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:


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.


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 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 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

Pitbull mix
Serious condition
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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
1201 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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