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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:


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

Blackie Grant
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?

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
253 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.

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

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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

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1810 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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Poodle x Shih-Tzu
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Foaming At The Mouth
Hard to breathe

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?

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1810 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

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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.

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1810 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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Pitbull mix
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?

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1810 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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