Drooling | Cloud 9 Vets

Reasons for Excessive Dog Drooling and Why You Should Be Worried


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Reasons for Excessive Dog Drooling

All dogs slobber to cool down. And some breeds such as Saint Bernards, bloodhounds, and mastiffs salivate more than others. This normal response to stimulation helps lubricate the mouth as it breaks down food for digestion. And aids with the prevention of gum disease and tooth decay.

Hyper-salivation is perfectly natural for dogs. But when too much saliva is produced and your dog is unable to swallow it this can cause irritation and inflammation in the mouth and lip area. Look at reasons for excessive dog drooling and why you should be worried here…

Reasons for Excessive Dog Drooling

Saliva Biology

Saliva contains water, enzymes, electrolytes, and antibacterial compounds that are essential for your dog’s health. Amylase is the enzyme that starts the digestion process. And mixed with food breaks down food matter.

The glands near the jaw produce the saliva. And ducts allow it to enter into the mouth. The production of saliva is normal – but excessive production causes a mouth overload where it’s difficult to swallow and runs out of the mouth.

Reasons for Excessive Dog Drooling

Breeds with Congenital Problems

Young dogs can often have a form of excessive saliva production due to a condition known as a portosystemic shunt. This causes the blood to bypass the liver. Breeds that have a higher rate of this problem include:

  • Irish Wolfhounds
  • Yorkshire and Maltese terriers
  • Australian Cattle Dogs
  • Miniature Schnauzers

Enlargement of the oesophagus is another hereditary condition that results in drooling and affects:

  • German Shepherds
  • Great Danes
  • Newfoundlands
  • Irish Setters
  • Greyhounds
  • Retrievers

Reasons for Excessive Dog Drooling

Giant breeds are renowned for excessive drooling. This is due to large jowls, loose mouth skin, and short noses. All making it harder for the saliva to be held in the mouth.
These breeds include:

  • Neapolitan and English mastiffs
  • Scottish Deerhounds
  • Great Danes
  • Saint Bernards
  • Leonbergers
  • Basset Hounds
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Newfoundlands

Reasons for Excessive Dog Drooling

Common Symptoms

You’ll know if your dog’s drooling a lot more than normal. And you may notice other changes including:

  • Not eating
  • Holding the head in an unusual position
  • Pawing at the face
  • Irritability and aggressiveness
  • Sudden vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Saliva that’s white and foamy
  • Dog drooling excessively from one side of mouth

Reasons for Excessive Dog Drooling

Possible Causes

There are a number of reasons that can cause excessive salivation in dogs and these include:

Irritation from foreign objects – sticks, stones, wood, or plant matter can all cause pain, inflammation and extreme salivation
Dental problems – inflamed and infected gums, gingivitis, and periodontal disease can result in hyper-salivation
Injuries – gums will become red or purple when tissues are injured or ulcerated and any infection will be accompanied by an unpleasant breath odour
Contagious diseases – may be contracted through shelters or homes with other pets, and rabies needs to be ruled out
Heatstroke – too much time in the sun can produce signs of lethargy, unresponsiveness, and drooling
Poisons – chrysanthemums, azaleas, and tulips are all common plants that are toxic to dogs resulting in excessive drooling
Growths – even harmless lumps including warts can cause drooling
Organ disease – both liver and kidney disease can cause an increase in salivation
Cancer – a highly invasive and usually fatal form known as squamous cell carcinoma is indicated by excessive salivation
Reasons for Excessive Dog Drooling

Salivary Gland Diseases

As there are so many reasons for excessive salivation your vet will need a thorough history of symptoms and other possible causes to rule out:

  • Inflammation of the salivary glands
  • Loss of adequate blood supply
  • Oesophageal or gastro-intestinal disorders
  • Stomach bloating
  • Gastric ulcer
  • Hiatal hernia

Tests Needed

Your vet will determine a diagnosis of hypersalivation or ptyalism where the salivary glands are producing abnormal amounts of saliva. Or psudoptylism when your dog can’t swallow the saliva produced. This will be confirmed after your dog has:

  • Been sedated and thoroughly examined
  • Had bloodwork taken to check for infection
  • Been screened for poisons
  • Had a neurological examination
  • Been x-rayed
  • Had a serum and urine analysis
  • Been given an abdominal ultrasound

Reasons for Excessive Dog Drooling

Treatment Plans

Salivation that’s accompanied by foaming at the mouth or other serious symptoms should be checked out immediately. Severe allergic reactions or poisoning can be fatal if left unattended. After diagnosis your vet will:

  • Advise on good hygiene management if your dog is prone to intense emotions
  • Offer solutions for behavioural causes
  • Remove any foreign bodies and provide medication to heal cuts and infections
  • Prescribe medication for swollen salivary glands and tonsils, removing them as necessary
  • Extract teeth and deep-clean gums
  • Take away growths
  • Recommend dialysis in the case of kidney failure
  • Monitor your dog to ensure treatment plans are working

Reasons for Excessive Dog Drooling

The Saddest Outcome

When you and your vet have tried everything. And no treatment has worked. You may have to consider dog euthanasia at home as a final option. You’ll be assured of ongoing support from trained and understanding professionals. And you’ll be provided with a gentle at-home procedure for your chronically unwell best friend.

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by Kim on December 13, 2019

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