Signs Of False Pregnancy (Pseudocyesis) In Dogs: How Long Does It Last

December 31, 2010 | Healthy Dog | Leave a Comment |

Owners are always delighted to find out that their female dog is beginning to show signs of pregnancy. Imagine the frustration when they find out that what actually occurred is a false pregnancy and that the dog isn’t pregnant at all.

False Pregnancy In Dogs

  • False pregnancy can also be called pseudocyesis.
  • In false pregnancy, the dog is tricked into thinking it is pregnant.
  • All of the symptoms of being pregnant are present, except the puppies.

Signs of False Pregnancy in Dogs

  • The dog shows signs of nesting
  • The dog beings mother inanimate objects
  • The dog mothers puppies of other dogs
  • The mammary glands swell and produce milk
  • The abdomen becomes enlarged
  • The dog can even appear to be in labor
  • “Pregnancy” occurred even without having been mated
  • “Pregnancy” occurred after a long interval of having been mated.

How Long Does False Pregnancy Last in Dogs?

  • The signs of false pregnancy usual being around four weeks after estrus.
  • The signs continue to show and develop for a continued number of weeks and subside on its own usually around two to three weeks.
  • Dogs that have experienced a false pregnancy are at high risk of developing it again.

False Pregnancy in Dogs Treatment

Treatment is aimed at decreasing the dog’s discomfort:

  • Prevent further lactation by preventing the dog from licking her mammary glands. Use of an Elizabethan collar may be necessitated.
  • Diuretics and water deprivation may be done to decrease milk production but this should not be done without the presence of a vet or specific instructions from the vet.
  • Hormonal medications may be administered.

Spaying may be considered for dogs with repeated false pregnancy experiences.

Related Reading:

Pregnancy in Cats

A trip to the vet may also be necessary to help pinpoint a specific due date and to help keep a cat healthy.

Pregnant Cat Stages

A cat’s pregnancy is going to last between 61 to 69 days. That would be somewhere between 9 to 10 weeks.

  • First trimester –  first 3 weeks of pregnancy
  • Second trimester ??” second 3 weeks of pregnancy
  • Third Trimesters – last trimester 3 weeks of pregnancy

Owners will most likely start to notice symptoms of pregnancy at around the second trimester.

Pregnant Cat Care

  • Proper Nutrition ??” Cats need to given the proper nutrition when they are pregnant. This includes an increase in dietary intake of calcium and other minerals and vitamins.
  • Supplementation ??” Cats are going to need supplements. Vets will be able to provide owners prescription for supplements.
  • Rest ??” Pregnant cats are going to need enough rest, especially during the third trimester of the pregnancy.

Confirming Cat Pregnancy

  • More often than not, an owner will not know if a cat is pregnant till she starts showing the symptoms of pregnancy.
  • There are two ways to confirm if a cat is pregnant or not.
  • The first one is to wait until the pregnancy progresses and wait for further symptoms of pregnancy
  • The second way would be to visit the vet.
  • The vet can provide the different tests that confirm pregnancy (e.g. ultrasound)

Pregnancy Symptoms Owners Should Look Out For

  • Nipple Enlargement and Color Change
  • Increased sleep
  • Decreased interest in male cats
  • Changes in activity ??” cats that used to spend a lot of time outside will most likely want to spend more time at home.
  • Increased appetite, these are some of pregnancy symptoms.

It is important to remember that cats can have false pregnancies. So it is important to go to a vet to confirm things.

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