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Why does my dog drool? When is normal slobber a health issue?

drooling dog

drooling dog droolAll dogs drool. Ok, that is not entirely true. There are some breeds that don’t, like the Basenji. But most dogs drool. They use their saliva to help cool down. But some dogs drool more than others, such as breeds with big or open lips.

Why Dogs Drool

The reason they drool is the saliva from their mouth pools in their cheek pouches. Then when they shake their head, or enough pools up, it drips out. Sorry to say, but there is no way to prevent your dog from drooling. You can minimize it in the moment by wiping their face, or keeping them cool, but even a cool dog is going to drool.

From time to time, drool can indicate other problems. In Albuquerque, it gets very hot during the summer. If you leave your dog outside, he is more prone to heatstroke. Sudden drool can be a sign of heatstroke, along with heavy panting, and fatigue. If your dog starts having a hard time breathing, you need to get her to a vet immediately.

Drooling can be a sign of nervousness. Even typically non-drooling dogs may drool at the vet. Pay attention to when your dog drools and you will be able to tell what is normal drooling behavior verses something that might be a health issue.

Another common reason for your dog drooling is dental health issues such as periodontal disease or a tooth abscess. This is why it is important to get your dogs teeth cleaned every year. Not only does it reduce drooling and bad breath, but helps to keep them healthy.

If your dog has never been a drooler and suddenly starts drooling we recommend bringing them to your vet for an evaluation. Drooling can be a sign of a blockage in the esophagus, a neurological problem, dental health issues, poison, or other health issues. If your dog suddenly has excessive drooling, this could be a sign of an emergency and they need to be brought to a vet ER right away.

If you are concerned about your dog’s drooling and what is considered normal, talk to your Vetco veterinarian during your annual exam.



NSAIDs and your Dog

NSAID albuquerque
NSAID albuquerqueIf your dog is in pain, you want to help him and make it stop. But reaching for medication in your medicine cabinet may cause more harm than good. NSAIDS, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are often over the counter medications that both people and dogs can take. They reduce swelling, stiffness and joint pain. They can help relieve arthritis pain and post surgery pain.Though NSAIDs might be in your medicine cabinet, there are ones specifically for dogs that can be prescribed by your Albuquerque vet. The FDA lists the following NSAIDs as approved for dogs:

  • ETOGESIC (etodolac) – not currently marketed
  • RIMADYL (carprofen)
  • METACAM (meloxicam)
  • DERAMAXX (deracoxib)
  • PREVICOX (firocoxib)
  • ZUBRIN (tepoxalin) – not currently marketed
  • NOVOCOX (carprofen)
  • VETPROFEN (carprofen)
  • CARPRIEVE (carprofen)
  • QUELLIN (carprofen)
  • OROCAM (meloxicam)
  • LOXICOM (meloxicam)
  • MELOXIDYL (meloxicam)
  • ONSIOR (robenacoxib) for a maximum of 3 day use
  • GALLIPRANT (grapiprant)
Most of the time the appropriate NSAID, at the appropriate dosage, is perfectly safe for your dog. But there can be side affects and in some cases long term issues such as kidney or liver problems.If your dog is on a NSAID watch for:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Loss of appetitie
  • Skin redness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy

These can be symptoms that your dog is having a reaction to the NSAID and should be looked at by your veterinarian immediately.

There are some human over the counter NSAIDs that your veterinarian might say is ok to give your dog, such as Aspirin. This is for short term use only and can have some serious side effects if used long term. Do not self prescribe or decide the dosage yourself. The incorrect dosage can cause serious damage to your dog, including death. Call your vet and she will tell you the appropriate dosage and frequency for your dog.

If you think your dog is having issues with pain management due to a condition like arthritis, an injury, or surgery, you should speak to your vet about using NSAIDs as a pain management tool. Here are some questions to ask and things to discuss with your vet:

  • what condition the NSAID is being given for. Sometimes our pets have multiple issues, and a prescription might be for one thing but not another. It is important to know exactly what the prescription is for.
  • how much to give, aka. dosage
  • how long to give it and how often
  • possible side effects
  • what to avoid while your dog is taking an NSAID – such as any food or treat, types of exercise, sunlight, etc.
  • what tests are needed before giving an NSAID to your dog – sometimes dogs have a preexisting condition that might need to be evaluated before giving them an NSAID.
  • how often should your dog be re-examined. Never just continue to give your dog an NSAID. Only give it to them for the amount of time the vet has said. If your dog is still in pain, you need to bring them back for an evaluation.
  • your dog’s previous medical history and any previous drug reactions. A good medical history comes from annual exams. Make sure to bring your dog in to Vetco every year for his annual exam, that way if there is ever a serious problem you have a good medical history to help evaluate the current situation and treatment path.
  • all medications and products your dog currently receives



Basenji the HypoAllergenic Dog

dogs albuquerque

dogs albuquerqueDid you know people can be allergic to dogs? Yes it is true. But what do you do if you are allergic but still want to get a dog? There are a few breeds out there that are known for being hypoallergenic and the Basenji is one of them.

The breed is originally from the Congo and used to help Hunters catch small game as well as control rodent populations. These dogs typically only weigh about 24 lbs, and stand less than 2 feet tall. Known as the African barkless dog, they are by no means without noise. It is true, they don’t have a bark, but they do have a kind of yodel. They have lots of energy and are known for being mischievous. If you are an active person who likes to be outside or has kids that love to play, then this dog is perfect for you.

The Basenji look is very cute and very distinctive. He has really short hair and a curly tail that you just want to boing. His forehead wrinkles when he looks at you, which makes him look like a concerned old man. Though he is very energetic he is not necessarily a attention seeker. They are often fine being left alone, as long as they get plenty of time to run out their energy.

Are Besenji Dogs really hypoallergenic?

What makes them hypoallergenic is their coat and their grooming. They have very short hair that sheds very little. They are fastidious groomers. Basenji’s are noted for having cat like grooming habits, meaning they groom themselves all the time. This leaves them with no doggy odor and very limited dander. Like the Poodle and Schnauzer, they tend to only shed dander about one a month. They don’t drool or slobber. Because of their short hair, they also have very low maintenance coats. Though they are not 100% allergy free, they do significantly reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions.

Most allergies from dogs are caused by hair, dander, and saliva. As these dogs shed very little, have very low dander, and don’t drool, most of the allergens are removed from the equation.

If you are wondering about a Basenji as a good pet, talk to your Albuquerque vet.




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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.