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Pregnancy In Dogs
Easy Reading Guide For Pet Owners
False Pregnancy In Dogs Symptoms And What To Do
what is a false pregnancy in dogs?
A false (phantom) pregnancy means
a bitch can give the impression she is pregnant by her breasts
and lactating. Her attitude towards you may change; she could also be
developing the nursing habit and
starting nesting and surprisingly this occurrance is quite common.
Many times this occurs usually in pets that are overweight and get very
little exercise owing to the surplus estrogen being a by-product
of fat cells.
pregnancy symptoms in dogs and how long does it last?
Symptoms of false pregnancy in dogs normally start around 6 to
12 weeks after a season as the level of the hormomone prolactin within
the blood, provided by the pituitary gland, starts to rise and many
times the hormone level is too high which in turn produces this
condition of false pregnacy. It ends as the hormone
level drops which is generally around the
14th week after a season.
In a normal pregnancy
produced and results in the swelled breasts, lactating and nesting
characteristics which is precisely what happens with a false pregnancy.
Many times she will collect her toys, socks or shoes and keep them in
her bed as though they were her puppies, while at the same time she may
be aggressive, protective of her 'young' even if she
is normally a placid bitch.
This stems eons ago from our pets being in
groups, just like present day pack or herd animals, where the
ones who are mated go on to give birth naturally. The females within
the group have cycles tending to occur around the same time
and the remaining unmated
ones naturally produce this prolactin at the same time as ones who are
pregnant, meaning they go into a phantom pregnancy (pseudopregnancy)
where they can be producing milk as foster mothers for any young born
into the group.
This naturally allows the real mothers time to hunt or get a break
while suckling is taken care of elsewhere.
this it can be understood it is a totally natural condition
(or false) pregnancy in dogs treatment
Some owners are under the impression
that mating their dog will stop future phantom pregnancies, but this
couldn't be further from the truth as bitches who have produced puppies
tend to be more likely to have false pregnancies in the future.
There are several free options available to reduce these false
If you wish her to produce puppies in the future
it can be disregarded as it will come to an end around the 14th week
after her season.
Just let her go her own sweet way, but do not be touching her
belly as you are confirming the dog's deep psychological notion
there are pups searching for a food source and this stimulates
milk production all the more.
You will also need to watch out for mastitis developing, showing signs
of thick, yellowy issue from the teets as swollen mammary glands are
susceptble to this condition. In this case a visit to the vet is needed.
The nesting symptom can be overcome by removing one item at a time from
her bed, possibly once per day as she goes to the toilet, that way
slowly removing her 'young'. Do be wary though, she may be
overprotective of those 'young'.
Increasing her exercise as a diversion also helps a lot.
Lactation can be reduced by a small reduction in food. This means less
calories for calorie rich milk production and also a
little less water. The water is more important to the dog at
this time owing to dehydration problems occuring.
A vet can prescribe anti-prolactic drugs if the natural methods give
little improvement or if your dog is very aggressive.
For the ultimate conclusion, assuming no offspring are required,
spaying is the option to choose.
It might seem like a good idea to spay the female to end the false
pregnancy as spaying will remove the ovaries and the corpora lutea they
carry. Unfortunately, this does not end the prolactin production from
the pituitary gland, so spaying may actually prolong a false
pregnancy if done at the wrong time.
This, in effect, gives a phantom pregnancy after spaying.
It is best to wait until the false pregnancy is over completely and
then spay her to prevent future episodes as many vets will advise owing
to the way natural ovarian hormones control prolactin
only way to put your mind at rest and find out if your dog is
having a real or phantom pregnancy is to have her scanned.
are having any other troubles with your dog and are looking for the
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world check out
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