Q. Dog is drooling and licking lips excessively and won’t let me put hands near his mouth.

Sat, Aug 12, 2023

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Dr. Floore

As a veterinarian, I can understand your concern about your dog's excessive drooling, lip licking, and reluctance to let you near his mouth. These symptoms can be indicative of various underlying issues. While I cannot provide a definitive diagnosis without physically examining your dog, I can offer some possible causes and suggestions for what you can do at home before seeking veterinary care.

1. Dental Problems: Dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, or a foreign object stuck between the teeth can cause discomfort and lead to excessive drooling and lip licking. Inspect your dog's mouth for any visible signs of dental problems, such as red or swollen gums, broken teeth, or foreign objects. If you notice any abnormalities, it is best to consult your veterinarian for a thorough dental examination and appropriate treatment.

What you can do at home: Regularly brush your dog's teeth with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to maintain good oral hygiene. Offer dental chews or toys designed to promote dental health. However, avoid any aggressive handling of your dog's mouth if he is showing signs of discomfort.

2. Nausea or Digestive Issues: Dogs may drool excessively and lick their lips when they feel nauseous or have an upset stomach. This can be caused by dietary indiscretion, ingestion of toxic substances, gastrointestinal infections, or other digestive disorders.

What you can do at home: If your dog's symptoms are mild and he is otherwise acting normal, you can try withholding food for 12-24 hours to allow his stomach to settle. Offer small amounts of water frequently to prevent dehydration. After the fasting period, gradually reintroduce a bland diet consisting of boiled chicken and rice. If the symptoms persist or worsen, or if your dog shows other signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, it is crucial to seek veterinary attention.

3. Oral Pain or Injury: Dogs may drool excessively and avoid mouth contact if they are experiencing oral pain or have sustained an injury to their mouth or throat. This can be caused by dental problems, mouth ulcers, foreign bodies, or trauma.

What you can do at home: Examine your dog's mouth gently to look for any signs of injury, such as bleeding, swelling, or wounds. If you notice any abnormalities or suspect an injury, it is best to consult your veterinarian for a thorough examination. Avoid touching or manipulating your dog's mouth if he shows signs of pain or discomfort.

4. Heatstroke: Excessive drooling can also be a sign of heatstroke, especially if your dog has been exposed to high temperatures or excessive exercise without adequate hydration.

What you can do at home: Move your dog to a cool, shaded area and offer fresh water to drink. Wet his body with cool (not cold) water and use a fan to promote evaporation and cooling. However, if your dog's symptoms persist or worsen, or if he shows other signs of heatstroke such as panting excessively, weakness, or collapse, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary care.

Remember, while these suggestions may provide temporary relief or help in mild cases, it is essential to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment. They will be able to conduct a thorough examination, perform any necessary tests, and provide the most accurate guidance for your dog's specific condition.

If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to come back to us! Thank you.