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What is Slobbering?

Most dogs slobber a bit when anticipating a yummy treat, and this is normal. If your dog has floppy loose skin in the jaw area (Bloodhounds and St Bernard’s), he will drool a lot as the loose skin can trap saliva and then overflow. But if your dog has started uncontrolled drooling when it is not normal for them to do so, then it could be a symptom of illness. If it is excessive and your dog is acting abnormal, take your dog to your veterinarian for a health check. Some causes for slobbering are listed below.

  • Gum or dental disease
  • Injury
  • Pain or poisoning
  • Liver disease 
  • Other causes like nausea
  • Rabies (now a rare condition but awareness is vital)

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Why Slobbering Occurs in Dogs

Gum or Dental Disease

The first reasonable place to check if your dog has started to slobber is right there in the mouth. Gum disease such as tartar and gingivitis can be the cause of your dog’s drooling. While you are there, check your dog’s breath. If the smell is really bad, then your dog will likely have gum disease or even have a bacterial infection that needs attention.

Injury

Check in and around the mouth for any foreign object (some dogs, like Labradors, will try to eat anything). There may be a mouth injury, or a part of an object may even be stuck in the teeth. Check for blood in the mouth or on the gums. Obstructions will also cause slobbering as your dog tries to clear the blockages.

Pain or Poisoning 

If your dog is in pain, he may drool a lot. Poisoning (caused by chemical or plant related material) needs immediate veterinary attention as it can be life threatening. As well as drooling, other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. Ear infections can also cause your dog a lot of pain so observe where your dog is demonstrating pain (pawing at his ears or mouth).

Liver Disease 

Your dog may drool excessively if he is suffering from the onset of liver disease. Your dog will also have pale gums or yellow tinted eyes. It is vital that you get your dog to the veterinarian immediately as it could be life threatening.

Other Causes Like Nausea 

From anxiety, fear and even the anticipation of food, your dog may drool to show his feelings. Unpleasant tastes may cause your dog to drool to clear the offending substance. Nausea is often a cause, for example, motion sickness when travelling. Depending on the cause of the drooling, often it can be resolved once the car trip ends, or the fear wears off. 

Rabies 

Thankfully now a rare occurrence, it is usually a frothy drool and weird behavior that characterises rabies. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect this condition and stay away from your dog as it can be transmitted to humans.

What to do if your Dog is Slobbering

While sudden and unexpected drooling usually indicates a health issue, some breeds of dogs will just naturally be droolers. In this case, you just need to keep the tissues handy unless you resort to surgery to remove some of the excess skin around the mouth.  For dental disease, you need to schedule a dental examination with your pet specialist and get the teeth and gum situation treated. If poisoning is suspected, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. If it is hard to see why your dog has suddenly starting slobbering over everything, it is best to book an appointment with the veterinarian to have a full check-up done to see whether there is any disease that may be causing this reaction.

Prevention of Slobbering

Some breeds of dogs are notorious for eating anything they can find; this is also true for young puppies. It is wise to remove all sharp objects in the yard and keep all chemicals and pills locked away where the dog cannot get them to prevent poisoning. Check the plants that you have in the garden, as chewing on a daisy can cause poisoning. There are many plants that are unsuitable for garden use if you have pets. Slobbering could simply mean your dog is dehydrated so ensure there is plenty of fresh, clean water available. Fresh cool water is especially important during the hot summer months. Make a routine of doing regular health checks of your dog, from ears, to paws, to teeth and eyes. During your dog’s regular bath time is an ideal time to do this.  Check for any sores or injuries that may be causing your friend pain and anxiety. If the slobbering continues and you cannot pinpoint the cause, talk to your veterinary expert who will be able to advise you further.

Cost of Slobbering

Because the causes of slobbering are diverse, the price range for treatment varies considerably. For a panic attack or anxiety, the cost will be minimal or none at all. Poisoning treatment prices vary from an average of $4000 for poisoning caused by petroleum products, rat poisoning can reach an average of $8000, and for a plant based poisoning such as daisy poisoning can average $200 to $500 depending on the severity. For liver disease, the average treatment comes in at $8,500 depending on the severity of the disease, and how established the disease has become.