Is your bitch suddenly listless, extremely clingy, or even aggressive a few weeks after the heat? Then your four-legged friend could suffer from a so-called pseudo-pregnancy. The bitch’s own hormones trick them into thinking that she is pregnant. Understandably, this not only affects the psyche but can even lead to physical changes.
Pseudopregnancy in Dogs
- Not every bitch becomes pseudo-pregnant;
- The symptoms can be very different;
- In some cases, the owner cannot avoid neutering.
What is pseudo-pregnancy in a dog?
Pseudopregnancy is a hormonal disorder that usually occurs four to nine weeks after heat. But don’t worry: pseudo-pregnancy is not a disease, but quite normal in uncracked bitches. Because after the heat, the progesterone level rises in every bitch, whether pregnant or not. The hormone progesterone is the so-called pregnancy hormone and makes the bitch weak.
At some point, however, the dog’s body realizes that there are no puppies at all. As a result, the progesterone level drops sharply, simulating childbirth. This in turn causes an increase in the hormone prolactin, which stimulates milk production.
Symptoms of pseudopregnancy
Bitches change because of the hormones. Some become extremely affectionate and cuddly. Others, on the other hand, can suddenly react aggressively and even snap at the holder.
Pseudopregnant bitches adjust to their pups and start building nests.
In the litter den, the bitch lays out her imaginary puppies: toys, slippers, and other puppy substitutes end up in the nest and are defended. Due to the release of prolactin, the udders and even the waist circumference of the bitches swell.
What can I do as a holder?
Pseudopregnancy is a normal process in a dog’s life, but it can still affect the bitch. Owners can, for example, help the bitch by long and frequent walks or games to distract herself from the pseudo-pregnancy. The stocking puppies appointed by the bitch should disappear from the scene as inconspicuously as possible. The bitch should not have a chance to lick the teat, as this would stimulate the flow of milk. It is better to put a t-shirt on the bitch the wrong way round or, in extreme cases, to put on a collar. In this case, a surgical body that is available in pet shops can also be helpful.
Can pseudopregnancy be prevented?
A pseudopregnancy cannot always be avoided. But naturopathically, the owner can do something at the beginning of the heat: Mix dried or fresh raspberry leaves into your dog’s food. Bach flowers can be used not as a preventive measure, but to make it easier to say goodbye to possible replacement puppies. In any case, these should be put together by an experienced animal healer.
Does the bitch suffer from the false pregnancy?
For bitches, pseudopregnancy is associated with stress. The behavior can change, the teats can swell. In addition, some bitches suddenly refuse to eat. If a pseudopregnant bitch starts building a nest and looks for replacement puppies, she also has the stress of having to protect her supposed puppies.
Is castration necessary?
The problem with pseudopregnancy is that it can come back over and over again. In some cases, it may be necessary to neuter the bitch to save herself and the owner from the stress of a pseudopregnancy. This is especially the case if she suffers from symptoms of a pseudopregnancy or is severely handicapped.