Excessive ᴅʀᴏᴏʟing is one of the worst problems for some dog owners. Every time the dog goes to the water dish, they leave a mess, and a dog with facial hair is that much harder to clean up after. If your dog is constantly leaving wet ᴅʀᴏᴏʟ stains on your furniture, rugs, or clothes, you’ve probably found yourself wondering, “Why do dogs ᴅʀᴏᴏʟ?” and “What causes that somewhat strange behavior?” If humans can keep their saliva in check shouldn’t dogs be able to do the same? We talked to dog expert, Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, Veterinary Medical Advisor for Rover, for some answers. If you’re curious, this is why dogs lick their paws.
Reasons Your Dog Might Be ᴅʀᴏᴏʟing a Lot
- Heat sᴛʀᴏᴋᴇ
- Foreign body in the mouth
- Dental problems (like an ᴀʙsᴄᴇssed tooth)
- ɴᴀᴜsᴇᴀ or ᴘᴀɪɴful abdomen
- Cᴀɴᴄᴇʀ in the mouth
- A ᴄᴏɴᴛᴀɢɪᴏᴜs ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇ that does not allow him to swallow—think Rᴀʙɪᴇs First!
- Other less common causes, like a ᴘᴏʀᴛᴏsʏsᴛᴇᴍɪᴄ shunt, ᴍʏᴀsᴛʜᴇɴɪᴀ ɢʀᴀᴠɪs, ᴘᴏʟʏᴍʏᴏsɪᴛɪs
Other Signs to Look Out for in Addition to ᴅʀᴏᴏʟing
Some of these things may have been going on for a while and you have not noticed them or just figured they were a normal part of a dog’s life. Pay attention!
- Bad breath
- Weight loss
- Sensitive to touch around the mouth
“Hypersalivation or excessive ᴅʀᴏᴏʟing (known as ‘ᴘᴛʏᴀʟɪsᴍ’) can absolutely be a symptom of a surprisingly diverse number of health conditions, ranging from tummy upset to neurological ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇ to cᴀɴᴄᴇʀ,” says Greenstein. “In some dogs with ᴇᴘɪʟᴇᴘsʏ, for instance, staring off and ᴅʀᴏᴏʟing is often a commonly overlooked sign of an ɪᴍᴘᴇɴᴅɪɴɢ sᴇɪᴢᴜʀᴇ.” If you notice that your dog is ᴅʀᴏᴏʟing much more than usual, and the ᴅʀᴏᴏʟ has ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ in it, smells bad, or has a greenish tint to it you should see a veterinarian to test for a medical condition.
Are There Certain Breeds That ᴅʀᴏᴏʟ More Than Others?
Yes, there are certain breeds that ᴅʀᴏᴏʟ more than others. If you own a Mastiff, ʙʟᴏᴏᴅhound, St. Bernard, Great Dane, or Newfoundland, you know that to be true. “It’s not that they actually salivate more than other dogs, it’s that their large loose lip conformation makes it difficult to contain their natural saliva production and in some breeds, loose floppy tissue can actually act as a funnel for ᴅʀᴏᴏʟ,” says Greenstein.
There Are Things You Can Do
It’s normal for dogs to ᴅʀᴏᴏʟ, so there isn’t anything you can do to get them to ᴅʀᴏᴏʟ less (unless they are suffering from a medical issue), but there are things you can do to control the mess that ᴅʀᴏᴏʟ creates. “Bandanas and neck kerchiefs are not only a fashion statement but they can serve as a stealth goober bib, especially for the big ᴅʀᴏᴏʟers like Mastiffs,” says Greenstein. “Some water and food bowls have specially-designed lips or rims to limit the amount of splatter and spill and subsequent goo, but they are unlikely to make a huge impact on the overall ᴅʀᴏᴏʟing situation.”
Some of the Tests That Your Vet May Need to Run
Exam under ᴀɴᴇsᴛʜᴇsɪᴀ to look for any lesions: Some of these causes will make a dog very sensitive under examination and the only way to find out what is wrong is to do an exam while your dog is under sᴇᴅᴀᴛɪᴏɴ.
- Neurological exam
- CBC or a complete ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ count to determine if there is an ɪɴꜰᴇᴄᴛion
- Screen for ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴs
- X-rays: If your dog has a ᴛᴜᴍᴏʀ, for example, it may appear small but if it has ɪɴᴠᴀᴅᴇd the jaw or sinuses it will not do much good to just remove it.
- Serum biochemistry
- Urinalysis to look for metabolic problems
- Abdominal ultrasound if your dog is feeling ɴᴀᴜsᴇᴀ but the cause cannot be determined
Possible Treatments for Excessive ᴅʀᴏᴏʟing
This will really depend on the cause, but do not assume this is going to be something that you will not be able to treat.
- Remove a ʟᴏᴅɢed sᴛɪᴄᴋ or other foreign object from the mouth
- Extract an ᴀʙsᴄᴇssed broken tooth
- Treat an ɪɴꜰᴇᴄᴛious ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇ with ᴀɴᴛɪbiotics
- Remove a ᴛᴜᴍᴏʀ from the mouth
Schedule a Visit With Your Vet Now
If your dog has a sᴛɪᴄᴋ ʟᴏᴅɢed in her mouth, a broken tooth, or is just salivating a lot because of something she ate, you should schedule a visit with your regular vet now and help her feel better. This ᴅʀᴏᴏʟing problem can clear up right away or in a few days and your lives can return to normal.
Some dogs have a more sᴇʀɪᴏᴜs cause, of course, like cᴀɴᴄᴇʀ growing in the mouth, but the sooner you take your dog in the better her chances of recovering. Get them in today. If your regular veterinarian cannot schedule an appointment for your dog take her to an ᴇᴍᴇʀɢency clinic . . . it may be worth the extra expense.