Dog Mouth Foaming -What Could Be Causing It?

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Dog mouth foaming is not a very pleasant thing to see in your dog. Although it looks quite scary, foaming at the mouth can be caused by a number of things, most of which are benign. But, occasionally it may be a sign of more severe conditions. Read on and discover how to separate regular mouth foaming from an alarming one.

Dog mouth foaming is probably one of the top 10 things that you don’t want ever to see in your dog. Number of things can occur in dogs, but seeing this in your dog is not really common and can easily lead to panic.

If you think about it, the scariest thing is having something happen to your dog that you don’t understand. Mostly because you don’t know how to react and help.

So, when you notice something so major as dog mouth foaming you must understand what is going on and how you should act toward it. In most cases it’s nothing serious, while in others it may be a symptom of poisoning or disease.

It’s Probably Not Rabies

The first thing that crosses everyone’s mind every time they see a dog foaming at the mouth is that he is affected with rabies. Luckily, that’s not the case in more than 90%. Dogs may foam at the mouth for a number of reasons, from utterly normal behavior to something that may indicate a severe health condition.

Furthermore, in most cases dogs foam at the mouth due to stress or simply from having a strong physical activity. So, the crucial thing, in this case, is to learn the difference between dog’s foaming due to rabies and any other reason.

What Is Foaming At The Mouth?

Dog mouth foaming is a symptom that people instinctively associate with rabies. However, as we mentioned before, in reality, these claims are not legit, due to numerous non-rabies related reasons. Simply said, foaming at the mouth is caused by saliva that’s intensified by anxiety or general distress. Rabies can be a potential cause, but the chances for it are rare.

However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t contact your veterinarian if foaming lasts for days or occurs even when the dog is rested. In the meantime, learn what are 7 most common reasons for fog mouth foaming that are not connected with rabies.

Seven Reasons For Dog Mouth Foaming

There are seven reasons other than rabies that may be causing a foam around a dog’s mouth.

1. Intense Physical Activity

Dogs love to run and play, nothing new there. However, they sometimes don’t know when to stop. If you ever saw a pack of dogs playing, you know what we are talking about. Their game is so intense and psychically demanding that they run out of energy so fast. In addition, they tend to breathe heavily and to salivate excessively.

This strong drooling in combo with short and heavy breathing can lead to a dog mouth foaming. And its O.K. The worst thing about this foaming is that it can be a little yucky in case your canine jumps for some kisses. Bear in mind that in this case, foaming is not dangerous to their health in any way.

2. Stress

Dogs are sensitive beings and they are known for being masters in non-verbal communication with their owners. In addition, they can only use their tail and we will know if they are happy or suffering from any reason.

In addition, they can show a wide range of emotions with a single movement. That’s how they communicate that they are stressed. In moments of stress, they will tuck their tail, might have diarrhea, or even foaming at the mouth. Interestingly, foaming will stop as soon as your dog stops stressing or lower its fear.

3. Stomach Issues

An underlying health problem can lead to a dog’s foaming at the mouth. The number of illnesses that can cause this condition are rather wide, going from an easy one to extremely severe conditions, like from upset stomach to a foreign body being trapped in their body.

When troubled with conditions like those listed or similar, canine will do anything to throw out what bothers them. Therefore, panting, spitting and foaming will occur. Luckily, as soon as they rid of whatever tortured them foaming will dissapear.

4. Anxiety

Anxiety is something that’s common and intense in our canines. Many take this condition lightly and even equalize anxiety with stress. However, there is a difference between these two conditions.

In a nutshell, stress is a response to a threat in a situation, while anxiety is a reaction to the stress. Anxiety is often present in canines who were mistreated, abandoned, and or experienced life on the street.

Anxiety is a very common cause for dog mouth foaming. This is due to the fact that drooling is a bodily function triggered by a nervous reaction. This is very similar to ‘playing’ moments, so the dog might also begin panting. In addition, panting can be combined with the drool which can cause foaming to appear. Once your canine calms down, the foaming will disappear.

5. Dental Issues

Nothing speaks so loudly about dog’s health like his gums and teeth. Importance of dog’s dental hygiene is so crucial for their health that few veterinarians who claim that if owners neglect dog’s teeth he or she may cut down canine life span for 3 to 5 years.

If dog’s teeth or mouth are in pain from gingivitis or cavities they will show enormous salivation and panting. This combination will create a buildup of thick foamy bubbles. You should contact your veterinarian for further steps and precise advice.

6. Poison

Unfortunately, dog mouth foaming can be a sign that your dog ingested some amount of poison. Foaming is a clear sign of your dog trying to get rid of that mixture from his body. Normally, if you just think that poisoning may be the cause you should contact the nearest veterinarian immediately and tell them that you are on your way.

Also, stay on top of the subject and learn what to do as first aid and help your canine.

7. Trouble Swallowing

This is one of those conditions that are extremely tricky to diagnose. A common cause, in this case, is that something stuck, like a piece of toy at the back of dogs mouth or throat.

If you suspect that a foreign subject is causing your dog’s difficulty to swallow, give your dog’s mouth a visual inspection to see if you can see the object and remove it safely. However, if you believe that you can’t remove the obstacles safely take your canine to the professional.

8. Rabies

Rabies in dogs is one of the biggest worries that a pet owner can experience. It’s known as a strong virus that may affect the brain directly and spinal cord. The truth is that animals who have rabies contain a large amount of virus in their saliva, and the disease is primarily passed to canine through a bite from an infected animal.

In general, this virus is mostly found in wild animals, but that fact still doesn’t stop pet owners from being worried when they see their dog mouth foaming.

Although foaming at the mouth can be one of the symptoms of rabies, there are more symptoms that are far better indicators of this fatal disease. A dog who’s infected may show an extreme change in his behavior like apprehension, which may be followed by aggression.

Friendly dogs may become hostile, while many of them can snap at any form of stimulus, attacking humans and other animals. Furthermore, they will constantly chew, bite, or lick the site where they were bitten.

As the virus becomes stronger, an infected dog may become hypersensitive to sound, light, and touch. In addition, they may start hiding in dark places and eat unusual things. Also, a paralysis of the jaw and throat may follow, resulting in the well-known symptom of foaming at the mouth. With time paralysis of the hind legs may occur. In addition, other classic signs like loss of weakness, seizures, the appetite may occur and result in sudden death.

Bear in mind that there is no sure way to know if your dog has rabies or not. A veterinarian can confirm or not that your canine is infected with rabies by taking a piece of brain tissue and performing a proper examination of the tissue.

If you notice any of the described sings in addition to foaming at the mouth you should contact your veterinarian. Moreover, make sure that you stay on top of puppy vaccination schedule and rabies vaccination.

9. Epilepsy

Although rabies is not easy to treat or prevent, that’s not the case with epilepsy. Epilepsy in dogs is one of the health issues that may lead to foaming at the mouth. Seizures are usually followed by strong foaming together with muscles convulsing and twitching.

This condition can occur in any breed and at any time. However, there are breeds that are at greater risk for developing symptoms of idiopathic epilepsy, such as Vizslas, Retrievers, and Beagles.

Foaming at the mouth is not the only symptom of epilepsy, so if your dog is showing only this symptom the chances are that he is not suffering from epilepsy.

However, if he collapses on his side and starts pawing the air, even defecate or urinate without control, overheating, or simply loses his motor control he is going through a seizure. In addition, his mouth will start to dry and foam will start emerging from the sides.

If you suspect that your dog suffers from epilepsy make sure that you talk with your veterinarian so you can learn how to act in moments of seizures.

There is a number of reasons why a dog may foam at the mouth. So, if you notice some foam buildup around your dog’s mouth, make sure to check most obvious reasons first like difficulties swallowing or intense activity, and then move on to more severe choices like anxiety. Again, if you think that your dog ate or drink something poisonous make sure that you contact your veterinarian immediately.

Frequently Asked Question On Dog Mouth Foaming

1. Why Is My Dog Foaming And Drooling?

Most common reasons behind a dog’s mouth foaming is excessive exercise or anxiety.

Dogs who are feeling agitated are usually drooling excessively. Just like when they are playing, an anxious dog may begin panting, which when combined with the drool can cause foaming to occur.

2. Do Dogs Foam At The Mouth When Having A Seizure?

If your dog is troubled by epilepsy or any other seizure, foaming may occur. Other symptoms may include jerking, muscle twitching, drooling, tongue chewing or even collapsing.

During a seizure, the dog can fall to the side and start uncontrolled paddling motions with legs. Also, the dog can pee or even poop during the seizure.

3. Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Foam?

Dog throwing up white foam is not a reason to panic. The chances are that your dog ate a little dirt, grass or something else he shouldn’t have. Therefore, a white foam can be a clear sign of his digestive system reacting and trying to empty the stomach and get the bad stuff out. But still, keep an eye on him just to be safe.