What is False Pregnancy in Dogs

What is False Pregnancy in Dogs

Isn't it wonderful when you see the signs and symptoms of your dog being pregnant? But isn't it also devastating when you find out it's a false pregnancy and there aren't really any pups?

Yes, even with pregnancy signs and symptoms, everything can be just a bluff - very timely this month. Talk about April Fools, huh?

WHAT IS A FALSE PREGNANCY IN A DOG?

"False Pregnancy in dogs, also known as phantom pregnancy, canine pseudocyesis or pseudopregnancy, is a condition where your female dog shows all the signs and symptoms of canine pregnancy but isn't really pregnant at all."

False Pregnancy in dogs, also known as phantom pregnancy, canine pseudocyesis or pseudopregnancy, is a condition where your female dog shows all the signs and symptoms of canine pregnancy but isn't really pregnant at all.

False pregnancy is most often caused by hormonal imbalance.

On a more profound note, during your female dog's heat cycle her progesterone levels are extremely high.

But these high levels will immediately taper off as her heat cycle reaches its end.

The unexpected decrease of progesterone levels gives rise to the hormone prolactin to prevail over the body, causing hormonal imbalance. This will confuse your dog's body and will steer the body's functions to resemble features of a pregnant dog.

TRUE OR FALSE?

To know whether or not it's a real or a false alarm, check for the following symptoms of false pregnancy in dogs:

Doggy Diaper

Enlargement of the mammary glands. Your dog's teats will appear pinkish in color, will look swollen and will look a little bit larger than usual.

Mammary secretions. Together with mammary enlargement, your dog will also have mammary secretions that will range from clear (like water) to a brownish color. Your dog may also begin to lactate and produce milk.

Loss of appetite. Just like in human pregnancies, your dog may also lose her appetite, vomit and lose weight.

Vaginal discharge. It is common to see a vaginal discharge that looks like a mucous in real and false pregnancies.

Abdominal distention. Just when you think your female dog's body is 'big with babies', she's just experiencing a bloated abdomen.

Behavioral changes. Behavioral changes vary from one dog to another. Some dogs will display aggression, others will feel anxious almost every time and may even do things that break your house rules - like marking and peeing or pooping in inappropriate places. Remember that your dog feels pregnant and thinks she really is and will act accordingly.

Nesting. Even though the pregnancy is false, your dog will still prepare for the coming of her young and will begin digging up spaces and looking for comfy areas where she can whelp.

But since the signs of a false one and a true one are almost exactly the same, the only way to be sure is to have your dog go through an ultrasound to check if there are really puppies.

TREATMENT AND MANAGEMENT

Though all the reasons for false pregnancy are unknown and there are no known cures at the moment, there are still ways on how you can prevent it from happening and manage your dog who's going through it.

Keep your dog's health in tip-top shape. Hormonal imbalance may greatly affect why false pregnancies happen that's why your dog's wellness is important. Offer her a healthy and balanced diet, provide hormonal supplementation to balance it all out, and go get some exercise, to steer away from further episodes of false pregnancy.

Reduce mammary gland secretions. To pare down the stimulation that develops lactation in your dog, it's greatly recommended you use warm or cold packs on her teats.

Let her wear dog diapers. Since your dog will undergo behavioral changes like marking, peeing or pooping in wrong places and will have vaginal discharge, dog diapers can come in handy. These diapers will help keep your dog and your house clean and happy.

Remember that false pregnancy is normal and is not considered to be a disease. Your dog may still feel uneasy and may be stressed out since she thinks she's expecting a litter. But know that your dog will make it through, with you.

"Keep your dog's health in tip-top shape. Hormonal imbalance may greatly affect why false pregnancies happen that's why your dog's wellness is important."

The Author:

Micka V.

Micka Virtudazo is a full-time content creator at Pet Parents who lives with thirteen adorable American Bullies and a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix named Gretel. She especially enjoys writing how-to articles as she feels through this she can connect to other pet parents on a more personal level.

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