Nowadays, when you notice that your dog has a frothy mouth, your mind doesn’t have to immediately race to the fear of him having rabies. As long as your dog is up-to-date on his vaccinations, there is only a nominal chance that he will contract rabies, even if he is exposed to it. What could be other reasons for your dog having a frothy mouth?
Should you worry? Should you take action? Let us answer these questions and more.
Why does my dog’s mouth get foamy at the dog park?
You’ve taken your dog to the dog park. He’s been watching the other dogs, and you suddenly notice that he’s foaming at the mouth. Is this a problem? What does it mean?
Your dog may foam at the mouth if he tastes something offensive.
If your dog takes a bite of something bitter or sour or something that just doesn’t agree with his taste buds, he may foam at the mouth. It’s the same type of reaction we, as people, have when we taste a sour mint and our mouths water. The difference is that our reaction rends saliva, and a dog’s reaction rends froth.
He may foam at the mouth if he has nausea or an upset stomach.
If your dog is suffering from nausea or an upset stomach, he may foam at the mouth. It is a reaction very similar to that known to happen when dogs taste something offensive. Again, it is like what happens with people. Often, when people are nauseated, they will salivate, and this is a dog’s equivalent.
Your dog may foam at the mouth after vigorous exercise.
After your dog has engaged in intense exercise, he may foam at the mouth. When dogs pant and salivate too much, the saliva can turn foamy. If you notice pale gums, high body temperature, or weakness, or if your dog collapses or has seizures, the situation is serious, so you should see a vet immediately.
He may foam at the mouth when he gets stressed.
If your dog is foaming at the mouth, it may be a sign that he is stressed. Breathing rapidly and drooling excessively result in a frothy mouth. Think about it. It’s just like what happens with people, who can have all kinds of involuntary reactions to stress.
Is this his first time at this particular dog park? Did something happen that scared him in the car? Has he been in an altercation with a dog that’s at the park?
Your dog may foam at the mouth if he has somehow been exposed to poison.
If your dog is foaming at the mouth, he may have somehow been exposed to poison. Not only can neighbors poison your dog on purpose, but your dog can easily get poisoned accidentally.
Medications Designed for Humans
Many medications that save the lives of humans can do just the opposite for dogs. Even the smallest dose of human medications can poison and do great damage to dogs. Antidepressants can induce vomiting and even cause serotonin syndrome, which is a serious condition that increases temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate, and sometimes, causes seizures in dogs.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, like naproxen or ibuprofen, can cause ulcers in the stomach and intestines and even kidney failure. Isoniazid is a drug that helps patients with tuberculosis. Even a small dose of this drug can cause seizures and coma in dogs.
You can really be tempted to give in to your dog when he looks pitiful begging for your “people” food, but the foods that you eat can be harmful to your dog. His body works differently than yours, and he cannot process some of the foods that you can.
Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine
People can’t even truly digest chocolate, but it doesn’t really hurt us. Dogs, on the other hand, are poisoned when they ingest chocolate. Chocolate contains ingredients like methylxanthines, pharmacologic agents that are in the same family of caffeine.
When a dog ingests chocolate, it can cause anything from vomiting to death. The darker the chocolate, the more poisonous it is to your dog. Coffee (which contains caffeine) is also in the same family and is just as poisonous.
The artificial sweetener, xylitol, is an ingredient in many products like sugar-free gums, breath mints, and candies, as well as toothpastes and more. Xylitol poisoning can cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop quickly, and it can also cause weakness, seizures, and even liver failure.
If your dog has alcohol poisoning, he will have the same symptoms as a human with alcohol poisoning may have. They may include breathing issues, vomiting, coma, and even death.
If your dog ingests macadamia nuts, he may suffer from weakness, vomiting, and high body temperature. This is a similar reaction to what humans can have when they are allergic to certain nuts.
Grapes and Raisins
Even experts aren’t yet sure why, but raisins and grapes cause kidney failure in dogs. Ingesting only a few can cause your dog to become seriously ill.
Avocados contain persin, an oil-soluble fungicide, that’s present in its pits, seeds, skin, leaves, and bark. Avocado toxicity can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs.
Rat and Mouse Poison
When dogs ingest rodenticides, they can get extremely ill. The symptoms may not show for several days and which ones present will depend upon the type of poison.
Household plants are not only living things, but they are beautiful. Plus, they produce oxygen in your home, but you should be aware that your dog can easily be poisoned by ingesting houseplants. A few of the houseplants that are most toxic to dogs are tulips, daffodils, azaleas, rhododendrons, and sago palms.
Flea and Tick Repellents
Though flea and tick products can be very helpful to dogs, they can also be quite harmful. If your dog accidentally ingests flea and tick repellents containing organophosphates, they can suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, small pupils, breathing problems, drooling, muscle tremors, weakness, and tumbling over.
Medications Designed for Animals
Humans can be poisoned, even to the point of death, by medications designed to help them, and animals like dogs are no different. Pet medications, like de-worming and pain medications, are common causes of poisonings in dogs, so keep them out of your pet’s reach.
Certain cleansers such as bleach are common causes of dog poisonings. These types of poisonings result in respiratory tract and stomach issues.
Chemicals and Fertilizers
Certain chemicals like paint thinner and antifreeze are common substances that act as poisons in dogs. Antifreeze tastes sweet, and dogs are tempted to drink it. A dog can be poisoned by ingesting only a few drops of antifreeze that have dripped onto the ground from your radiator or pipes.
Fertilizers used for both indoor and outdoor plants can be poisonous to your dog if he ingests them.
If your dog gets into paint, batteries, linoleum, and such, he can be poisoned. These substances can cause neurological and gastrointestinal problems. Zinc poisoning can present in dogs who ingest pennies. Dogs with zinc poisoning may show weakness due to severe anemia.
If your dog has dental issues like cavities or gingivitis, he may have symptoms like excessive panting and salivation. This combination causes a frothy mouth.
He may foam at the mouth if he has contracted rabies.
If your dog has been bitten by another animal, he may be foaming at the mouth because he has contracted rabies. If his vaccinations are current, it is not likely, but it could happen.
Symptoms of Rabies
If your dog is foaming at the mouth because he has rabies, you may also notice him becoming irritable and restless. He may even become aggressive. Conversely, rabid animals can also become uncharacteristically sweet and affectionate. In many cases, as a matter of fact, a dog will act quite the opposite of what he normally does.
Physical symptoms of rabies include excessive drooling, fever, staggering, difficulty swallowing, seizures, and even paralysis. He may act overstimulated and may go to extremes acting scared and hiding or acting aggressive and lashing out.
In most cases, the rabies virus lives in your dog’s body from 3-11.5 weeks after exposure before symptoms develop. However, the incubation period is sometimes shorter or longer.
Diagnosis of Rabies
You can’t accurately diagnose rabies with a simple blood test. A sure, accurate diagnosis requires a brain tissue biopsy, and that cannot be done until a dog has died. If your vet has sufficient reason to suspect rabies, your dog will probably be euthanized to stop the threat of spreading the disease.
Treatment After an Animal Bite
If your dog is bitten by a wild animal, he will require a booster of his rabies vaccine. This booster will lessen the chance of your dog actually contracting the rabies virus.
Once a dog infected with rabies presents with symptoms, he cannot be helped, so if your dog gets bitten by another animal, he needs to see a vet as soon as possible.
Prevention of Rabies
You should be diligent about getting your dog his rabies vaccines. As a matter of fact, in most states, it’s the law that your dog must be up-to-date on his rabies vaccinations. A rabies vaccination helps your dog in two ways.
First, it keeps your dog from getting rabies if he is bitten by a wild animal infected with the rabies virus. Second, it serves as a protection for your dog if they bite another animal or a person, because the first thing that will happen is that the authorities will inquire whether he has been vaccinated against rabies.
If your dog’s rabies vaccines are current, the threat of rabies transmission is almost null, and he is safe from euthanization due to rabies threat, but if his vaccinations aren’t current, he will be quarantined for at least 10 days. If he shows signs of rabies, he will be euthanized to stop the threat of spreading rabies.
Another way to prevent your dog from getting rabies is to keep him from coming into contact with wild animals altogether. Use a leash and pay attention to your surroundings.
Why does my dog drool when he sees other dogs?
If your dog drools around other dogs, it is not uncommon. He is probably anxious or excited. Every dog has a unique scent to which your dog will react in a different way. He may respond fearfully to one dog while responding excitedly to another. One dog may make him feel stressed while another dog makes him feel happy.
Your dog may also drool when he is sick, smelling a new scent, or salivating over a food he desires.
What to do if my dog’s mouth gets foamy around other dogs?
There’s no way to stop a dog from foaming at the mouth. Even healthy dogs often get foamy mouths. However, you can cut down on the amount of drool produced by your dog. Many dog owners give feed their dogs wet food instead of dry food because they believe dry food can contribute to a foamy mouth.
The vital thing is to determine that the cause is not a serious one like illness, such as rabies.
Why does my dog’s mouth drool when excited?
Your dog’s drool is the result of his adrenal glands responding to external stimuli. A dog’s body manufactures hormones that regulate the body’s responses to stress including blood pressure and the immune system.