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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Foaming at the Mouth Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Boston Terrier

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One Year

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Noisy Breathing

My dog just vomited once then started foaming at the mouth when I moved him his body was tensed up and he cant stand up or hold his head up on his own and is swaying side to side please what is happening to my baby boy !!!!!

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Kate D. MA VetMB MRCVS

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Hello, Thankyou for contacting us about your dog. It sounds like he might have had a seizure of some sort -- it certainly sounds like he is unwell and I can hear that you are worried about him. Although it is possible for dogs to have the occasional seizure, from what you wrote it sounds like he has had more than one, and I recommend you take him to the vet immediately so that he can have a full check up and get any treatment he needs. I hope he recovers quickly.

Sept. 25, 2020

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Pitbull

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Two Years

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1 found helpful

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Noisy Breathing

He vomited once and foaming at the mouth

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If he vomited one time, it may be something that will resolve. If he continues to vomit repeatedly, or is lethargic, then it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian. I hope that all goes well for your dog!

Aug. 6, 2020

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Labrador Retriever

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4.5 weeks

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Sniffiling And Foaming

Puppy fell approx 2 feet off the bed started sniffling and some foaming at the mouth he is walking and doesn’t seem to have any pain on the lower half of his body like ribs or legs

Aug. 5, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. If he continues to move around normally, and is eating and drinking normally, he may be okay. If he seems painful, or doesn't want to eat, or continues to sniff more than normal, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian. They will be able to examine him and see if he is okay. I hope that all goes well for him!

Aug. 5, 2020

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Yorkie

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Thirteen Years

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Foaming At The Mouth

Earlier this week one night he was sitting down and his eye started to twitch and it went on for a few seconds. And today he had come in from outside and he had slober/ kind of foam coming out of his mouth

July 22, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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Hello It sounds like your pup may have had a small seizure. Continue to monitor him and if it happens again, I recommend taking him to a veterinarian for an exam right away. Good luck.

July 22, 2020

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pitbull mix

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Three Weeks

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Foaming At The Mouth, Twitching Face, Rapid Heart Beat, Crying, Growling, Licking Ther Roof Of Mouth,

I had an accident last night which resulted in one of my puppies getting struck kinda hard in the back of the head with a can of tuna. the puppy cried for a long time. after I was able to calm her I was able to feel around the area where she was struck and couldn't feel or set any lumps or swelling. when she started to move around on her own again and eating I placed her back with her mom and litter. she didn't seem bothered by the other pups crawling around on her and she rejoined the puppy hurdle. I kept an eye on her all night and she seemed to be doing fine. but this morning she's not actingnormal

July 22, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. With that kind of head trauma, a small puppy like that may have sustained some damage. If you do not think that she is acting normally this morning, it would probably be best to have her seen by a veterinarian. They may be able to offer some treatment so that she is back to normal. I hope that she is okay.

July 22, 2020

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Weda

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Pug

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7 Months

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Drooling
Panting
Foaming At The Mouth
Spitting

I was putting cream of Eurax on my dog's upper lip because she kept on scratching it for the past few days and noticed there was a bump. I applied the cream and I'm pretty sure I saw her licking it and the next thing I know she's spitting and foaming at the mouth. I tried to give her water but she just ended up spitting it and she walked around the room then hopped on the bed and went back on the bed panting hard. Should I be concerned if she acts all normal now? And I haven't been able to get her to the vet due to covid-19 what should I do?

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Cash

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Border Collie/Beagle

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6 Years

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Mild severity

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Shaking
Clingy
Slight Foaming

In the morning when I go to work I take my 2 dogs with me. The last couple of mornings I have realized that one of them, who used to get so excited to get in the car, won't leave the garage. He lays in his kennel and won't move. I have to physically pick him up to get him out. When he has gotten in the car he as a small amount of white spit around his mouth but he is also shaking, almost like he was scared. But he is super attached to me. Has to have his paw on my arm while I drive and he wont put his head out the window or anything like normal. I did just start giving him calming drops for his anxiety so I don't know if that has something to do with it. It just scares me cause it just started happening and I don't know what is causing it.

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D.D.

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Kelpie Blue Heeler Mix

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2 Years

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My dog D.D. Has been foaming at her mouth before she starts to make the sound she makes before the vomits. She hasn’t eaten anything that might be poisonous to her, She’s just vomiting. After she does, she starts to fall asleep. This has happened multiple times in 2 days. I am starting to worry about her, she’s all I’ve got. I need help.

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Lily

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Dachshund

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10 Years

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Fair severity

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Foaming At The Mouth

I noticed last night that Lily was drooling a little bit before bed,I didn't really think anything of it at the time. This morning she seemed to be ok but she started snorting a lot so I took her outside and noticed that she had heavy foam coming out of her mouth. She hasn't been exposed to anything new and other than the foaming and snorting she seems like her normal self. Should I be concerned that this might turn serious?

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Tyson

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German Shepherd

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3 Months

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Foaming At The Mouth

I was having a puppy which was 3 months old, suddenly he screamed and foam start coming out of his mouth at that tym he was unconscious. We rushed to the hospital but he was declared dead, I want to know the reason of his death

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