False pregnancy in dogs or false puppies is a condition in which the female in appearance and behavior shows that she is carrying puppies, although this is not the case. But the dog itself believes that he is expecting offspring. We will tell you how to help your pet get out of this uncomfortable and unsafe state without harming her health. Let’s touch on the issues of causes, symptoms, and prevention of false pregnancy in dogs.
This is not a disease
Veterinarians say that every second unsterilized dog experienced a false pregnancy. It is impossible to say unequivocally which breeds have a greater tendency to false puberty. But experts point out that false pregnancies are not uncommon in small dogs like dachshunds and beagles.
After a dog is in heat, there is a period when the genitals produce hormones appropriate for pregnancy. This does not depend on whether the dog becomes pregnant during estrus or not. The brain can respond to signals from the body by producing the hormone prolactin. It is he who is responsible for the production of breast milk.
These processes in the body of your non-pregnant pet lead to the fact that she completely programs herself for early motherhood. Signs of false pregnancy in dogs can be divided into psychological and physiological.
Psychological aspects include changes in behavior and eating habits. The female becomes more affectionate in dealing with household members. Or more sad and withdrawn. Begins to refuse food or suddenly lean on unloved food.
The physiological aspects are even more noticeable. The nipples swell, milk is released. Discharge from the loop is possible. The belly gets bigger, your pet can put on weight.
What are the causes of false pregnancy in dogs?
False breeding can result from unsuccessful mating. You and your dog are both counting on healthy offspring, but they are not showing up. Or your pet has already experienced pregnancy and is now “re-creating” this already familiar state. The failed mother follows instincts and continues to believe in the need to care for the puppies. The place of puppies is taken by soft toys and household items, and even by the owners of the dog.
How to distinguish a false pregnancy in a dog from a real one? If during estrus you isolated your pet and you know for sure that there was no mating, then it is a question of false puberty. If the mating was and turned out to be successful, then already at three weeks the ultrasound will show how the puppies develop in the womb.
False breeding does not mean that something is wrong with your dog. For each female, this state proceeds in its way. In three to four weeks the body of your ward may return to normal by itself.
False pregnancy in dogs
How can I help my pet?
How long does a false pregnancy last in dogs? If this condition does not disappear by itself, then about the same as a real pregnancy. On average, 61 days. But there are times when the symptoms of falsehood appear for several months.
The pet often needs help to overcome this problem. It all depends on the frequency and severity of the condition, the duration of false pregnancies. There are some simple ways to support your pet.
False pregnancy in dogs can be accompanied by aggression towards household members, towards familiar people, to whom your pet used to react calmly. It is very important in these moments not to show aggression towards the dog. If your ward growls at guests, do not scold her. She is guided by the instinct of the mother, the protector of offspring.
If your dog has swollen nipples, do not let him lick them. This will only provoke milk production. Put a blanket on your four-legged pet, but fasten it so that it sits loosely on your body. Or you can lubricate the nipples with camphor oil if your pet is not allergic to it. Doctors recommend using arnica ointment in the morning and evening when the nipples are coarse.
Adjusting your diet and drinking regime will help reduce the production of hormones responsible for your dog’s pseudopregnancy. Reduce your protein intake, replace dry food with wet food. After dry food, the pet will want to drink, but the amount of fluid consumed during this period just needs to be limited. Once the dog has finished drinking, remove the bowl of water. If, due to a false pregnancy, the dog is already portraying a nursing mother of “puppies”, remove all small toys from her. Take away all the blankets that she has probably already set up cozy nests out of. Walk the dog and play more. Physical activity will help her get in shape faster and will distract her from the “maternal” worries.
We talked about the first aid that owners can provide when they notice signs of false pregnancy in dogs. Your pet needs to be shown to a veterinarian. The use of any drug without a doctor’s recommendation can cause dangerous consequences.
Often, dogs will tolerate false pregnancies without too many problems. The doctor will be able to confirm that your pet is okay. Advice on nutrition. Prescribes homeopathic remedies and treatments to help your dog. In rare cases, the dog tolerates falsehood very hard, the condition negatively affects the joints, musculoskeletal functions. With this development of events, hormone therapy may be required.
Hormonal drugs are used strictly according to the doctor’s prescription.
False pregnancy how to help
False pregnancy in dogs can be repeated many times. It happens that the female falls into this state after each estrus. If you are breeding puppies, remember that after pregnancy and childbirth, the likelihood of false pregnancy in your next estrus is very high.
If your pet often has false pregnancies and is painful for her, there is a reason to think about radical sterilization. Frequent false pregnancies can provoke several diseases. Sterilization should be carried out when the falsehood is left behind. Better to wait well. Sterilization during a false pregnancy is fraught with the fact that the symptoms of false pregnancy can remain in the dog for several months or even for the whole life. Sterilization will help your pet to forget about the problem of false pregnancies forever.
There is also a less radical way to prevent false pregnancies in dogs. Mark on the calendar when your pet is out of the heat. After some time – from 10 days to one and a half months, everything is individual – start increasing physical activity, reducing the amount of food and drink. This is a temporary measure. So the dog’s body will receive a signal that now is not the time to have offspring.
We hope that you and your pet will overcome this difficult period in an atmosphere of mutual understanding.