When a dog drools excessively, it can be a symptom of an underlying health issue. If you have a dog that suddenly starts to drool, it’s possible that he has something that is caught in his mouth or a sign of pain. Typically, a dog will also drool when he sees food while other dogs will drool when they are nervous, excited, or scared.
Dogs like St. Bernard have heavy lips and tend to drool a lot more than other dog breeds since the loose skin around his mount collects saliva that is overflowing, which results in drooling. When a dog excessively drools, it is called “hypersalivation”. There isn’t anything to worry about if your dog is normally a drooler, but if you notice a change in your dog’s typical drooling, that can be a sign he has something else going on.
Typically, when a dog suddenly starts to drool a lot, that is often a sign that he has a health issue that needs to be checked out. Here are a few probable causes of why your dog is drooling.
Reasons Why a Dog is Drooling Excessively
There are a variety of causes when it comes to dog drooling. Since it isn’t normal for a dog to drool profusely, it can indicate that you need to take your dog to the vet to be checked out, or it could be something simple.
When a dog smells, hears, or sees food, he can start to profusely drool. This reason does not require medical attention and shouldn’t be at all concerning. After your dog eats his anticipated snack, he will stop drooling.
Broken teeth, gingivitis, and abscessed teeth are all dental problems your dog may have that would cause drooling and oral pain. These issues do require veterinary attention and possibly some oral surgery in order to be resolved.
When a dog has an upset stomach, you may notice him drooling more than usual. This can be a result of vestibular issues, car sickness, or even something he ate that can cause a gastrointestinal disturbance.
When a dog eats something he shouldn’t, it may cause an obstruction, which is called a foreign body. This foreign body can cause drooling since isn’t able to move things correctly in his digestive tract, which can cause a blockage. An endoscopy or surgery may be required to take out the foreign body if your dog isn’t able to eliminate the object naturally.
A growth in a dog’s stomach, mouth, or esophagus can result in drooling more than usual. It’s imperative to talk to your vet as your dog may require surgery in order to remove any operable tumors.
When your dog has injured his mouth, like an ulcer from a chemical or a burn from chewing on an electrical cord, he may end up drooling excessively due to the pain.
Certain toxins, like those that are found in some houseplants, can make a dog hyper salivate if they eat or lick them.
Issues in Your Dog’s Mouth
It is pretty common for excessive dog drooling to be the result of a disease or object inside a dog’s mouth. When a dog suddenly starts to drool a lot, take a flashlight and look in his mouth. If you need to prop his mouth open, use an object like a tennis ball. Reasons your dog may drool excessively can include:
Small Foreign Objects
Small foreign objects, like a fishhook, piece of string, or bone fragment, can make a dog drool a lot if the object gets stuck in between his teeth or in his gums or tongue. If you are unable to remove the object, you will need to take your dog to the vet immediately.
An abscessed tooth can be pretty painful and can cause a dog to drool. Your dog should also show other signs like depression, fever, lack of appetite if he has an abscessed tooth. If you examine his teeth, you may also see pus around the tooth or even facial swelling under his eye. If you think your dog has an abscessed tooth, you will need to take him immediately to the vet.
An inflammation of the deep structures that support your dog’s teeth, periodontitis can develop as a continuance of gingivitis. It is a very painful disease that can cause a dog to drool. You may also notice your pup has bleeding and swollen gums as well as bad breath. Due to the pain, he may drop food from his mouth or stop eating altogether. Remember that periodontitis will require immediate veterinary treatment.
A tumor can occur in your dog’s mouth, like a melanoma, which can cause your dog to excessively drool. Other signs to look for include difficulty eating, bad breath, and bleeding from the mouth. If you aren’t able to determine the exact cause of what is wrong with your dog’s mouth, make sure to take him to the vet immediately since a mouth disease is painful and serious.
Other Causes of Drooling Excessively on Dogs
When your dog has been in the sun for a long period of time, he can start to drool and pant. This can be an indication of heat stroke, which can be life-threatening. Other signs to look for including a bright red tongue, thick saliva, and vomiting as well as a high rectal temperature. Remember that your dog will require immediate attention since heatstroke is an emergency.
Dogs tend to drool when they are in pain, but there are many types of health problems that can cause pain. It’s important to find out where the source of pain is and decide if you have a serious issue. He could be suffering from an injury, trauma, poisoning, bloating, or digestive issues. Other possible issues could be pain from an infection like anal gland impactions, eye issues, or ear infections. If you are not able to figure out what the cause of the pain is, do not wait. Take your dog right to the veterinarian as soon as you can.
There are some dogs that may suffer from motion sickness when they travel by car. When they feel nausea, it can result in his drooling profusely. If you have a dog that suffers from motion sickness, you can try giving him ginger tea or ginger cookie.
Foreign Object in a Dog’s Esophagus
Sometimes a foreign object, like a piece of bone or small toy, can get stuck in a dog’s esophagus, which can cause a dog to suddenly drool, gag, or retch along with regurgitating. If you have a dog that suddenly gags or drools and is having a hard time swallowing for a few days, he may have a foreign object partially obstructing his esophagus. It’s important to get your dog to the veterinarian to have the object removed since it can perforate his esophagus if it is sharp.
When a dog is suffering from hepatic encephalopathy, he may also excessively drool. Hepatic encephalopathy, or liver disease, is when the liver stops removing excessive ammonia from its body, which results in a type of dysfunction of the brain. You may also see other signs that are associated with liver disease that includes behavioral change, incoordination, disorientation, and weakness. Remember that hepatic encephalopathy is a serious health issue that needs to be treated by a veterinarian immediately.
Sudden excess drooling can also be caused by rabies, which is due to paralysis of the muscles he uses for swallowing. You should also look for other rabies signs including disorientation, aggressiveness, or incoordination. A dog is required to be vaccinated against rabies, so it’s pretty rare for a dog to get this fatal disease.
Excessive Drooling in Dogs Treatment
It all depends on the excessive drooling, but you may not need to do anything to stop the drooling. However, if the cause of the drooling is a medical issue, then you will need to see a veterinarian help your dog stop his drooling. Medications exist that will decrease his nausea, help to treat his pain, or absorb any toxic chemicals that may be causing the drooling. In some cases, it may be necessary to perform surgery to take out a diseased tooth, tumor, or foreign body before your dog will stop drooling.
How to Prevent Excessive Drooling in Dogs
The main purpose of saliva is to aid in digestion, dental health, mouth lubrication, or just normal swallowing, so it’s important to not eliminate all saliva, but do a few things that will prevent issues that can result in excessive drooling. When you give your dog the right at-home dental care, you can help your pup have healthy teeth and avoid issues that can cause drooling that results from dental disease.
All you need to do is be vigilant when it comes to picking up anything that could possibly be a foreign object if your dog eats it as well as keep all rodenticides and toxic houseplants out of your dog’s reach to help prevent medical issues that can result in drooling. And, finally, ensure that your dog isn’t able to chew on any cables or cords that can cause a serious oral burn, which can also cause excessive drooling.
Remember that this isn’t a preventative tool, but a bandanna allows you to manage your dog if he is prone to drooling excessively. Plus, it can be worn around his neck and act like a bib in catching some of that slobber.
Which Dogs Usually Drool Excessively?
Great Danes, Boxers, Bull Mastiffs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Neopolitan Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, Dogues de Bordeaux, and Saint Bernards are all known to excessively drooling, however, that does not mean that the dog has an underlying health issue. There are some breeds that have larger jowls that tend to drool more than some of the other breeds, which is due to the dog being unable to hold his saliva in. This means that you will just need to be prepared to wipe away any of the excess saliva regularly.
Why would a dog suddenly start drooling excessively?
A dog may start to drool excessively as a symptom of an underlying health issue. If your dog drools suddenly, it’s possible he has something caught in his mouth, or he may be in pain. Dogs also drool when they are nervous, excited, or scared. But they will especially drool when they see or smell food.
What is excessive drooling a sign of?
Either a symptom of a developmental delay or a medical condition, drooling can also be a result of being on certain medications. Excessive drooling can also be caused by issues with muscle control or difficulty swallowing. While drooling may be normal for a certain breed or when a dog hears or sees food, it can also be a dental issue, infection, or obstruction in a dog’s esophagus. If you notice your dog drooling for longer than a few days, it’s important to take him to the vet so that he can help to determine the cause of the excessive drooling.
Is dog drooling a sign of stress?
No, drooling is not stress-related. Drooling isn’t a behavior, but a reflexive reaction, like when a dog is salivating in anticipation of food. Drooling can happen for several reasons besides food like health issues or heat-related drooling.
Why does my dog drool?
Typically, a dog will drool because the saliva produced helps him to eat as well as digest food, which is a natural and normal part of a dog’s digestive process. However, irregular or excessive drooling may be a sign of an injury or health issue.