False pregnancy in dogs - cause and signs
The so-called false pregnancy is actually a false maternity. This occurs more frequently in dogs, especially in small dog breeds. The bitch's false pregnancy is also called pseudogravidity (pseudopregnancy) or lactatio falsa (false milk production). If your bitch is pseudopregnant, she is acting as if she is having kittens. This is not a disease or hormonal disorder, but a completely natural process.
We will answer the most frequently asked questions related to false pregnancy in bitches:
- What is false pregnancy in bitches? Is there a difference between pseudopregnancy and false pregnancy?
- What are the symptoms of a bitch in false pregnancy?
- How long does a false pregnancy last in bitches?
- Is false pregnancy normal in bitches?
- How can I treat false pregnancy in my bitch?
- What are the causes of false pregnancy in bitches?
- How can I prevent pregnancy in my bitch? Are there any home remedies?
- Can a bitch with false pregnancy be spayed?
- Can pregnancy in bitches lead to health problems?
- Should I visit my veterinarian if my bitch is in false pregnancy?
What is pseudopregnancy in bitches?
Pseudopregnancy in bitches, also known as pseudopregnancy or pseudogravidity, is a physiological condition in which a non-pregnant bitch exhibits behavioral and physical changes similar to those of an actual pregnancy. This condition usually occurs a few weeks after heat and can last up to three weeks.
What are the symptoms of a bitch in false pregnancy?
A female dog in apparent pregnancy may show several symptoms, including:
- Changes in behavior: The bitch may be fearful, clingy or territorial.
- Enlargement of the mammary glands: the mammary glands may swell and even produce milk.
- Nest building behavior: The bitch may build a nest and line it with toys or other objects.
- Appetite changes: The bitch may show increased or decreased appetite.
- Genitalchanges: the vulva may swell and there may be increased discharge.
How long does a bitch's pregnancy last?
A false pregnancy in bitches usually lasts about two to three weeks. However, in some cases, it may last shorter or longer. Symptoms may vary during this time and may develop or subside as the pregnancy progresses.
Is pregnancy normal in bitches?
Yes, pregnancy in bitches is a normal physiological condition. It occurs in many bitches after heat due to hormonal changes in the body. It is important to note that pregnancy is not a disease, but a natural process.
Symptoms of a pseudopregnancy in your bitch
- swollen mammary gland and lactation
- increased abdominal girth
- nesting behavior (scratching, digging, building in the basket, bed, on the couch, with pillows, etc.)
- searching for, mothering, dragging and defending pseudo-puppies (stuffed animals, toys)
- no appetite
- sadness, sluggishness, apathy
- irritability, aggressive behavior
How can I treat my bitch for false pregnancy? Are there any home remedies?
Most bitches do not need specific treatment for false pregnancy, as it usually resolves on its own. However, it is important to monitor the bitch and make sure she does not develop any health problems. A balanced diet, adequate exercise and activity can help alleviate symptoms.
In some cases where symptoms are severe or the false pregnancy is frequent, a veterinarian may prescribe medication to balance hormone levels or control symptoms.
Treatment of faking pregnancy in bitches: Effective home remedies
There are some natural methods that can provide relief for fake pregnancy in bitches and alleviate some of the signs that occur.
However, it is important to emphasize that these natural remedies are supportive measures and are unlikely to replace a visit to the veterinarian.
Activity & Dispersion
Often at this stage, bitches tend to focus on nesting in order to safely accommodate their non-existent puppies. An effective method is to distract the bitch with various activities, for which long walks are especially useful. This not only keeps her entertained by the environment, but also tires her out, leaving her with less energy at home for nest building or toys.
Note During this phase it is advisable to avoid the bitch's belly and nipples to prevent increased milk production or inflammation.
Herbal mixture: Sage & Parsley
Both herbs, sage and parsley, can help reduce milk production in the bitch. One to two tablespoons of these finely chopped herbs daily can prevent milk leakage.
For swollen teats, a cold compress can reduce swelling and induration while relieving pain.
Reduced feed intake
By minimizing feed intake during a false pregnancy - the bitch probably has a reduced appetite anyway - milk production can be reduced.
A simple T-shirt can prevent the bitch from licking her teats when they are producing milk, thus preventing inflammation.
Natural remedies and homeopathy
There are also homeopathic preparations such as Ignatia D30, Phytolacca D30, Pulsatilla D30 and Asa foetida D4 or D6 that can help minimize the bitch's stress and regulate milk production.
What are the causes of false pregnancy in bitches?
The exact causes of false pregnancy in bitches are not fully understood, but hormonal changes are thought to play a role. After heat, the bitch's body produces progesterone and prolactin, which are also produced during pregnancy. These hormones can lead to the symptoms of pregnancy.
How can I prevent pregnancy in my bitch?
There is no sure way to completely prevent pregnancy in bitches. However, some pet owners choose to have their bitch spayed early to reduce the risk of false pregnancy. However, spaying may be associated with other effects on the bitch's health and behavior. It is important to discuss the pros and cons with a veterinarian to make the best decision for your bitch.
Can a primiparous bitch be spayed?
In most cases, a bitch that is seemingly pregnant can be spayed. Spaying can reduce the risk of recurrent false pregnancy while reducing the risk of uterine disease and mammary cancer. However, it is important to consider the bitch's individual situation and speak with a veterinarian to determine the best course of action.
Can false pregnancy cause health problems in bitches?
Usually, false pregnancy in bitches does not lead to serious health problems. However, it is important to monitor the bitch during the false pregnancy and make sure she does not develop any signs of inflammation or infection. In rare cases, complications can occur, such as an ovarian cyst. If you have any concerns, you should consult a veterinarian.
Should I see my veterinarian if my bitch is primiparous?
It is advisable to see your veterinarian if your bitch is pseudopregnant, especially if the symptoms are severe, last longer than usual, or worsen. A veterinarian can examine your bitch to make sure that it is indeed false pregnancy and that there are no other health problems. The veterinarian can also make recommendations for treatment or prevention of future pseudopregnancy.