What is normal vs. excessive drooling in canines?
Excessive drooling is condition characterized by the excessive flow of saliva and is called hypersalivation or ptyalism. While it can be annoying not all drooling is necessarily harmful to you or your BFF. Drooling is caused for 4 main reasons:
1. Emotionally Triggered
A psychological events such as fear, apprehension, nervousness, anxiety, as well as anticipation of food treats can be attributed to excessive drooling. Another common cause of drooling is motion sickness. This should be short lived and based on the duration of the event.
2. Oral or Central Nervous System Pain
Drooling also occurs in response to mouth pain caused by periodontal disease, abscessed teeth, and stomatitis. Lesions involving either the central nervous system or the oral cavity can cause excessive salivation. Check the dogs mouth, gums, throat, tongue for cuts or wounds injuries. Look closely for bleeding or wounds. Other signs of injuries and irritations are indicated by changes in color. The normal healthy pink or pigmented color of your dog’s gums will be an angry red or even purple when those tissues are injured or infected. A veterinarian can examine the throat, tonsil, esophagus if you think this may be the problem.
A dog who drools excessively and acts irrationally should be suspected of having rabies. Distemper, pseudorabies, and heat stroke are other diseases associated with drooling. Ingestion of a toxin, a caustic agent, or a foreign body can also lead to ptyalism.
Yorkshire terriers, Maltese, Australian cattle dogs, miniature schnauzers, and Irish wolfhound breeds have a relatively higher incidence of congenital portosystemic shunts (birth defect in the liver).
German shepherd, Newfoundland, great Dane, Irish setter, Chinese shar-pei, greyhound, and retriever breeds can have enlargement of the esophagus.
Chinese shar-peis have a history of congenital hiatal hernia
Giant breeds, such as the St. Bernard and the mastiff, are known for excessive drooling due to the shape of their jaw structure.
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