False pregnancy of dogs

False pregnancy is a syndrome of physiological and mental disorders, that occur after the heat, which  is not accompanied by insemination.  It should be noted that a false pregnancy is a syndrome, not a disease.  False pregnancy can be called pseudopregnancy (phantom pregnancy).

Typically, the symptoms begin to appear after 5-8 weeks after estrus. In some she-dogs, they are expressed very brightly, in others - more weakly. Some experts consider that every she-dog after the unfertilized cycle in one way or another have false pregnancy . This is due to the fact that ovulation phase (estrus) is followed by a diestrus period and it lasts exactly the same time (60-70 days) as pregnancy.  Put it simply, in any case, whether the fertilization of a dog has happened or not, whether she was mated or not, the body releases the same hormones in the same amount. That is why many veterinarians believe that a false pregnancy is quite normal condition of the dog. Moreover, there is a theory that pseudopregnancy is a primitive way to preserve a genus, allowing to feed another's puppies in a pack, even if fertilization has not occurred.

Symptoms of false pregnancy are various. If it is weakly expressed form of false pregnancy dog may be nervous, may whine, refuse to eat and to play, the dog may sometimes be inexplicably aggressive. Increasing of mammary glands may be slight, sometimes almost imperceptible, secretions from the vagina may be absent, or be very, very rare.  At the same time the dog may not take care of  imaginary puppies and may not try to build a nest (a cosy nook). Often inexperienced owners do not understand this behavior of their pets and do not associate it with a false pregnancy. As a rule, the symptoms of false pregnancy disappear within two to three weeks (such a form of false pregnancy disappears by itself after two or three weeks).

 If it is more clearly expressed form of false pregnancy mammary glands increase, lactation (milk) appears, belly become bigger as well as during normal pregnancy. Dog is engaged in building up (making) a nest (nook), there are secretions from the vagina. In this case false labor pains and attempts occur.

Actually, all these features are characteristic of normal pregnancy. If the dog is not mated, the owner determines  immediately that this is a false pregnancy. It is harder to identify when mating was performed. The most striking difference is that during a false pregnancy there are no fetal movements in the womb.

It is possible to distinguish true and false pregnancy by other features. The dog is more excited and tensed during false pregnancy. She builds a nest with fanatical enthusiasm. Any toy that gets into the field of view is perceived as a puppy. The dog begins to care about imaginary children with incredible zeal, she simulates the lactation, licks them every minute, refuses to leave the nest. It may seem that the dog starts to go crazy on the grounds of maternity. 

To ease the condition of the dog, it is necessary to exclude completely dairy products from the diet, to limit liquid, to walk more often. It is better to change the usual route of walks. Try to distract the dog of her imaginary pregnancy and puppies. You mustn’t decant the milk. This will only make the situation worse. In complex and clearly expressed situations sedatives are used. But one should resort to medication only under the supervision of a veterinarian! The most common treatment of false pregnancy is the hormone therapy. But it has a lot of unpleasant after-effects and complications. Therefore, it is best to use homeopathic remedies. They are also used for preventing false pregnancy. The fact is that if the bitch has bright signs of false pregnancy, it is more likely that in subsequent periods they will be even stronger.  In order to prevent false pregnancy homeopathic preparations should be used through 1 or 1,5 month after estrus.  You should always consult with your veterinarian for accurate determination of dosage. 

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