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Why Is My Border Collie Drooling? & When To See a Vet

While some breeds are notorious droolers, the same cannot be said for the handsome Border Collie.

These dogs are NOT droolers by nature, so a sudden increase in their drooling is usually something an owner will spot right away.

This article will explain when drooling is considered normal, the causes of excessive drooling, when to see your veterinarian, and how your vet will help. Let’s get into it!


Drooling In Border Collies

Drooling can be a normal physiological process and is not always a worry. However, it can also be a sign that there is some sort of underlying issue.

Therefore, when we find that our dog is suddenly drooling more than before, it is important to pay attention. Take note of what is happening when they drool and monitor for any other symptoms.

Before we get into the common causes, it’s very important to clarify when drooling is actually considered normal.

When Is Drooling Normal?

Drooling can sometimes be completely normal. For example, when the body produces saliva, and it is not swallowed, it will start to pool in the mouth. And as the mouth can only hold so much saliva, it will eventually drip out.

In addition, dogs will sometimes produce more saliva than they can or wish to swallow, leading to drooling.

We can see ‘physiological’ drooling when a Border Collie smells delicious food and starts to salivate at the prospect of eating it. This is a clever response that they have learned over time.

The body produces saliva as it helps to lubricate the food while it is being chewed and contains digestive enzymes. However, if the dog is not eating, extra saliva doesn’t have much of a job to do! So some dogs will swallow this excess saliva while others will drool.

It is also found that Border Collies may produce more saliva and drool when feeling stressed. This becomes apparent in those who suffer from separation anxiety or who become overwhelmed when at the vet or the grooming salon. They may also tremble, howl and pant. Once the source of anxiety is gone, and the dog can relax, the drooling should stop.

So when is drooling a sign of something worse?

There are many medical issues and conditions that can have drooling as a symptom. This drooling is usually ongoing, and you won’t be able to pinpoint an external source for it. You may find your dog is also exhibiting other symptoms, such as a reluctance to eat or lethargy.

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7 Causes Of Excessive Drooling In Border Collies

Let’s run through the most notable causes of excessive drooling in border collies.

Some of the following are more common than others. Hence, it’s important to take everything into context, consider your collie’s overall health, as well as any other significant events that may have happened recently.

1. Dental disease

Slobbering, bad breath, red gums, and calculus build-up are all possible signs of periodontal disease. You should get in the habit of checking your dog’s gnashers on a regular basis.

They should be pearly white, and the gums should be a salmon pink color. To maintain good dental health, brush your dog’s teeth daily and offer them hard foods to chew, such as kibble and dental sticks.

Collies are not overly prone to dental disease, but many will require dental treatment or two during their lifetime. The drool associated with dental disease can be thick, discolored, and very smelly indeed.

2. Nausea

We all know that unpleasant feeling when you are queasy and saliva pools in your mouth. Well, the exact same thing happens to our canine companions.

The body is clever. When an animal is vomiting and has a lot of acid in their stomachs, it attempts to neutralize this by producing more saliva.

Some saliva is swallowed into the stomach, where it can help calm things, while some of it becomes drool.

3. Toxin ingestion

Poisoning is a well-known cause of excessive drooling. A variety of toxins can cause this symptom, including some cleaning products, chocolate, poisonous plants, etc. This can be due to nausea or mouth irritation/corrosion.

Other symptoms of poisoning can include vomiting, tremoring, and lethargy. If you think your Border Collie has eaten something they shouldn’t have, an immediate vet visit is needed. They may require treatment such as an intravenous fluid drip, activated charcoal meals, and ant-acids. The sooner treatment is started, the better the prognosis will be.

Important It is not always wise to induce vomiting, especially if a corrosive substance has been ingested. You may do more harm than good. Always call your vet for the best advice after a suspected poisoning.

4. Electric shock

As puppies (and sometimes even older Collies) can be curious, it is not unheard of for them to get hold of and chew on electric cables. Sadly, this can be very dangerous and can cause serious damage inside the mouth.

The tongue will be burnt, and dogs can develop more serious symptoms (such as fluid on the lungs) as time goes on. Drooling can be a prominent symptom. Even a shock that may appear minor requires urgent veterinary care.

5. Mouth ulcers

While ulcers are not especially common in the Border Collie, they can occur secondary to, e.g., kidney disease or the ingestion of a corrosive substance. It is thought that drool is seen because swallowing can be uncomfortable when ulcers are present.

6. An oral mass

A benign growth (such as a gum epulis) or cancerous tumor may cause signs including difficulty eating, bad breath, and excessive drooling. A mass may be visible when you inspect the inside of the mouth. A new growth should be biopsied by a vet so we know what we are dealing with and can make a treatment plan.

7. Foreign body

Border Collies are somewhat prone to foreign bodies in the mouth as many enjoy chewing on sticks (though what dog doesn’t?). Objects that lodge in between teeth or at the top of the mouth can cause pain, distress, and lots of- you guessed it- slobber. Removing the object will resolve the symptoms, but this may require deep sedation.

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When To See a Veterinarian…

So, you see, drooling can have many causes indeed. Some of these are more serious than others, and many do necessitate a trip to your local vet.

A few episodes of drooling that can be explained by nausea (perhaps when traveling in the car), stress (maybe when there are fireworks going off overhead), or in anticipation of a tasty snack (when the roast chicken is cooking in the oven on a Sunday evening) are nothing to be concerned about.

However, when you’re not sure why your dog is drooling, there may be an issue. This is especially true if there is a lot of drool and/or the episodes are frequent. We also become concerned when other symptoms (such as face rubbing, bad breath, or a change in appetite) are present. If in doubt, it is never a bad idea to have your Border Collie checked over.

What Tests Will Your Vet Carry Out

If you bring your Border Collie to the vet because they have been drooling, they will get a thorough physical exam. The vet will focus on their mouth, checking the health status of their teeth, lips, tongue, and gums. Further tests, such as a blood test or abdominal scan, may be warranted.

Last Thoughts

Drooling can be a normal part of life for a dog, but it can also be a sign that something ain’t quite right. If your Border collie starts drooling, try to pinpoint the cause. If your dog tolerates it, have a look inside their mouth for anything abnormal.

Most times, the cause of drooling can be established, and we can treat the issue successfully.

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Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.