Gogo is a 5 and a half year old Shiba Inu whose owner brought her into the clinic because Gogo was starting to produce a small amount of milk. Her mammary glands were initially hot and painful, her teats were enlarged and she was more aggressive than normal towards their other dog (Gogo's mother). All these signs were consistent with pregnancy, however, Gogo had not been mated. Gogo was showing signs of pseudopregnancy (false pregnancy) which results from a hormonal imbalance. She had a litter by caesarean several years ago and her owner is hoping to mate her again in the future.
Other signs of pregnancy in bitches include increased body weight, abdominal enlargement, reddening and enlargement of the mammary glands, the production of milk and nesting behaviour changes. To detect pregnancy in a female dog, the veterinarian can either palpate the abdominal between 4 and 6 weeks, however, diagnosis may be difficult if the dog is nervous, tense or overweight. Pregnancy can also be detected by an ultrasound scan or radiographs.
Breeding from your dog can be very time consuming, expensive and challenging. There are multiple factors to consider when deciding if your dog is suitable. It is important your dog has a full health check to ensure there are no pre-disposing factors or behavioural issues that may be passed on to the puppies. Other factors to think about include do you have potential owners for the puppies and have you investigated the costs involved with emergency caesarean or complications? If you are not thinking about breeding from your dog, it is recommended to have your dog desexed. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding breeding, pregnancy or desexing. Our website also has helpful information about dog pregnancy and breeding.
Although bitches usually only cycle once or twice per year, pseudopregnancy is common. Gogo's symptoms will subside over a few weeks and her owner is considering having her spayed if she is not mated to prevent subsequent pseudopregnancies.