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How to solve the biggest problems with false pregnancy in female dogs?

False pregnancy female dogs

False pregnancy is also known as pseudopregnancy. It’s a term that used to describe a common condition in pregnant female dogs. Some people might find it funny, but, false pregnancy is totally true. There are various reasons that lead to false pregnancy.

What is a false pregnancy in female dogs?

If you have a female dog at your house then it’s very important to know about your dog’s health. Now days, the problem of false pregnancy is visible in female dogs.

False pregnancy in female dogs is referred to in veterinary terms as pseudocyesis or pseudopregnancy. A false pregnancy can seem like the real pregnancy. This is a relatively common phenomenon that appears in many female dogs.

False pregnancy is quite common and there is usually nothing to worry about until it is high. The affected female dog shows these symptoms about a month or two after she estrus is over. The majority of infected female dogs can show some signs of physiological condition when the associate estrus cycle.

It usually happens somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks after a bitch goes through her normal heat cycle and is caused by an exaggerated response to traditional hormonal changes, as well as elevated levels of the hormone progesterone.

Signs of false pregnancies include restlessness, whining, appetite fluctuations, anxiety, depression and aggression. Fortunately, with the help of modern technology, false pregnancies are easy to diagnose. They usually don’t require treatment and go away on their own.

Symptoms of Phantom Pregnancies in Dogs

Phantom pregnancy in humans is less common, it is generally estimated that false pregnancy is caused due to changes in the endocrine system of the body, leading to the secretion of hormones which translate into physical changes similar to those during pregnancy. In this topic, we provide some information about symptoms of phantom pregnancies in dogs.

First, you must make sure it is not a real pregnancy. A phantom pregnancy is when a bitch behaves to all intents and purposes as if she is pregnant, which may involve both behavioral and physical changes. Dogs are the only animals having phantom pregnancies. Phantom pregnancy usually occurs 2 weeks after the heats

Symptoms of Phantom Pregnancies in dogs commonly start around 6 to 12 weeks after a season at the level of the hormone lactogen within the blood, provided by the ductless gland, starts to rise and lots of times the internal secretion level is just too high that successively produces this condition of false pregnancy. Phantom pregnancy is also known as false pregnancy.

During the phantom pregnancy, many signs are seen in dogs, such as diet or appetite, excessive vocalization, crying, restlessness, aggression, depression or anxiety etc.

The most common signs of pseudo-pregnancy include mammary gland enlargement with or without lethargy, periodic vomiting, the production of milk and fluid retention.

Here is a list of symptoms of phantom pregnancies in dogs.

  • Weight gain, particularly around the stomach.
  • Pain in the neck
  • Feeling of fetal movements
  • Swollen belly
  • Interruption of the menstrual period
  • Enlarged nipples, possibly producing colostrum or milk.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Mammary problems
  • Vomiting and abdominal distention.
  • Brownish watery fluid or water secretion from the mammary glands
  • Maternal behaviors
  • Behavioral changes such as cleanliness or anxiety.

Behavior Symptoms

  • Self-nursing
  • Restlessness
  • Guarding toys, shoes or other small objects
  • Nesting behavior
  • Carrying toys around and whining
  • Aggressive behavior

Behavioral changes in dogs

  • Anxiety
  • Mothering
  • Self-nursing activity
  • Digging
  • Aggression
  • Depression


These symptoms can occur at any age and do not necessarily follow every estrus. The severity of the clinical signs varies between individuals and may vary from one cycle to the next in the same dog.

If you would not like your dog to become pregnant, talk to your veterinarian about a spaying procedure. This may eliminate the likelihood of physiological state and stop your dog from experiencing phantom pregnancy symptoms similarly.

What to do when a dog is having a phantom pregnancy?

If you think your dog is pregnant, then take him to a vet and check it out. Symptoms of phantom pregnancy will usually go away within three weeks, but if your dog shows them for longer, you may want to take her to the vet. If your vet is unsure of a diagnosis, an ultrasound or radiograph test can confirm the condition.


Any particular causes?

Phantom Pregnancies are basically a condition triggered by hormonal fluctuations in female dogs. Hormonal changes, primarily decreases with progesterone and increases in prolactin, are probably responsible for false pregnancies.

The exact cause for this condition is unknown, but false pregnancy is caused by hormonal mechanisms that are poorly understood.

Hormonal imbalances, especially of progesterone and prolactin, are thought to play an important role in false pregnancy.

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Some of the causes of false pregnancy

Cancer of the mammary gland – Benign and malignant tumors of the mammary glands occur fairly frequently in a spayed female dog any tumor growing in the mammary gland can lead to inflammation can be a cause of false pregnancy.

Mastitis – also known as inflammation of the mammary glands, this is a condition wherein a female dog’s milk ducts get infected.

Hypothyroidism may have blood changes, which can cause stimulation of prolactin. This can also cause symptoms associated with false pregnancy.


It is not hard to diagnose false pregnancy in dogs. Diagnosis of pseudo pregnancy is based on the presence and extent of the most commonly reported clinical signs.

During a false pregnancy in canines, the dog’s breasts may swell and may even produce milk. In case of doubt, Ultrasound or radiography should be used in false pregnancy.

It is also important to keep in mind that pseudo pregnancy can coexist with other reproductive or non-reproductive clinical problems, sometimes making diagnosis more difficult.

Your vet may have to require x-rays to ascertain if there’s a physiological state or if your bitch is experiencing another abdominal drawback. They can also suggest blood work for your bitch.

False Pregnancy diagnosis in the dog is complicated by the fact that all dogs go through the same sequence of hormone changes after estrus, whether or not they are bred.

If you think that your dog has a false pregnancy, then it is very important to properly diagnose it. So there are usually many ways to diagnose pregnancy from which you can do any.

Treatment of false pregnancy

Usually no treatment needed, but if your dog has a problem of false pregnancy, then it is very important to treat it.

Most pets will come out of the false pregnancy in two to three weeks without difficulty and without intervention. In more serious cases, veterinarians may recommend removing food and water for 6 to 10 hours for several nights to reduce lactation.

A dog going through a false pregnancy should not be spayed until all signs of the condition have resolved. Pseudo pregnancy fixes itself, but gets maximum returns, and then you should discuss with your veterinarian about an over hastyctomy and treat your lovely puppy.

Some veterinarians suggest decreasing food intake as this may reduce milk production. Other veterinarians recommend limiting access to water at night, which can also reduce milk production. This is very important for your dog’s health.

If you want to treat your dog, then increase exercise level, which is very important for every one.

This article is not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your dog is having a suspect false pregnancy or is showing signs of illness see your vet. By reading this article you accept this disclaimer.

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1 thought on “How to solve the biggest problems with false pregnancy in female dogs?”

  1. My Goldendoodle has had multiple false pregnancies. I had her inseminated three times. This last time I was able to find a standard size poodle for her when she came into heat. I left her for one and half hours with the stud. I’m not sure if she is in a false pregnancy again. If she is having a false pregnancy, do you know if she will ever be able to get pregnant?

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