Seeing your Saint Bernard foaming at the mouth can be unsettling and can worry any dog owner. Your first thought maybe the worst-case scenario which would be that your dog might have rabies because foaming at the mouth is usually a sign of this disease.
However, your dog having been properly vaccinated, it is less likely it is rabies and other reasons could be the cause of foaming at the mouth.
We outline the reasons why your Saint Bernard is foaming at the mouth and what to do.
Why is my Saint Bernard foaming at the mouth?
Saint Bernard foaming at the mouth can be caused by overheating during exercise or play, upset stomach, stress and anxiety, motion sickness, medication, poisoning, throat obstruction and underlying medical conditions including seizures, dental disease, epilepsy, stroke, tumors in the mouth, oral trauma or tooth abscess.
It is important as a Saint Bernard owner to differentiate between the natural and normal foaming of the mouth from a more serious health concern that requires attention from your veterinarian.
Reasons Why A Saint Bernard Foams At The Mouth
Foaming at the mouth for a dog is a common symptom of rabies which is a viral disease that affects a dog’s brain and nervous system.
Regular vaccine schedules have drastically minimized the occurrence of rabies and if your Saint Bernard has received their vaccinations they are properly protected from it.
Apart from rabies, foaming at the mouth for a Saint Bernard can be caused by:
Overheating During Play
Intense play and exercise results in overheating which makes a dog salivate excessively and this combined with heavy breathing, causes foaming at the mouth.
What you can do for your Saint Bernard for this type of foaming is to take breaks and allow them to relax and cool down.
Also, provide some water to drink because drinking water also prevents saliva from accumulating in the mouth which prevents forming.
Stress And Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can also cause a Saint Bernard to foam at the mouth. A stressed or anxious dog will breathe rapidly or hyperventilate and also drool excessively.
The combination of the drool and panting causes foaming at the mouth. Once your dog is no longer feeling unsettled and calms down, the forming stops.
Some dogs have motion sickness whenever they ride in a car or travel long distances. This leads to excess drooling and panting which causes foaming at the mouth.
An upset stomach also leads to forming at the mouth of a Saint Bernard.
Anxiety can contribute to having an upset stomach because of the tension of the stomach muscles which leads a dog to feel sick, drool excessively, and breathe heavily which produces the form.
An illness that causes your dog to have an upset stomach and bloating also leads to foaming at the mouth because of the heavy breathing and excess saliva.
Foaming at the mouth can occur due to ingestion of medications such as when a dog licks itself after being applied the medication for ticks and fleas.
It is important to prevent dogs from grooming each other or licking themselves before this medication dries up.
A Saint Bernard can swallow poisons that may be around the home such as rat poison, antifreeze, human foods, or medications that cause them to froth at the mouth.
Their bodies react negatively immediately to these substances causing vomiting to remove the toxins.
This is highly dangerous to a dog’s health and requires immediate attention from a vet and if help is not provided, it can lead to death.
Rush your dog to the vet in case you find them trying to vomit and they are foaming at the mouth.
Objects such as pieces of toys, sticks, or bones can get stuck in a dog’s throat and can lead to foaming at the mouth.
The object may not prevent breathing completely but can make your dog hyperventilate and because they cannot swallow their saliva, they drool and gag to remove the object from the throat.
This is a serious issue and if you cannot safely open your dog’s mouth to retrieve the object, take them to the vet immediately.
They will be able to remove the object slowly and quickly. Obstructions in the throat can also be due to the growth of a mass at the back of the throat.
If so, your vet will take samples and tests will be done to determine if the mass is cancerous or not and if surgery is needed.
Eating Of Distasteful Items
A dog can foam at the mouth after ingestion of unsavory items such as frogs of toads.
Illness in your Saint Bernard can also result in foaming at the mouth.
Illnesses and medical issues such as tumors in the mouth, dental disease, tooth abscess, oral trauma, epilepsy, stroke, neurological problem, or low blood sugar can contribute to this.
It is important to have your vet examine your Saint Bernard to see if the foaming is caused by a serious health issue that can be treated.
When To Call Your Vet
In most cases forming at the mouth of a dog is a natural harmless occurrence, however, it is important to monitor your dog and determine if the foaming is a result of natural causes or a serious health issue.
If there is no clear reason why your dog is foaming at the mouth, talk to your vet immediately.
Also look out for signs of lethargy, difficulty in swallowing, lack of appetite, or your dog behaving differently than normal.
When you see these signs, contact your vet.
Most of the reasons why your Saint Bernard forms at the mouth should not cause any alarm because it is natural. However, in some cases, it is as a result of health reasons that require attention from a vet.
Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior to notice if there are other signs accompanying foaming at the mouth to know if it is normal forming or a sign of a serious health concern.