Why is my dog foaming at the mouth? When to worry

Causes of dogs foaming at the mouth

The causes of this exceptionally viscous drool range from being a healthy dog to life threatening situations. Ultimately, only a vet can rule out particularly dangerous causes. Here are some of the reasons your pup might be foaming at the mouth:

Emergency reasons 

While the reasons listed above can be concerning, they aren’t necessarily life-threatening. However, in some cases, excessive drooling or foaming can be a sign of a much more serious situation that requires immediate care.

  • Poisons and toxins. Pets, particularly curious dogs, can easily ingest harmful chemicals. Antifreeze is a common and highly recognized example of this, but there are numerous other harmful products, such as plants or pesticides, that can be highly toxic to dogs if ingested.   
  • Seizures. A symptom of an underlying issue, seizures can sometimes be accompanied by excessive saliva or foaming. Knowing what to do in the event of a seizure, and seeking medical help, is important.
  • Heatstroke. Unlike humans, dogs can’t sweat to help reduce their body heat. Panting is the most effective way for dogs to reduce heat and when they can’t, a heatstroke can occur.
  • Rabies. Often the first virus that comes to mind when we see foam around a dog’s muzzle, rabies Trusted Source VCA Hospitals Community of veterinarians with up-to-date veterinary information. Go to source can be found in most of the world—the only real exceptions being some island nations.

Non-emergency reasons

Once your veterinarian has ruled out the life-threatening causes we’ll go over below, you’ll be able to consider these possible underlying causes for why your dog’s saliva is thick and frothy.

Read more  Identifying Different Types of Seizures in Dogs

  • Stress and anxiety. Just like us, dogs experience stress and anxiety in different ways. For some pups, they may pant, lick their lips, and even foam at the mouth.
  • Dental disease. Tartar under the gum line leads to gingivitis which if left untreated will lead to periodontal disease. When periodontal disease becomes severe, gum recession, bone loss, tooth mobility, oral pain, and sometimes excessive, thick drool will result  
  • Nausea. While feeling queasy is more of an accompanying symptom than the root cause, dogs will sometimes foam at the mouth when they are experiencing an upset stomach as well. 
  • Too much activity. For some dogs, excessive slobber and foaming is just a sign that they’ve been having too much fun learning new tricks and have overexerted themselves.
  • Their breed. Some dogs, like St. Bernards, Bloodhounds,  Boxers, Mastiffs, and other dogs with an impressive set of jowls produce more saliva, and it tends to be thicker and discolored.
  • Medication. Liquid medications that taste unpleasant, or a pill getting stuck in your dog’s throat, can cause foaming. Some medications can also cause gagging, coughing, and repeated swallowing.
  • Ingesting insects or certain animals.  When dogs eat or lick stink bugs, lizards, frogs or toads, sometimes foaming at the mouth can occur due to the taste.  Some lizards, frogs, and toads can also be toxic and cause more severe symptoms as well.

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About the Author: Tung Chi