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Saliva is a normal reaction to when they are introduced to a stimulant such as food or treats or when they become excitable. There are some breeds that produce more saliva than other breeds such as the Dogue de Bordeaux, St. Bernard and Bulldog. Many times when your dog produces excess saliva there is an underlying problem within their mouth, throat or salivary gland. Excess saliva can cause irritation around your dog’s mouth and the skin can become inflamed.
The excess production of saliva in dogs is also called ptyalism or hypersalivation. Normally, drooling is not a sign that your dog is sick. However, when they begin producing excess saliva, this can be problematic and will need to be checked out by your veterinarian. There are a number of different reasons your dog is producing an excessive amount of saliva.
Usually a dog that has an excess production of saliva is overly excited. There are some instances where excess drool is problematic and indicates that they are ill. You know your dog and their normal habits. If you feel that they are producing more saliva than normal or you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian for an appointment.
There are many conditions and illnesses that can cause excess production of saliva in dogs. Your veterinarian will have to do a physical examination as well as diagnostic testing to determine what is causing your dog to excessively salivate.
Some causes can include a foreign object such as lesions in your dog’s mouth, a bone or stick becoming lodged in your dog’s mouth or throat, hyperactivity in your dog, an allergic reaction, or poisoning.
If your dog’s excessive drooling has come on quickly and they act agitated or are clawing at their mouth, there could be a foreign object that has become lodged in their throat or mouth. Seek veterinary assistance immediately if this is the case.
Dog’s that are easily excitable or have experienced extreme stress will produce excessive saliva. Once your dog calms down, you should see a noticeable decrease in the amount of saliva being produced.
Allergic reactions and/or poisonings will require immediate veterinary attention. If you suspect your dog has been poisoned or is suffering from an allergic reaction, get to your veterinarian or an emergency clinic as quickly as possible.
Your veterinarian will ask you for your dog’s medical history as well as their diet and if any changes have occurred in their environment. A full physical examination will be conducted, paying close attention to your dog’s mouth.
Your veterinarian will thoroughly rinse your dog’s mouth and then feel along the inside of their mouth to see if there is any foreign material stuck inside. If nothing unusual is found, then your veterinarian will order x-rays and an ultrasound of your dog’s throat to determine if there is something lodged.
If there is no foreign object found in your dog’s mouth or throat, then your veterinarian will order a complete blood count, biochemistry panel, urinalysis and fecal exam. These tests will help your veterinarian narrow their search for the cause of your dog’s excess production of saliva. The presence of other symptoms will help your veterinarian make a definitive diagnosis and can then proceed to setting a treatment plan.
Hyperactive or excitable dogs will not need medical treatments other than to confirm that they are not ill. As they calm down, the excess production of saliva should decrease. Keep notes on when your dog experiences excessive saliva and what caused the reaction. This way you can hopefully notice a trend and can modify your dog’s environment.
Removal of any foreign objects found in your dog’s mouth can generally be done without the use of anesthetic. Many times your veterinarian is able to quickly remove the foreign object and thoroughly clean the dog’s mouth without the dog struggling too much. Removal of a foreign object found in your dog’s throat will require anesthetic. Depending on the location of the object, surgery may be required. Your veterinarian will discuss surgical and non-surgical options with you.
Allergic reactions and poisonings will most likely require hospitalization until your dog is stabilized. Activated charcoal and supportive care will be needed as part of your dog’s care. Other medical conditions will require specialized treatments. Your veterinarian will discuss what treatments are necessary based on the diagnosis.
Most cases of excess production in saliva in dogs are easily treated and diagnosed. Your veterinarian will go over treatment options and expected recovery time based on the diagnosis. Your dog may not need medical treatment, however, it is better to be cautious and take your dog to your veterinarian for an assessment. Any serious conditions can be quickly found and the appropriate treatment given.
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