What is Hypersialism?
While it is typical for dogs to drool or salivate, should he be salivating excessively it can point to something going on. This will occur when the saliva glands produce more saliva than your dog can swallow. The excessive moisture can lead to inflammation as well as irritation around your dog’s mouth.
Your dog will normally produce saliva when responding to being stimulated. The saliva will lubricate his mouth and will help in preventing both tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva will also help by starting the process of breaking down food so that it can be digested. Should your dog be drooling excessively, it can be due to his producing too much saliva. This may occur as a result of an issue in your dog’s mouth and/or throat and can also be the result of a more systemic problem.
Hypersialism is when your dog salivates excessively as a result of his saliva glands producing more saliva than he is capable of swallowing.
Symptoms of Hypersialism in Dogs
The amount of saliva produced will depend on the breed as well as the individual dog. Whether salivation is excessive will be dependent on what is normal for your dog. Should you notice an increase in the amount of the saliva he is producing or its consistency (it is usually white and foamy), it can point to something amiss. If you observe the following in your dog, you will want to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian:
- More drool than is typical for your dog
- Drooling for seemingly no reason
- Mouth or lip inflammation
- Unwilling to eat
- Changes in your dog’s behavior
Hypersialosis, also called hypersalivation, occurs when the salivary glands are producing an unusually large amount of saliva. Psudoptylism occurs when your dog is not able to swallow the saliva that has been produced. In Psudoptylism, your dog is not experiencing an overproduction of saliva, though it can appear that way as he will have an excess in his mouth.
Causes of Hypersialism in Dogs
Excessive salivation can be caused by the following:
- Rabies and other infectious diseases
- Irritation from an object to include your dog’s toys, sticks and stones that become stuck in his mouth
- An injury to your dog’s mouth
- Intense emotions - your dog will usually drool when faced with particular stimuli and should he experience an intense emotion he may respond by producing excessive saliva
- Motion sickness
- Irritated throat or a blockage in his throat that makes it hard or painful for your dog to swallow
- Certain medications can cause an increase in the production of saliva.
- Allergic reaction
- Tumors of the mouth
- Defects in your dog’s mouth that make it hard for him to swallow
- Kidney failure
- Hepatic encephalopathy
- A disorder of the salivary glands
Diagnosis of Hypersialism in Dogs
Your veterinarian will conduct an examination of your dog, first seeking to rule out rabies. If your dog is up to date on his shots and is not experiencing other symptoms of rabies, ruling it out will be easy. An oral examination will be conducted and your veterinarian will ask you about when you first noticed that your dog was salivating excessively and whether you have observed any other symptoms. An increase in thirst, vomiting or diarrhea may point your veterinarian in a certain direction when looking to diagnose the cause of your dog’s condition. You should let your veterinarian know if you have noticed any patterns or causes of your dog’s excessive salivation.
While looking closely at your dog’s mouth, your veterinarian will look for a foreign object, as well as any irritation in his mouth or throat, tumors, or inflammation of his saliva glands. Should nothing be found in your dog’s mouth that could result in his excessive salivation, your veterinarian will conduct additional tests to see if your dog is experiencing an infectious disease or other health concern. Your veterinarian will ask whether your dog has been exposed to any toxins that may be resulting in his symptoms. A complete blood count (CBC) will be conducted as well as a biochemical profile which will help in identifying kidney and liver disorders and a bile acids blood test will evaluate the function of your dog’s liver. A urinalysis may also be conducted to get a better understanding of your dog’s metabolic status.
Treatment of Hypersialism in Dogs
The treatment for your dog’s excessive salivation will be dependent upon what is causing it. Should your dog exhibit signs of dental disease, a cleaning of his teeth may be recommended. Any cuts or scrapes that are in his mouth may be treated with medication to facilitate their healing. Medication will also be prescribed for a throat infection. Should there be any masses present in his mouth, or if your dog is experiencing tonsillitis, surgery may be the necessary treatment.
If there is a foreign object in your dog’s mouth, it will be removed; in some cases, this will require sedation or anesthesia. If the condition causing the excessive salivation is a systemic problem, antibiotics or anti-inflammatories may be prescribed to treat the condition. Should your dog is experiencing kidney failure, dialysis may be a part of his treatment. In the case of an infectious disease, or poisoning, treatment will be based up the cause and severity.
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Recovery of Hypersialism in Dogs
In most cases, the reason for your dog’s excessive salivation can be treated and your dog will recover. If your dog over salivates as a result of his emotions, this is likely a part of who he is and will continue. It is a good idea to keep a close eye on your dog to notice any foreign objects that become stuck in his mouth so that they can be immediately removed. It is also important to look closely at the area where your dog spends time to ensure that there is nothing toxic that he can get into that can result in his being poisoned. Regular examinations (including of your dog’s mouth) are important to ensure that your veterinarian is able to catch any potential health issues early so that they can be treated before getting worse.