Excessive salivation and swallowing
by sarahgurl928, May 10, 2009
My dog started licking everything today- the couch, the carpet, the tile, the concrete, etc. At first I just thought he was being neurotic, but then he started salivating a lot- my whole lap was wet- and he is just a mini dachshund. He has been eating grass all day and trying to puke but can't. Other than this, he is acting totally fine- playing, barking, eating/drinking, urinating, etc. I have already tried to find a vet who would accept payments ( I am a med student and currently really broke)- that isn't going to happen. I cannot believe these vets take an oath to care for animals, but literally told me that he will die if I cannot produce cash. When I take my oath as a doctor, I would lose my license and go to prison for murder if I refused to treat someone who was very ill. I applied for the care card, etc- it isn't happening. I have no money, so I am trying to find ways to help him. Is there a natural laxative to give him? How about an emetic? Any suggestions as to what may have caused this? He does not seem to be in pain, and I hear bowel sounds in his belly. He is sleeping now, but everytime he gets up he starts swallowing, licking, salivating- and when he goes outside he eats dirt and then retches. Also, these symptoms have been occurring for about 15 hours without excessive worsening, so I can only hope it is not life threatening. The only thing I can think to do is to hand him to the cold hearted vet when I am sure he is really sick and leave it in her hands. I am in no means cold hearted or cruel to my animal- I am simply at wits end. He is my best friend and my whole life - I have been crying and worried sick all day. Any help would be very greatly appreciated- I have a feeling I won't be sleeping for awhile.
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Member Comments (13)
by GhillyBlank, May 10, 2009
Licking at things and profuse salivating sound to me like he could have a bad tooth.  Either that or he could have something stuck between the tooth and the gum that's causing him discomfort, and the licking is an attempt to finding something to relieve it.

Do you have a debit card or a credit card?  Sometimes, even if you just give the vet the card number and all the other information, they will agree to see the pet because they know that if you don't pay, they can just keep trying to hit the card and eventually get their money.  It's worth a try.  Some will take a post-dated check.  

Because of the excessive salivation, it really does sound like it could be a tooth problem to me.  Keep an eye on him and maybe just get a pile of phone books and call every vet in them, explain the situation, and hopefully one of them will agree to see him and allow you to pay them as soon as you can.  If you find one that will, as soon as you get a few dollars, send it their way.  As long as they know you are sincere about making an effort to pay it off, they won't bother you and harass you for the money, but you have to show them you are honstly making an effort.

by Red931, May 10, 2009
It sounds as if your dog has a tummy ache. My Bullies get them all the time and what you are describing is exactly what they do, other from licking the concrete but the excessive salivation while they are laying down, or sitting up, plus the fact that you are hearing gurgling in the abdomen sounds like a tummy ache. The fact that he is eating grass and then can't vomit may mean he has a lot of gas as well.

I give my Bullies a Pepcid and they are usually fine in about 4 hours. This was recommended by my Vet and works well for them. Bella, my oldest sometimes will need a second pill.

If it is a toothache as Ghilly has suggested you may want to look into his mouth (if he will let you) to check for any type of abcess or tooth discoloration.

Please let us know how he is doing.

Good Luck.

by sarahgurl928, May 11, 2009
He has stopped the excessive salivation for the most part. I checked and he does not seem to have any sensitivity to his gums/teeth, though I know dachshunds are notorious for tooth problems. When he starts to swallow a lot and lick, I started giving him a quarter of a rolaid and that seems to help. I think that he may have had a belly ache, but now it just obsessive-compulsive. I will continue to keep an eye on him, and let you know. What are your thoughts on pet insurance? If he did have a tooth problem, I wouldn't be able to afford it, but insurance would really help. I've heard mixed things about it though.

Thanks for your help and concern,
by Red931, May 11, 2009
The Rolaids are okay but the Pepcid is better for them and longer lasting.

I do have the Pet Insurance and I posted about a week ago that it has been my experience that I always just about break even every year on the premiums. It is worth it if something serious happens, God Forbid and also would cover the majority of the costs to have a tooth taken out. The rates increase moderately over the years as your dog gets older and they will rate you if your dog has to go to the Vet often but even then it is still a moderate increase.

They take the monthly payment from your credit card account and it usually starts out at about 26.00 a month for the Superior Plan from VPI Pet Insurance.
by ginger899Blank, May 11, 2009
Pet insurance is always a good idea.
If you are a student (or on very low income or Benefits) you might also be eligible for some charitable aid? You could check that out. I don't know if it could be set up for immediate treatment, or whether the 'paperwork' might take some time, but you could investigate. And don't worry about taking from Charity. You can always pay back in some way later on, either by contributing financially to the Charity that helps, or by running a fund-raising event for them, or something.

Also, as Ghilly said, if something was simply stuck in his teeth, it could cause salivation, and licking at inappropriate things in an attempt to dislodge it.

Another thought....if he had eaten -or even just bitten at -certain insects which put out a terrible stink when attacked, he might have a dreadful taste in his mouth, and that usually causes excess salivation, which goes away naturally. That happened to my dog once, and she was drooling and eating grass afterwards, though was ok later.

But what concerns me too, is something you said..."I cannot believe these vets take an oath to care for animals, but have literally told me he will die if I cannot produce cash"...
Did a vet actually say that to you? If so, what do they think is the matter with your dog? Did they think it was something serious...?
by leb0401, Nov 02, 2011
This past spring, I woke up in the middle of the night to find my dog inhaling anything that she could find: socks, paper off the coffee table, etc.  I took her outside and she continued to devour leaves, grass, EVERYTHING.  I thought she was choking on something she ate, because she kept swallowing frantically and licking.  I took her to the all night emergency vet who gave her some meds to make her throw up all the dangerous stuff she had eaten.  The vet gave me no explanation as to why she was swallowing like that, and it continued for hours after we got home.  It remained a mystery...

Then, last night I was settling down for the night and saw my dog start to chew on some fake flowers on my nightstand. I grabbed her and saw she was doing the weird swallowing thing again.  She lunged for items on the table and got a metal tag in her mouth, but I caught her in time before she swallowed.  I grabbed her by the collar and tried to make her drink, but she refused.  Luckily, I stumbled upon this thread.

I gave her a tums (we didn't have any pepcid on hand) and about 10 minutes later she settled down and stopped frantically searching for things to stuff in her mouth. Twenty minutes later the swallowing tic stopped and she slept through the night.


Does anyone have an explanation as to why the dogs respond this way to an upset tummy?  Is it a symptom of something more serious?
by ted344, Dec 15, 2011
It's so freaking disgusting that this world is all about money.  People and pets die everyday because of it.  My last vet bill was over a 1000 dollars, now I have no choice but to watch my dog suffer and am very fearful she will die.  All because of greed and ******* money.
by ginger899Blank, Dec 15, 2011
I agree, Ted. It's ok for those who have money, and not so easy for those who haven't. And it's big money too, for those on benefits or a low income. The very hard line most vets take when it comes to payments doesn't make things easier. I know they are scared of not being paid, and having to chase people up to get what they are owed...but it would help so much if more of them would accept payment plans.

But there are some options avalable for those on low income. "Care Credit", I have heard, is one. I am not sure how it works as we don't have that in my country, but we do have charitable aid for those on benefits or low income/housing benefit etc.
by ginger899Blank, Dec 15, 2011
If you are interested in getting some info. about Care Credit