After considerable worry about whether my dog is pregnant or not, we found out that our dog is actually having a false pregnancy and is not really pregnant after all. False pregnancy in dogs, you may ask? Yes, dogs can and do have false pregnancies, where the dog shows signs of being pregnant and exhibit various characteristics of canine pregnancy.
Here we were, making phone calls to various local vets to get quotes to have our female dog spayed, when my husband began suspecting that our dog might be pregnant. We made an appointment with the vet two weeks ago and took our dog in to find out for sure if our dog was pregnant or not, and hopefully be able to proceed with having her spayed. The vet asked us to bring our dog back in today, two weeks after the last appointment, because by now the vet would be able to feel growing puppies inside the mother and would be able to tell by x-ray if our dog is really pregnant or not.
Today the vet checked out our dog, feeling around for any signs of puppies growing inside of our dog and even took an x-ray to determine if there really is a litter of dogs in there. There aren’t any. No pregnancy, at least not a real pregnancy. It’s called a dogs false pregnancy, a term I hadn’t heard of until now. Seeing a dog experience signs of being pregnant and there not actually be a pregnancy going on, is a little odd. During the first visit with the vet two weeks ago, the vet was able to squeeze milk from the dogs teets, but today there was only clear fluid coming out. Our dog, a Lab, has been acting funny for a few weeks now and those strange behaviors caused my husband to wonder if the dog is pregnant. She’s not, Whew!
Our dog has been acting like she’s pregnant but she’s not pregnant. Our dog suddenly lost her appetite and didn’t want to eat much at all, for about two weeks or so, and then her appetite began to improve. The dog’s underbelly area appeared swollen, and the nipple area appeared swollen and was producing milk. She was showing signs of nesting, crumpling up and fluffing up a blanket and gathering toys into her “nest” of where she would have given birth to puppies, if there were any puppies to give birth to.
Finding out our dog is not pregnant was a relief. We were trying to make arrangements to have her spayed and suddenly the question of pregnancy came up. From what I’ve read and what I’ve been told by knowledgeable people, dogs experiencing false pregnancy is not at all fun for the dog. Apparently, there can be psychological reactions and problems for a dog going through a false pregnancy. Once we received the final diagnosis that our dog is not really pregnant, we immediately inquired about having her spayed right away, but the vet recommended we wait three to four weeks for the hormones to return to normal and then bring the dog in for spaying.
As silly as it may seem to think of canine false pregnancy as being a real thing, false pregnancy in dogs is no laughing matter at all. We weren’t sure how to tell if our dog is pregnant for real or is having a false pregnancy, so we made the wise decision of making an appointment for a trained vet to tell us for sure. Since the vet was unable to feel any puppies inside of the mother, despite being well past the time frame for puppies to be obvious inside the mama and for the mother dog to be swollen huge with puppies, the x-ray test was the best option to tell if the dog was pregnant or not.
Having witnessed how our dog has been acting during this false pregnancy makes us want to make sure she doesn’t go through this sort of pregnancy again. The vet told us that dogs who experience a false pregnancy are highly likely of having more false pregnancies, and it would be in our dog’s best interest to have her spayed as soon as possible before she goes into heat again in a few months. Thank goodness she’s not pregnant after all, and in about a month she’ll be fixed so she doesn’t ever have to go through a false pregnancy ever again.