So for years now my dog has had issues with excessive drooling. I’ve never been able to pinpoint what causes it. Medical tests all come back normal. But the drooling never last for more that an hour or two so by the time the vet sees him he can only offer suggestions.
The last time he noticed what he called signs of allergies: inflammation around his nose and mouth, head shaking and ear debris, watery eyes, paw and leg licking. He said that dogs can drool excessively when they have an upset stomach. Or if they come in contact with something in the environment that they’re allergic to.
So he basically told me to give him 5 benedryl twice a day to prevent symptoms.
Which I kind of thought was nuts because the drooling wasn’t happening all the time. So he told me to do it for 5 days, then give him a dose whenever symptoms presented.
Benedryl does work, unfortunately it takes a while to kick in.
But what triggers the episodes? How long does it take from exposure to symptoms?
It didn’t occur to me or my vet, but someone in a dog wellness FB group suggested keeping a journal of when these drooling attacks occur. That way I can write down when he last ate, what he ate, did he go outside prior, did he do anything unusual before the drooling started while it is still fresh in my mind.
He had a drooling episode today. The last one was a week ago while I was away. That day neither of my dogs ate much of anything (which happens sometimes when I go away). Thinking about possible food issues, all this past week I had given both dogs cooked ground beef. No incident. I ran out last night. This morning, I probably made the mistake of putting in a few crumbles of sausage that I had leftover. To make matters worse, when I ate eggs, sausage and cheese for breakfast about 60-90 minutes later, I gave the dogs the small remainder that I hadn’t finished.
Within 20 or so minutes the drooling began.
I’m kicking myself because I’ve been really good with the no table scraps treats.
The vet had said that because it doesn’t happen every day and only 1 or 2 a week (sometimes even less) that it’s probably something he’s eating. That the environmental sensitivities can be a totally separate issue and that dogs can develop really sensitive stomachs as they get older. He suggested either a sensitive stomach dry food or limited ingredient food to make digestion easier. He also suggested staying away from bird proteins as bully breeds are known to be sensitive to fowl proteins.
Hi Christie, that’s going to be really helpful to observe for triggers with the symptom journal. A couple of things to think about might be:
** A cyclic pancreatitis caused by protein-rich or fatty foods – this could cause nausea and drooling and maybe the skin irritation is due to the drool wetness.
**A lack of acid in the stomach, which can be due to medications, dairy products, grains and large amounts of water- this lack of stomach acid leads to prolonged transit time of foods- and the protein begins to turn rancid. The body’s response is to push it through ASAP- and saliva helps that happen.
**Imbalance of bacteria- this often results in random or intermitant signs of nausea with or without gassiness. I see great results with Herbsmith Microflora Plus as a probiotic. It helps the digestive tract do its job and also contains stomach calming herbs such as ginger and licorice. I usually have clients use this for 30 days and then re-eval.
**Food sensitivity-or AKA food allergies-The signs and symptoms that you described do often correlate with food allergies. If your pup is doing a lot of paw and leg licking I have seen some pets get an upset tummy from all the hair. It can be irritating to the stomach so I guess that makes sense.
**And lastly I always ask families to watch for any potential environmental allergies such as: laundry soaps, fabric softeners, fabric sprays like Feebreeze, air fresheners, candles, plug ins, strong essential oils, floor cleaners, dish soaps, added chemicals to city water sources ( just the chlorine and fluoride can sometimes cause my dogs to vomit), chemicals from hoses and wool rugs. These are the most common situations I see.
I am happy to do a complimentary nutritional consult if you would like 🙂 (https://journeysmobilevet.com/nutritional-consult-options) Good Luck!
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