My cat is drooling excessively, to the point where its covering his chest and leaving frothy puddles on the floor. Should he be taken to the vet ASAP or is there a possibly benign cause?
Thanks for writing in. How long has he been drooling this way?
Is he showing any other signs of illness?
Do you know if you have a lot of toads in your area, specifically, Bufo toads?
I just noticed it today, and since then he has stopped salivating. It was pretty heavy for a while. His chest was totally covered. There were piles of frothy saliva on the floor and it was still coming out of his mouth. He has seemed a bit under the weather lately. His nose is pale and kind of damp though not runny. He doesn't seem his usual self. Nothing major but still noticeable. We don't have many toads here (I'm in the northernmost part of Virginia).
Thanks for the information. I do have a couple more questions for you.
How old is he?
How has his appetite been?
Is he up to date on his vaccines, including rabies?
Does he spend any time outside?
Is he on any medications?
Has he gotten into any medications?
Have you put any heartworm or flea prevention on him or any other pet in the household recently?
Any other previous medical problems?
He is 3 and a half. His appetite is OK. He is up-to-date as far as I know but I'll double-check with my vet tomorrow. He is a totally indoor cat but he'll stand at the screen window and sniff away. He isn't on any medication and we don't have any in the house. We have no flea or heartworm meds that we give them, though my wife bathes him once a month or so with some anti-flea shampoo. He has never had any previous medical problems. He seemed "down" recently but I figured it was because we just moved two weeks ago. He is also being fed canned food for the first time recently, starting about a week ago. He doesn't seem to be too sick, just low on energy. He has also been meowing a lot (he's usually pretty quiet). Hope this info helps.
He also has a sister but she seems to be in good shape. He's trying to sleep on my keyboard so typing is a little hard!
Thanks for the information. There may not be anything serious behind the increased salivation. Some cats do salivate more when nervous or anxious. Of course, you always worry about rabies, but if he has been vaccinated and isn't exposed to other wild animals or pets, the chance of rabies is very low. The first thing I want you to do is open his mouth (without getting bitten). Look for any sores or areas of redness on the gums, tongue, roof of the mouth and back of the mouth. Look for any foreign bodies between the teeth, under the tongue and on the roof of the mouth. Very often increased salivation can be due to gingivitis, periodontal disease, sores or ulcers in the mouth, broken teeth and foreign bodies in the mouth. If nothing is seen and salivation continues, try rinsing the mouth out with a gentle stream of water if he will tolerate it. Keep the mouth pointed down so he doesn't choke. If the increased salivating continues, I would bring him to a vet tonight. While the cause may be benign, excessive salivation can eventually lead to dehydration. If no oral problems are noted, blood work will need to be done to rule out any underlying liver or kidney problems. Further evaluation of the oesophagus may be needed also because sores can form there as well. If he has inflammation in the stomach or intestinal tract, nausea can also cause increased salivation. Check around the house to make sure there are no toxins he could have gotten into. Sometimes eating little rodents or reptiles/amphibians can cause increased salivation. The worst of which is the Bufo toad, which can cause life threatening neurologic and cardiovascular/respiratory problems. If he is resting comfortably now and not salivating anymore, I would watch him tonight and bring him into your vet tomorrow. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps.