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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19676
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My dog just recently started licking a lot more than usual,

Customer Question

My dog just recently started licking a lot more than usual, and seems to be working harder than normal at swallowing. Sometimes he seems fine, and sometimes he appears to be in distress. He isn't coughing, but I'm still concerned.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Where is he licking? Paws, lips? privates, etc?

Any vomiting, diarrhea?

How is his appetite?

Is he slow to rise?

Any health issues you know of?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is licking his lips and trying to swallow often. No diarrhea or vomiting and his appetite seems ok. He's a little slow to rise, but he's almost nine years old. He has a benign tumor on his chest but no other issues. The licking and swallowing issues started very suddenly- we initially thought he was cooking, but he seems to be able to breathe ok.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.


Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. This excessive saliva and gulping and licking his mouth are signs of mouth pain, nausea or sometimes a seizure. Check your dog’s mouth for tartar on the teeth, possibly red gums, darkened teeth, broken teeth or something caught between the teeth or gums. If you find something stuck, try and remove it. If it is bad teeth, you can give him Buffered aspirin can be given to a dog with a dosage of up to 5 mg per pound every 12 hours. Keep in mind that a dog's body does not metabolize aspirin in the same way as a human and thus should not be given more than a day or two without contacting your Vet. The aspirin may need to clear your dog’s system before other medications can be given, so keep that in mind if you decide to give aspirin and be sure and tell your vet when your dog is seen. With his age, this is a strong possibility.

Check just under your dog’s jawbone for a swelling and under your dog’s tongue for a swelling. This is where some of your dog’s salivary glands are located. If you find a swelling here, it’s possible your dog has an accumulation of fluid near the salivary gland called a sialocele which is causing your dog to salivate more. This isn't as likely but does occur. This condition does require your dog to be seen as soon as possible. You can read about it here:

If you suspect it may be due to nausea you can try some Pepto-Bismol which can be given to a dog at 1 tsp per 5 pounds every 6 hours for upset stomach, gas, or diarrhea. This nausea might be a symptom of a more serious problem such as organ failure but I would expect to see other symptoms such as liver or kidney failure. It might also be the result of an unusual treat or something else he ingested.

If it is possible that your dog ate something toxic such as chocolate, cocoa mulch, antifreeze, medications they will need to see a vet immediately. You can read more about excessive salivation on the following website:

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer.

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