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DrRalston, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My dog drools excessively after taking him for a walk probably

Resolved Question:

My dog drools excessively after taking him for a walk probably 2 out of 5 times. We can't figure out what is causing this. We have taken him to our vet twice over this issue and they are "stumped" as well.

After about a half hour after the walk, he starts drooling profusly. We thought it could be lawn fertizler so we are walking him on the street, but this still happens. The drooling can last anywhere from an hour to all day.

Can you help?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  DrRalston replied 5 years ago.
Hello, welcome to JustAnswer! I am a Veterinarian and will help you right away!

The term you are looking to describe this problem, if it truly is a problem, is ptyalism or excessive saliva production.

This can be due to many causes including:

  • stomatitis (inflammatory disease of the oral mucus membranes)
  • gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
  • dental disease
  • Injury to the oral cavity or tongue
  • Contact with caustic agents (chemical or insect stings)
  • Mouth and tongue erosions or ulcers
  • Oral or esophageal foreign bodies or tumors
  • Neurologic impairment of chewing or swallowing
  • Nausea
  • Hunger - we drool too when hungry
  • stress of any kind
  • excitement
  • hot or humid weather (cooling mechanism)

  • If it DOES resolve when he isn't excercising or out on walks it is not likely something severely wrong. For example nausea resulting from internal disease would cause constant drooling, or the inability to swallow from a foreign body in the the throat for example would cause constant drooling.

    The fact that it happens when out on walks would make me think that a major contributor is probably excitement. There are smells in the environment the get the dog to drooling. Maybe even food related smells. Not necessarily food you and I would eat, but maybe there is a fox or a squirrel they can smell. Or trash can near by that is especially strong.

    Stress can do it too. Perhaps your dog at his age is starting to have some mild pain, or arthritis. Could be that he feels it after the walk and the drooling is a response to pain.

    Here are a few things to rule out and try:
    1. check for any pain - orthopedic, joints, muscle, abdominal, and don't forget the teeth. Subtle oral pain may require a dental radiograph to find (like a broken tooth root below the surface that you can't see just by looking in the mouth). Oral pain would be more related to eating vs walking, but not all dogs read the book.
    2. complete oral exam - maybe even under sedation to be sure there is nothing lodged in the oral cavity, or perhaps even a tumor very far back in the throat. I had a patient that had really bad breath. We put him under for a dental cleaning (which he also needed) only to find a stick wedged in the back of his throat that was abscessing. Dog never had troubles eating and hadn't lost weight.
    3. Feed him before the walk and give him treats during the walk. Could be that he is getting the stomach grumbles during the walk, getting hungry, and as a result drooling.
    4. complete physical exam, and blood work - always what we recommend right? Well, it is a baseline. It's good to have a base now in case this very mild problem were to get worse or other signs appear. Also, we can rule out so many weird internal causes at the same time.
    Give those a try. Tell me what you think. Good luck!
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