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What is Foaming at the Mouth?

Foaming at the mouth is a symptom, for many years, that people have associated with rabies. While this can occur because of being infected by this virus, it is not the only reason dogs may foam at the mouth. Foaming at the mouth is actually caused by saliva that is intensified by heavy breathing, distress, agitation, and anxiety. Other symptoms, depending on the precise cause of the mouth foaming, will also be prevalent. If your dog is foaming at the mouth, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Causes of foaming of the mouth in dogs can be due to mild issues to more severe issues, such as a seizure or rabies infection. It is usually accompanied with other symptoms; a dog that is running and playing for long periods of time may foam at the mouth and then stop when he calms down.  Causes of this condition may include the following:

  • Overexertion
  • Poisonous substances
  • Oral health issues
  • Stress
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rabies

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Why Foaming at the Mouth Occurs in Dogs

The reason foaming at the mouth occurs can be because of a very mild issue to a more serious problem. Conditions that cause this can include:

Overexertion

When a dog is running or playing for long periods of time, he loses a lot of energy. This overexertion can cause your dog to foam at the mouth due to his heavy breathing making his saliva look very frothy.

Poisonous Substances

A dog that swallows toxic substances may foam at the mouth. This is due to the chemicals in the poisonous substances making contact with the tissues in the inner jaw and mouth area.

Oral Health Issues

Hypersalivation can occur if a dog has oral health problems. The stress from the pain caused by tumors, abscesses, and mouth injuries can cause the mouth to foam.

Stress

Dogs that undergo stressful situations will pant heavily, whine, and bark. This will cause his mouth to foam, as the intense drooling and heavy breathing will develop a frothy, foaming mouth area.

Seizures

Seizures can also be the cause of mouth foaming. When a seizure will occurs, the dog will display other symptoms as well, such as shaking, rapid panting, and agitation. Foaming at the mouth will occur because of these reasons. 

Nausea and Vomiting

When a dog has an upset stomach and is vomiting, his mouth will become more “watery” than normal. Excess drooling will occur, and the stress and heavy panting from the vomiting may cause this condition.

Rabies

Rabies is also a cause of dog’s foaming in the mouth area. With this condition, accompanied with erratic and agitated behavior, the foaming of the mouth is not temporary; it lasts for quite some time.

What to do if your Dog is Foaming at the Mouth

There are several reasons why your dog may be foaming at the mouth. If you notice your dog has foam around his mouth, make an appointment with your veterinarian. If you notice any other alarming symptoms in which your dog is suffering, take him to the emergency veterinarian. 

Once you arrive at your veterinarian clinic, your medical professional will begin assessing your dog immediately. If he notices your dog is having a seizure, trauma, or another serious condition, he may begin to treat your dog immediately. He may choose to give your dog IV fluids and perform other techniques to stabilize your dog.

Once your dog is stabilized, he will ask questions about the symptoms you witnessed at home. All the questions he asks of you are to gather more information as to what could be the cause of your dog’s foaming at the mouth.

Your veterinarian may perform a variety of tests to help him diagnose your dog’s condition. He will want to know if there is an underlying disorder that is causing your dog to foam. He may take blood work, urinalysis, and biochemistry profile in order to effectively acquire baseline data. These tests will give him preliminary answers and clues as to what to do next in terms of testing and diagnosing your dog.

Prevention of Foaming at the Mouth

If your dog has a serious health issue, the treatments may be effective enough for him to properly recover, which will cause this condition to stop. It will be very important to prevent any further health issues that are able to be prevented, such as the ingestion of toxic material. Removal of all toxic plants or substances from the home and property will prevent your dog from consuming these dangerous products.

Feeding your dog a diet that prevents any gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea and vomiting, may also prevent his foaming of the mouth. Your veterinarian can recommend a proper diet for your dog if his stomach tends to get upset easily.

Cost of Foaming at the Mouth

The cost for treating your dog’s foaming at the mouth depends on his condition. For plant or other types of poisoning, it can cost approximately $1600, for rabies treatment the cost can be approximately $400, and for seizures, it can cost up to $2500.

Foaming at the Mouth Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Churro
Poodle x Shih-Tzu
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Foaming At The Mouth
Hard to breathe
Shaking

My dog has been having these weird symptoms at least twice a week and when they do happen it last about 2-4 min and at least twice a day it only happens when he falls asleep what does this mean I don't have money to take him to the vet right now but I'm trying how do I calm the symptoms until I get him to the vet?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Without examining Churro it is difficult for me to say what the specific cause is; it may be that he has some viscous saliva which starts to foam when he relaxes or may be due to something more serious. Make a note if the foam occurs if laid in a specific position (on his back or front), any food or treats eaten that day and whether he is sufficiently hydrated. Foaming of the mouth may occur for a variety of reasons, but the shaking is concerning; I would suggest visiting a charity clinic if money is tight to get this looked at as soon as possible. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My dog has white foam on his mouth after getting into a dog fight. Her skin is twitching in between (like when the dogs bare their teeth) but teeth are not shown. She seems stressed and scared at that time. She s not been bitten but i am worried about the foam. What does that mean and what should i do?

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Snowy
Samoyed
2 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Licking at Genitals
Spitting
Foaming At The Mouth
Licking at coat

Tonight I sprayed a thick spray on my dog cause he has been itching nd biting his body some hours later he started acting weird foaming from his mouth nd spitting please is it because of the spray cause he kept on licking his body after spraying

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
It is possible that the spray is causing irritation to the mouth which may cause an increase in salivation which in turn creates foam, also any chemical in the spray may cause toxicity depending on the ingredients. I would recommend rinsing out his mouth thoroughly and bathing him to remove any residue of the spray, if there is still foaming of the mouth visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Chloe
Boxer
7 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

I have a 7 year old female boxer. Today she started exhibiting the following symptoms: she will start moving her mouth as if she was chewing and trying to swallow but she’s not eating anything then she’ll start foaming at her mouth lots of saliva coming out and while this is happening. She will then start pacing all over the house without direction. Sometimes she’ll let me calm her down but sometimes she just can’t calm down. It will last a few minutes and then she stops. She’ll pant for a little while after that and then she’s able to sit still and lay down. This has happened most of the morning and afternoon. She has periods of calm and normal behavior in between the other episodes.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Foaming at the mouth may be attributable to various issues, if there is a lot of saliva in a dog’s mouth and they are panting or breathing fast the saliva can be turned to foam bubbles which can be scary. There would be an underlying condition to this but without examining Chloe I cannot give a specific cause, you should visit your Veterinarian for a general examination and to look for an underlying cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Update: Chloe died two days ago. She was taken to the hospital and was diagnosed with seizures and neurological issues due to possible brain tumor and was put on anti seizure medication (Kepra). She started having a significant seizure two days ago and had to be put to sleep. The vet said that she was not responding to the medication and it was likely due to a brain tumor.

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Blackie Grant
Labrador
2 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

After giving my dog, Blackie some dog bones I noticed that the more he chewed on his bones his mouth kept foaming up with bubbles.

He spit up quite a bit of foam on the ground. What is wrong with him?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining Blackie Grant, I can't comment on what might be going on with him. It is possible there was a contaminant on the bones, or he has a sore spot in his mouth or teeth. If ti doesn't resolve and he seems lethargic, doesn't' want to eat or keeps having the foam in his mouth, it would be best to have him seen by your veterinarian, as they can examine him and find out what is wrong. I hope that he is okay.

My dog is having seizure and mouth foam for almost 6hrs straight because of distemper, he is already vaccinated and now our Vet suggested euthanasia, we said no, I pray for his recovery

Thank you for your advice and I will get him checked out immediately by a vet.

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Castiel
Rottweiler
5 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Foaming At The Mouth, mouth open

Two days ago I noticed my 5 year old rottweiler would not close his mouth and his mouth was very foamy. He is eating normally and trying to drink but he doesn't see to be able to take in water. His water bowl is just covered with foam on top. His behavior hasn't changed and he will let me close his mouth with my hand and breathes normally through his nose when I do but when I let go he opens about an inch or two. He's not panting and does not seem to be in pain. No new food and we know he did not ingest anything poisonous.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
If Castiel is having trouble drinking because of whatever is going on with his mouth, it would be best to have him seen before he becomes dehydrated. He may be having a problem with his jaw, or his TMJ. Without seeing him, I can't say what might be happening, but your veterinarian will be able to assess his jaw and recommend any testing or treatment that may be necessary. I hope that he is okay.

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Petie
RAT TERRIOR
10 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Drooling
Drooling, shaking head gasping
Drooling, shaking head

my dog Petie some times vomits white foamy substance, but hasn't done it in a while, today he woke up and an out to me, and he was shaking his head like crazy, and it looked like water was just dripping out of his mouth like crazy, and he acted like he had something in his mouth, that he couldn't get out, and he acted like he couldn't breath, he was snorting through his nose trying to breath, I calmed him down, and then he started doing it again... he seems to be ok laying down. but it all happens again when he gets up... and when I sit next to him on the bed, and pamper him, he seems to start shaking and drooling again.... and he wont eat... he had his teeth clean last month, and they removed one moller tooth, and was on antibiotics 2 days before the cleaning and 2 days after..... could this have anything to do with it?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
It might be a good idea to have Petie rechecked by a veterinarian to see if there is a complication from his tooth, or if something else is going on that is causing this behavior. It seems to be affecting him quite dramatically, and having him seen will allow them to examine him and determine what is causing this.

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Moana
Shitzu
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Drooling
foam
Bubbles

My dog has small amount of bubbles in its mouth. With drooling. Has happen 2 times inda last 24 hrs.
Could it be dat just brought in a puppy husky into the home?
Or what else can make sense of it

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
There are various causes for foaming at the mouth; if there are just one or two bubbles I would be concerned but if there is a lot of foam I would rinse out Moana’s mouth thoroughly and check inside for any signs of trauma or dental issues. If the issue continues, you should visit your Veterinarian to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Bully
Pitbull mix
6yrs
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Walking aimlessly

My dog just had what I thought to be a seizure and was foaming at the mouth? What can I do now so that he doesn't freak out on me?could a bee have stung his mouth inside?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations

Seizures and foaming at the mouth are common in cases of epilepsy; you should visit your Veterinarian to discuss the options available for Bully. Bee stings and other possible allergens may be a possibility, but epilepsy is most probable. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Sierra
Blue Heeler
13 Weeks
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Foaming At The Mouth

When I went to get Sierra out of her crate this morning she was foaming @ the mouth with a little shake of being scared. She runs around while its happening. She was fine 30 seconds later. I have looked in her mouth and there are no objects. She has since done it again 3 times today. On Monday she started eating only half of her food, but she still eats. Her spirits are still really high. She has no other symptoms. She had an extreme case of kennel cough but is past the 7 days after her medication. Could this be a possible respiratory infection from the kennel cough? I called three vet clinic and none of them seemed like I should be rushing her in. I am giving her goats milk in hopes its just her tummy. Thank you

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Dogs will drool like that if they are nauseous, scared, or nervous. Since I cannot see her, it is difficult for me to tell which is happening, but since her appetite seems a little off, it may be nausea. Goat's milk can be hard on dog's stomachs, so that might not be helping - if you fast her for 12 hours and she is still doing the behavior, it would be a good idea to have her seen. Make sure that she has plenty of water during her short fast.

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Zeus
Yorkie
11 Weeks
Serious condition
-1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Shaking crying

why is my puppy waking up to foaming and shaking? He wake up from naps and starts to shake and foam coming out he's mouth. He stops and acts normal again. At first it was once a day but today it was four times. I took him to the Vet they said ist wasn't rabies. But they gave me some vitamins. I'm still worried

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Foaming at the mouth may be caused by a variety of issues including infections (rabies the most well known), rapid breathing with viscous saliva, some types of poisoning, seizures among other issues. It is possible that there is some type of seizure activity occurring but you would need to speak with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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