Mouth: ptyalism in Horses (Equis) | Vetlexicon
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Mouth: ptyalism

ISSN 2398-2977

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Synonym(s): Excessive salivation, drooling, dribbling, salivating, hypersalivation

Introduction

  • Excessive salivation.
  • Cause: conditions causing excessive production of saliva or inability/failure to swallow produced saliva.
  • Signs: excessive salivation, drooling, signs specific to primary disease process/inciting cause.
  • Diagnosis: oral examination   Gastrointestinal: physical examination  , other diagnostic procedures dependent on primary disease process/inciting cause.
  • Treatment: dependent on primary disease process/inciting cause.
  • Prognosis: dependent on primary disease process/inciting cause.

Presenting signs

  • Excessive salivation.

Age predisposition

  • Foals are predisposed to gastroduodenal ulceration   Stomach: gastric ulceration - foal  . Ptyalism strongly indicative of secondary reflux esophagitis.
  • Older animals have a higher incidence of dental problems which can lead directly to mouth pain or to improper chewing or swallowing and a higher incidence of esophageal problems.

Public health considerations

  • Rabies is zoonotic and notifiable.

Cost considerations

  • Dependent on primary disease process/inciting cause.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Excessive production of saliva

  • Can be caused by direct stimulation of saliva production or secondary to pain or infection, eg:
    • Heavy metal toxicity   Toxicity: lead  .
    • Parasympathomimetic toxicity. 
    • Plant toxicity   Poisonous plants: overview  .
    • Neurological disease.
    • Stomatitis   Vesicular stomatitis  .
    • Oral pain, eg tongue injury, ulceration or cellulitis; oral trauma.
    • Conditions of the pharynx.
    • Fractured bones of the mouth or hyoid apparatus.
    • Dental disorders    →   dysphagia and poor mastication.
    • Gastric/gastroduodenal ulceration (   →    gastroesophageal reflux, especially in foals).
    • Primary salivary gland diseases.
    • Oral tumors.
    • Severe guttural pouch disease with attendant neuropathy.
  • Causes saliva to spill form the mouth and can be caused by obstruction to the swallowing of saliva or an inability to perform the swallowing procedure, eg:
    • Causes of dysphagia.
    • Neurological conditions.
    • Esophageal conditions:
      • Obstruction.
      • Esophageal motility disorders. 
      • Severe esophagitis.
    • Pharyngeal conditions:
      • Obstruction.
      • Trauma.
      • Inflammation.
    • Infections.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Mair T, Divers T & Ducharme N (2002) Manual of Equine Gastroenterology. W B Saunders.
  • Brown C M & Bertone J J (2002) The 5-Minute Veterinary Consult Equine. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.