Dog pregnancy can be too much of a hassle for pet owners who do not wish their dogs to be pregnant. Pregnant dogs need special attention during their pregnancy, looking for new homes for the puppies and mismating between other breeds are the most common reasons why pet owners would want to terminate pregnancy. For pet owners who would want to terminate their dogs’ pregnancy, here are some options to choose from in terminating unwanted pregnancy:
- Spaying. Spaying is a surgical procedure of removing the fetuses and the entire uterus of the bitch. When successfully done, the bitch can no longer get pregnant in the future. Spayed dogs also have lesser chances of having mammary tumors and reproductive problems in the future.
- Estrogen. There are two forms of estrogen, diethylstilbestrol and estradiol cypionate (ECP), which are commonly used in terminating dogs’ pregnancy. However, the use of estrogen is said to cause aplastic anemia and pyometra.
- Dopamine agonists (bromocryptine and cabergoline). Dopamine receptors with bromocryptine and cabergoline inhibit the secretion of prolactin, which is necessary for the proper function of canine corpus luteum. Dopamine agonists are effective after 25 days of copulation and must be done repeatedly for a successful abortion.
- Prostaglandin F2alpha. Corpus luteum is necessary for the development of fetuses. Prostaglandin F2alpha destroys the corpus luteum of the bitch and once the corpus luteum is destroyed, fetuses can no longer develop and die. This hormone also causes uterine and vaginal contractions that help dispel dead fetuses afterwards.
- Mifepristone (RU486). Mifepristone (RU486) is a popular progesterone antagonist. It prevents secretion of progesterone, a hormone needed for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Use of mifepristone within 25-30 days after gestation is said to be very effective in terminating unwanted pregnancy without side effects.
- Epostane. This drug also prevents the production of progesterone by preventing conversion of pregnenolone to progesterone.
Dog Abortion Signs and Symptoms
There are signs and symptoms that can be observe from a dog after a successful termination of pregnancy or miscarriage.
- Vaginal bleeding. Just like humans, vaginal bleeding is one of the surest signs of a successful abortion or miscarriage in dogs. When vaginal bleeding continues for a certain time, it is best to bring back the dog to her veterinarian to stop bleeding and prevent further complications.
- Fetal discharge. When abortion is done during early pregnancy, fetuses are not yet developed and may be discharged as blood clumps, but when abortion is done in the late part of pregnancy, fetuses are now developed. Hormonal imbalance is the most common cause of miscarriage in dogs during late pregnancy.
- Depression. A dog can be depressed over the lost of her puppies. When this happens, it is best to spend more time with the bitch.
- Smaller abdomen. The lost of fetuses from the uterus will return back the normal size of the bitch’s abdomen.
- Vomiting and diarrhea. This can be side effects of the drugs used for abortion or because the hormone levels of the dog are becoming normal again.