Slobber … yucky, stringy, sticky, stinky, disgusting slobber. You don’t want to look at it, you don’t want to touch it and you hate to have it smeared all over you. Why does your pet slobber so much? It is a good question.


Slobber … yucky, stringy, sticky, stinky, disgusting slobber. You don’t want to look at it, you don’t want to touch it and you hate to have it smeared all over you. Why does your pet slobber so much? It is a good question.

 

Certain breeds of dog are prone to slobber and drool. This phenomenon is somewhat characteristic of Basset Hounds, Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, Rottweilers and English bulldogs. It’s not really because they produce a lot of spit, it’s just that the spit won’t stay in the mouth.
Loose lips and floppy jowls make for poor spit containment. If you choose a breed like this, be prepared to deal with slobber.

 

If your drooling dog (let’s include cats in this part of the discussion) is not one of these breeds, or was previously a non-drooler who now slobbers a lot, we should look for another cause.

 

If possible, check inside the pet’s mouth and inspect the oral cavity. A foreign body, such as a sticker under the tongue or a stick wedged across the roof of the mouth, will create excess drool.

 

Lingual ulcers can develop in cats with feline upper respiratory infection, causing salivation and pain. Anything that causes difficulty swallowing, such as pharyngeal disease or foreign body, will involve excess drool.

 

There are a few types of toxin that cause salivation, pesticides in particular. If a pet who has recently been introduced to a new type of flea or tick product exhibits drooling, it could be a pesticide reaction.

 

he veterinarian needs to be alerted about this. Certain infectious diseases can involve salivation, and excess salivation can occur with certain types of seizure activity. Salivary-gland infection or disease can cause drool.

 

Any disorder that causes nausea can cause salivation. Also, some pets drool when they are in pain, nervous or anxious (separation anxiety, for example). Ironically, some cats salivate in response to euphoria, like when they are petted or shown kind attention.

 

I have a long list of personal experience and case examples regarding pets that drool. One time, I was presented with a large-breed, boisterous dog who had a ham bone lodged around his lower jaw. He was apparently licking the contents from the center of the bone and hooked it on the lower canine teeth.

 

Since the dog couldn’t completely close his mouth to swallow, he was drooling excessively! I had to fully sedate him and use a very expensive piece of surgical equipment to get the ham bone off his jaw.

 

The expensive equipment was a hack saw from the hardware store, a staple item in my surgical-instrument inventory! (You would be surprised the by the many uses for a hack saw in veterinary medicine, but … I digress). Of course, this owner knew why his dog was drooling a lot lately.

 

In another drooling case, the cause wasn’t so obvious. This was another rather large dog with a wonderful disposition who had been drooling off and on for several days. He had bad breath, difficulty eating and repeatedly pawed at his lips.

 

This owner didn’t think to look in the dog’s mouth, but was smart to get him in for an exam.

 

Upon inspection of the dog’s oral cavity, I found a large stick lodged across the roof of his mouth. It was implanted between the large molars on the left and right sides of the upper jaw, and had eroded through the palate and all the way to the bone. Removal of the stick was successful, and so was treatment of the oral infection.

 

I may have given “too much information” about slobber. After all … saliva is a necessary bodily secretion (TMI again?) Remember my point — an unusual increase in your pet’s salivation status warrants veterinary exam. If you can’t solve the problem with a good look it his mouth, let your vet take a shot at it!

 

Until next time — thanks for caring!