An upset stomach and drooling in dogs is a common combination.
If your dog is drooling, you may be wondering if the symptom is correlated with some type of upset stomach.
Drooling can be seen in dogs with digestive problems, but it can also appear for other reasons, so it's important to find out the underlying cause of drooling in your dog.
Is Your Dog Experiencing Upset Stomach and Drooling?
Drooling is generally not normal in dogs, there are only two cases where it's considered rather normal.
One case is with breeds with large jowls that are natural-born droolers (think St. Bernards, mastiffs and Newfoundland).
The other case is when dogs are salivating from the sight or smell in food.
There's actually also a third case of dogs drooling. Some dogs may also drool slightly when they are sniffing certain areas and evaluating the smell. Discover more on this here: teeth chattering in dogs.
So when is drooling considered abnormal?
Dog Upset Stomach and Drooling
The medical term for drooling is "ptyalism" and it refers to the abnormal buildup of saliva in dogs.
When too much saliva accumulates, the excess will drool its way out of the dog's mouth, causing the visible drool.
While an upset stomach is a common cause of drooling in dogs, there are also other causes that often require veterinary attention.
Basically, the buildup of saliva breaks down into the main causes: dogs either produce too much saliva, or the saliva is produced in normal amounts, but isn't normally swallowed. Following are some causes of drooling in dogs.
Dogs Drooling from Nausea
A common cause of drooling in dogs is nausea triggered by irritation of the dog's stomach.
This drooling often precedes a bout of vomiting, so you may want to move your dog outdoors or on a title floor to protect your carpets and upholstery. Intrigued? Discover why dogs vomit on carpet.
Why do dogs salivate before vomiting? The mechanism is interesting and is the same reason why us humans salivate too before vomiting.
Most likely, that extra saliva is produced so to help protect the dog's mouth and throat from the highly acidic stomach contents.
Drooling and vomiting therefore tend to go hand in hand, but read below for further causes of drooling in dogs.
Dogs Salivating from Motion Sickness
If your dog doesn't normally drool, but then starts drooling copiously when he's in the car, most likely he suffers from motion sickness.
This is mostly seen in puppies, and luckily most of them outgrow this problem as they mature. However, your intervention helps Read more about this here: do puppies outgrow motion sickness?
Can You Give Prilosec (Omeprazole) to Dogs Long Term?
Whether you can give Prilosec (omeprazole) to dogs long term is a good question. Perhaps your dog has been diagnosed with acid reflux and the Prilosec medication has been helping your dog greatly so now you're considering giving it long term. Discover whether this is possible and what problems to expect.
Because motion sickness causes nausea, expect your dog to vomit so make sure you protect your car seats.
In some lucky circumstances, some dogs may just drool, for the whole car ride and not vomit, but the drooling can be messy too.
A touch of anxiety of riding in the car may also contribute to the visible drooling, which brings us to the next cause of drooling.
Anxiety Can Cause Drooling in Dogs Too
Dogs can also drool when they are very anxious. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety and you find some slimy fluid on the floor when you come home, don't just assume it's urine, it can also be drool.
In this case, the drooling episodes mainly happen when the dog is very anxious as a neurological response and not in any other circumstances.
Dog Hypersalivation from Mouth Problems
If your dog is drooling and you cannot find a problem, the issue can be inside his mouth. This may stem from a new problem or an ongoing one.
Your dog may have periodontal disease, a mouth ulcer, something stuck in his teeth, a growth, salivary gland problem or an abscess.
Further proof of a mouth problem comes from dogs pawing at their mouth or having trouble eating or chewing.
Checking your dog's mouth may reveal the source of the problem, but not all dogs are cooperative enough to allow a careful inspection. It's best to see your vet.
Dog Drooling from Toxic Exposure
Your dog may drool in response to something tasting bad such as taste deterrent to discourage dogs from chewing or after licking something acidic like a sour lemon.
Drooling is also seen when puppies or dogs lick some Frontline off their fur due to its bad taste.
Consider though that one serious cause of drooling in dogs may be the ingestion of something toxic. Certain toxic products are known for causing excessive drooling in dogs and these include snail baits, insecticides, pesticides, boric acid, caffeine and tobacco.
In some cases dogs may drool after licking some types of toads that are toxic, read more about this here: why do dogs foam at the mouth after licking toads?
Exposure to certain poisonous plants and toxic mushrooms may also be a culprit.
If you suspect your dog was exposed to something toxic, please consult with the closest veterinary emergency service at once or call the ASPCA poison control line at 888-426-4435. A $65 consultation fee applies so have your credit card ready.
Metabolic and Neurological Disorders
Finally, some dogs drool as a symptom of an underlying condition that needs addressed.
Neurological disorders may affect the dog's ability to swallow, causing saliva to buildup with no place to go other than out of the mouth.
Rabies even though very rare, causes drooling in dogs along with other symptoms.
Dogs with severe kidney disease may drool as waste products are accumulating in the blood and seeping though the saliva. These are obviously very serious conditions that require prompt vet attention.
As seen, dogs may drool for many reasons other than digestive problems. While nausea from stomach or intestinal irritation is one of the most common signs of drooling, it's important to see the vet to address the underlying cause if it doesn't seem to resolve.