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10 Common Causes of Dog Foaming at the Mouth and Shaking Full Guide of 2024

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Why is my dog foaming at the mouth and shakingDon’t be alarmed if your dog foams at the mouth and shakes – it’s often a harmless reaction to something they’ve eaten or drunk. But it can also be a sign of something more serious, so it’s important to know what to look for.

What to look for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Seizures

If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet immediately.

Key Takeaways

  • It could be a seizure caused by epilepsy or a brain tumor. Treatment includes medication, diet changes, or surgery.
  • Nausea from eating something that disagreed with them, food poisoning, or liver disease can cause foaming and shaking.
  • Bacterial food poisoning leads to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy in addition to foaming and shaking.
  • Severe dental infections and abscessed teeth also cause foaming and shaking. Treatment involves addressing the underlying dental issues.

Seizures

Seizures
One common cause of your dog foaming at the mouth and shaking is seizures.

Seizures can last for a few seconds to a few minutes, and they can be caused by a variety of factors, including epilepsy, brain tumors, and underlying organ disease.

If you think your dog is having a seizure, you should first try to calm him down and make sure he’s not injured.

You should then call your vet or animal emergency clinic for further instructions.

Nausea

Nausea
Having a seizure can cause your dog to foam at the mouth and shake, but so can nausea.

Other causes of nausea in dogs include:

  • Eating something that disagreed with them
  • Food poisoning
  • Liver disease
  • Epilepsy

If you think your dog is nauseous, you should take them to the vet to rule out any serious medical conditions.

Bacterial Food Poisoning

Bacterial Food Poisoning
If your dog is foaming at the mouth and shaking, it could be due to bacterial food poisoning.

Other symptoms of bacterial food poisoning in dogs include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Dehydration

If you think your dog has bacterial food poisoning, you should take them to the vet immediately.

Liver Disease

Liver Disease
With liver disease, your dog may foam at the mouth and shake due to pain, nausea, and other symptoms.

Here are 3 possible causes of liver disease in dogs:

  • Liver failure
  • Jaundice
  • Enlarged liver

If you’re concerned that your dog may have liver disease, please take him or her to the vet for a diagnosis.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a common cause of shaking and foaming at the mouth in dogs.

It’s caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Symptoms of epilepsy include seizures, staring episodes, and behavioral changes.

Treatment for epilepsy includes medication, diet, and surgery.

The prognosis for dogs with epilepsy varies depending on the severity of the condition.

Rabies

Rabies
If your dog is foaming at the mouth and shaking, rabies is a possibility, but it isn’t the only cause.

  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Bacterial food poisoning
  • Liver disease

Rabies is a serious and potentially fatal disease that’s caused by a virus. The incubation period for rabies can range from 2 weeks to 6 months.

  • Aggression
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. Treatment for rabies isn’t available, so prevention is the best way to protect your dog. Vaccination against rabies is highly effective and should be given to all dogs over the age of 6 months.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke
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Transitioning from rabies, another potential cause of foaming and shaking is heatstroke.

This dangerous condition arises when a dog’s body temperature rises uncontrollably.

To treat it, move your dog to a cool area and apply ice packs to the head, neck, and chest.

Prevent heatstroke by ensuring access to shade and cool water on hot days. With prompt first aid, many dogs recover, but brain damage or organ failure can occur if untreated.

Overexertion

Overexertion
You’ll see your dog foaming at the mouth after too much exercise.

Overexertion can cause heavy panting, rapid breathing, an elevated heart rate, extreme thirst, and muscle weakness in dogs.

Pushing your dog too hard during play, a walk, or training can overheat them and lead to foaming at the mouth as their body struggles to cool itself down.

Signs of overexertion usually resolve with rest and access to water. However, in severe cases, muscle damage, heat stroke, or cardiac issues may occur.

Monitoring your dog closely during and after intense activity and providing adequate rest periods can help prevent overexertion.

Know your dog’s limits, keep water available, watch for signs of fatigue, and adjust the intensity or duration of exercise as needed.

Recognizing overexertion early allows you to intervene and let your dog recover.

Poisonous Substances

Poisonous Substances
Unfortunately, after overexerting your dog, you may find they’ve ingested poisonous substances leading to foaming at the mouth. Carefully inspecting their environment and providing emergency care can help mitigate further harm.

  • Check areas your dog has access to for substances like chocolate, grapes, onions, xylitol in gum or other foods, or rat poison, which can cause toxicity.
  • Induce vomiting if ingestion was recent
  • Rush to an emergency veterinary clinic for evaluation and possible antidotes.

Providing prompt veterinary attention and removing further access to toxins can help treat current poisoning and prevent future accidental ingestion.

Dental Disease

Dental Disease
Unfortunately, dental disease can also cause foaming at the mouth and shaking in dogs.

Infection and pain from severe periodontal disease puts stress on the body, while abscessed teeth may leach bacteria and toxins into the bloodstream.

You’ll want to have your vet thoroughly examine your dog’s mouth, and treat any underlying dental issues like broken teeth, gum disease, or tooth pain that could be contributing to these concerning symptoms.

A fractured jaw or other oral injury can also cause similar symptoms.

Be attentive to any signs of bad breath or mouth pain in your dog, as addressing dental problems early is important for their comfort and health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know if my dog’s foaming at the mouth and shaking is caused by seizures?

If your dog is foaming at the mouth and shaking, it could be a sign of seizures.

Look for other symptoms such as:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle spasms

Consult with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

Can nausea alone cause a dog to foam at the mouth and shake?

Nausea alone causing a dog to foam at the mouth and shake? Oh, how ironic! While it’s possible, other factors like seizures or poisoning could be at play.

What are the common symptoms of bacterial food poisoning in dogs, aside from foaming at the mouth and shaking?

Aside from foaming at the mouth and shaking, common symptoms of bacterial food poisoning in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Discolored urine
  • Yellowing of the skin

Is liver disease a common cause of foaming at the mouth and shaking in dogs?

Liver disease can cause foaming at the mouth and shaking, but it isn’t typically a common cause in dogs.

More often, the culprits are things like seizures, nausea, poisoning, heat stroke, stress or rabies.

Regardless, any dog foaming or shaking needs veterinary attention right away to pinpoint the cause and treat properly.

Stay calm, take notes on symptoms to share, but waste no time getting help.

Frequent vet checkups catch issues early too.

Can epilepsy be the underlying cause of a dog foaming at the mouth and shaking?

Yes, epilepsy can cause foaming at the mouth and shaking in dogs.

It’s characterized by recurrent seizures, which lead to involuntary muscle contractions and salivation.

An epileptic episode should be evaluated by a veterinarian to determine appropriate treatment.

Conclusion

To summarize, there are several potential reasons why your dog may be foaming at the mouth and shaking.

  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Bacterial food poisoning
  • Liver disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Rabies
  • Heatstroke
  • Overexertion
  • Exposure to poisonous substances
  • Dental disease

While it’s often a harmless reaction to something they’ve ingested, it can also be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. If your dog is displaying any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately to ensure their well-being.

References
  • midogguide.com
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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.