7 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Drooling Too Much and Why You Should Be Worried

Updated on January 7, 2018
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a small animal veterinarian. He works mostly with dogs and exotic animals.

Has your dog started to drool a lot? If your dog does not normally drool a lot but has started drooling everywhere, find out what is wrong and what you can do about it.

If your dog starts drooling excessively find out what is wrong as soon as possible.
If your dog starts drooling excessively find out what is wrong as soon as possible. | Source

Excessive drooling is one of the worst problems for some dog owners. Every time the dog goes to the water dish he leaves a mess, and a dog with facial hair is that much harder to clean up after. If you bought a drooler like a St. Bernard you might have known what you were getting in for, but if your dog was never a drooler before there might be something you can do about it.

Reasons Your Dog Might Be Drooling a Lot

 
Poison
Foreign body in the mouth
Dental problems (like an abscessed tooth)
Nausea or painful abdomen
Cancer in the mouth
Contagious disease that does not allow him to swallow—Think Rabies First!
Other less common causes, like a portosystemic shunt, myasthenia gravis, polymyositis

Besides Drooling, Other Signs You Might Notice

Some of these things may have been going on for a while and you have not noticed them or just figured they were a normal part of a dog´s life. Pay attention!

  • Bad breath
  • Losing weight
  • Sensitive to any touching around the mouth
  • Gagging
  • Coughing
  • Seizures

A stick or other object can become lodged in your dogs mouth and cause excessive drooling.
A stick or other object can become lodged in your dogs mouth and cause excessive drooling. | Source

If you have looked at the reasons your dog might be drooling excessively, you have noticed that some of them are serious but many of them are nothing to be worried about. Unfortunately, you need to find out, and fast.

If your dog is drooling because of cancer, and you let it go for a few weeks, there may be no way to save him.

And do you really want a dog with advanced rabies running around your house?

Find out what is going on today.

Some of the Tests That Your Vet May Need to Run

  • Exam under anesthesia to look for any lesions: Some of these causes will make a dog very sensitive under examination and the only way to find out what is wrong is to do an exam while your dog is under sedation.
  • Neurological exam
  • CBC-a complete blood count to determine if there is an infection
  • A screen for poisons
  • X-ray: If your dog has a tumor, for example, it may appear small but if it has invaded the jaw or sinuses it will not do much good to just remove it.
  • Serum biochemistry
  • Urinalysis to look for metabolic problems.
  • Abdominal ultrasound if your dog is feeling nausea but the cause cannot be determined.

If your dog has a bad tooth (or teeth) it may cause him to drool a lot.
If your dog has a bad tooth (or teeth) it may cause him to drool a lot. | Source

Possible Treatments for Excessive Drooling

This will really depend on the cause, but do not assume this is going to be something that you will not be able to treat.

  • Remove a lodged stick or other foreign object from the mouth
  • Extract an abscessed broken tooth
  • Treat an infectious disease with antibiotics
  • Remove a tumor from the mouth

If your dog is drooling a lot and has behavioral changes, rabies has to be considered.
If your dog is drooling a lot and has behavioral changes, rabies has to be considered.

Schedule a Visit With Your Vet Now

If your dog has a stick lodged in her mouth, a broken tooth, or is just salivating a lot because of something she ate, you should schedule a visit with your regular vet now and help her feel better. This drooling problem can clear up right away or in a few days and your lives can return to normal.

Some dogs have a more serious cause, of course, like a cancer growing in the mouth, but the sooner you take your dog in the better her chances of recovering.

Get her in today. If your regular veterinarian cannot schedule an appointment for your dog take her to an emergency clinic.

Some tumors in the mouth are easy to remove. If you do not take care of it right away, however, your dog can end up like this.

A strange object in your dogs mouth will always lead to excessive drooling!
A strange object in your dogs mouth will always lead to excessive drooling! | Source

This case of excessive drooling can be treated at home.

Questions & Answers

  • My dog has recently just started drooling in his sleep, his beard is always soaked. I don’t know if it’s because of the hot weather or not but he’s never been one to drool. He is a pure bread havanese and has been throwing up not regularly but a few times in a month. Is this serious?

    Although you do not indicate what age your Havanese is, the most likely problem with excessive drooling in this breed is dental problems. It would also account for the periodic vomiting, since if he is swallowing a mouthful of pus from time to time it will upset his stomach.

    Get him checked out as soon as possible. The vet can look at his teeth, feel for any loose ones, but may have to do an x-ray to look for infections deep in the roots.

    He may also need to be put on antibiotics before the procedure.

  • How do I know if my dog had a seizure?

    The only way to tell for sure if your dog had a seizure is to see it happen. After, a dog will have symptoms like excessive drooling, stiffness when walking and getting up slowly, and in some cases, a dog will be disoriented and may even bite (even if he would not normally do so).

  • My dog just started to express a lot of water from his mouth. It isn’t thick drool. It’s like he’s just come from his water dish with water in his mouth. What might be the cause?

    Some dogs will have very thin saliva, so any of the reasons in the article (foreign body in the mouth, etc.) are a possibility.

    It is also possible that the water coming out of his mouth is a very thin vomit. The most likely reason for a very thin liquid like you describe is a toxic plant or grass. You can read https://pethelpful.com/dogs/my-dog-is-vomiting for more possibilities and try to hold off on food to see how he does. However, if this continues, you are going to need to take him to your regular vet for an exam.

  • Why is my four-year-old Mastiff slobbering like crazy?

    If your dog starts drooling excessively, a lot more than is normal, consider all of the causes in the table posted in the article. You will need to have his mouth examined and determine if there is a foreign body, and injury, or a broken and abscessed tooth. Get your Mastiff in to see your regular veterinarian as soon as possible.

© 2015 Dr Mark

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    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Faye, sudden onset in a young dog would make me suspect poisoning or a foreign body in the mouth. Get him to the vet as soon as you can and have him checked out.

    • profile image

      Faye 

      4 weeks ago

      My Australian Shepherd & border Collie mix is 4 years old and he has been drooling excessively since this morning, what should I do?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Renee, I can not be sure if the excessive drooling is from an inability to close the mouth correctly (seondary to myositis), inflammation in the mandibular muscles, or an oral disease. Take him to your regular vet for an exam before going back to the university. Good luck with him.

    • profile image

      Renee 

      4 months ago

      Hi, My 3-1/2yr old pit bull who I fostered at the age of 7 months then adopted was diagnosed with Myositis, he was on Prednisone for over a year, after taking him to Ohio State University, they determined he's Myositis is in remission. However he still has very bad breath and excessive drooling when food is around. He also licks the humans any chance he keeps for long periods of time. He also grinds his teeth/jaw at nice. He recently has been gagging and throwing up small amounts of barf.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Luis, you should call the vets office and let them know that things are not improving. The vet probably suspects a gastric ulcer or esophageal problem, and may want to continue the regimen for 10 days or 2 weeks to monitor the response. If things are not changing, let him know before starting over with another vet.

    • profile image

      Luis P. 

      4 months ago

      My dog is a 2y1mo old old english bulldog, he would never drool. 2 days ago he started drooling constantly to the point everything is wet. I took him to vet yesterday and after examination I was told to give him famotidine 20mg once a day. Today nothing has changed, he is eating normally.

      Should I wait a little bit more or get another vet to check him?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      7 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Mary Lynn, I would just toss the toy, but if this keeps up for a few days and you are sure there is no FB or oral problems, have a CBC done by your vet to look for an infection.

    • profile image

      Mary Lynn Futers 

      7 months ago

      my dog has been drooling on the right side of his mouth. it has caused me such confusion as i am uncertain of etiology - pain, nausea etc. i know seem to think it starts after he plays (suckles) with a certain toy - so now I am thinking the toy is toxic. i have checked his mouth for FB and broken tooth - nothing. any recos?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Miguel, what kind of dog do you have, and how old is he? He might have a spinal disease. The drooling is just nervousness, the thing you should be worried about is the loss of balance.

    • profile image

      Miguel 

      8 months ago

      What does it mean when my dog drools then right after start to lose balance on his back legs and he has a hard time getting up,why would that happen.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Bettie, is he drooling excessively or a normal amount? Is the drooling causing a skin infection or a lip fold infection?

    • profile image

      Bettie 

      8 months ago

      Good morning Dr. Mark

      Our golden retriever Lincoln stinks and we were told his drool gets on his fur and that is what causes the smell is there a natural home remedy.he is on raw food. We bathed him yesterday and the smell is back

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      TK, maybe your dog is smart enough to realize that dry food is nasty overprocessed junk that is not fit for a dog. You can check his mouth or take him to your regular vet for an oral exam, but as long as you are offering alternatives that are better than dog food (canned chicken and turkey, for example) he is unlikely to eat that stuff again.

      PS: I would never ask my dog to live on processed dog food. She eats a natural diet. Look into it.

    • profile image

      TK 

      8 months ago

      My dog has stopped eating dry food. He will eat canned food and food in a roll and canned chicken and turkey with vegetables. He will also eat a raw hide treat. But why won't he eat his dry food anymore?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      13 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Wendy, if it is mostly at niht, while roomin´, and no infections or lesions in the mouth, I would consider behavioral.

    • profile image

      Wendy 

      13 months ago

      Hi, this info was helpful but I still have questions. My dog (20 month old, chocolate lab, female) does not drool so much all day/everyday, but often at night, laying down, cleaning herself, she leaves PUDDLES. I actually thought she lost bladder control it was so wet. She was tested for infections but is negative. She is being treated for stomach acid and seasonal allergies and takes 20 mg. Pepcid and 1-2 Benadryl daily. I'm starting to wonder if there is something more systemic that we are missing.....

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Dr. Mark,

      I can fully relate to your ordeal. This is pretty much my thing in summers of Ontario too. July-September went lazying around. K2 won't really put his heart and soul in hiking during those months hahaha.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Thanks, Suhail. I hope you and K2 are enjoying your Canadian fall. Down here it is hot and very dry (spring, of course) so I have only been taking my dog for long walks late at night when it is cooler.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Very informative hub indeed! Thanks for educating us.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Marie thanks so much for that nice comment. Hopefully most of us will not need this info but I want it out there in case someone does need it.

    • MarieLB profile image

      MarieLB 

      2 years ago from YAMBA NSW

      What a great hub. I had not read it before but this time I did not let it pass by! You do tackle some real difficult subjects and give us all the gen we need. Thanks DrMark 1961.

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 

      2 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Thanks for the clarification on the timing of the symptoms, Doc. I would not want to witness a case of rabies in a human...talk about a feeling of helplessness!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I saw a lot more rabies when I lived in Africa, not so much now since the government comes by and gives free rabies vacc to the farmers that own dogs (which is almost everyone). I even saw it in a person once--he was bitten by a rabid dog and did not follow his vacc protocol. Really sad.

      Dogs lose the ability to swallow long before showing clinical symptoms, so they drool and can pass on the rabies virus long before the dumb or violent stages. It really pays to be cautious if your dog is drooling.

      I always appreciate your comments. Hopefully you will get lots of ladybug visits again this year and will be around for AT LEAST another year!!!

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 

      2 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Great hub, Doc! It's very easy for owners to dismiss a dog's drooling because "that's what dogs do." The same with excessive scratching or body odor..."all dogs scratch" and "all dogs have doggy odor."

      The reasons for uncharacteristic drooling can produce some pretty heavy consequences, though, so this hub is a real service to owners.

      The rabies mention made me cognizant of the fact that we're on a worldwide stage and rabies is a problem in some parts of the world. Here in the U.S., because of the legal requirement that dogs, cats and ferrets be immunized against rabies, we don't see it too often. Once every year or two, a rabid skunk, raccoon, or bat will be confirmed locally and the alert will go out to make sure pets are vaccinated.

      I'm of the belief that a rabid animal is at the terminal stage when symptoms appear, and by the time it has reached the drooling stage, it's just hours away from death, but that they can transmit the disease even before they show symptoms. Is that right?

      BTW, my ladybug hub is getting a ton of hits now. This is the time of year that the phenomenon occurs. Last year, it generated 340-something dollars for me in about two weeks. This year, though, they're not clicking on the ads. I haven't reached $7 yet, lol.

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