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Old 04-02-2010, 10:11 PM   #1
Gibbons
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My dog is lactating, but not pregnant

Hello everyone.

I have a female pit bull that is about 7 and a half years old. I just noticed that she is lactating. She's just laying on her bed, and milk is coming out of just one of her nipples. I've never seen this before. She is not fixed, but it's impossible that she would be pregnant, because she's never around male dogs. She stays inside the house all day, and only goes outside in the backyard or on leash.

What could this be? She doesn't appear to be in any pain. I'm gonna be taking her to the vet tomorrow, is there anything I should ask about, concerning her? Any thoughts or insight?
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:58 PM   #2
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Could be a pseudo-pregnancy also known as a phantom pregnancy. Happens in some un-altered female dogs, they will show many the signs of being in gestation, such as lactating, finding a whelping area, and in some cases (although not entirely related to a real prenancy) is grabbing toys/shoes or other innamate objects and sort of treating them as pups or at least being protective of them.

If its that your vet may recommend she be spayed, which would probably be best for everyone if you aren't going to breed her.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:01 PM   #3
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Did she recently go into heat? Sometimes after a heat, the levels of progesterone increase enough that- regardless of whether or not the dog has been impregnated- it sends signals to the brain that suggest that the dog should begin preparing to give birth. False pregnancies are actually pretty common, though not necessarily "normal." Sometimes it is simply an acute hormonal issue that doesn't reoccur. Repeated episodes may indicate a hormonal imbalance that needs addressed. However, symptoms of false pregnancy are not always simply an idiopathic hormonal issue, especially if the dog has never gone into heat. Sometimes it is a sign of infection or other ailments. It is definitely worth checking up with the vet.

If this is a reoccuring hormonal event, you should consider having her spayed as it can come with a risk of infection.

Edit: Didn't see that Sol had posted, sorry for any redundancy.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarfishSaving View Post
Edit: Didn't see that Sol had posted, sorry for any redundancy.
No problem by me. Probably helps the OP feel more confident about what we are talking about....

which reminds me....

If by any chance the vet says it isn't pseudo pregnancy then listen to him, don't go in saying that people on the internet said it was something else. We are simply throwing out ideas for you....
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:14 PM   #5
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Actually, after all the problems I'm having lately with my vets, it's worth doing your own research and I have learned how to say "someone told me..." to the vet. You have to be your dog's advocate, just like you have to be your own advocate with your doctors. They're people, not omniscient computers who are capable of always diagnosing perfectly and they do make mistakes.

/soapbox

Gibbons, I only just saw where you say the milk is only coming out of one nipple. That could be because she is stimulating that nipple with grooming or the like.

It could still be an infection or mastitis, though.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarfishSaving View Post
Actually, after all the problems I'm having lately with my vets, it's worth doing your own research and I have learned how to say "someone told me..." to the vet. You have to be your dog's advocate, just like you have to be your own advocate with your doctors. They're people, not omniscient computers who are capable of always diagnosing perfectly and they do make mistakes.
I would recommend this only to someone that is well versed in the dog world... otherwise I'd suggest to get a second and third opinion, definitely not argue with the vet.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol View Post
I would recommend this only to someone that is well versed in the dog world... otherwise I'd suggest to get a second and third opinion, definitely not argue with the vet.
I didn't say you should argue or ignore your vet; you have every right, though, to ask questions, research, and to be able to say "what about this...?" Sorry, I wasn't going to continue with this as I don't want it to veer off topic, but I wanted to clarify what I was getting at. I would never encourage someone to go without proper vet care.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:35 AM   #8
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:: Update ::

Wanted to say thanks everybody. I meant to come back earlier, but I just wanted to give an update that she is doing fine. Doesn't seem to be lactating anymore. She is going to get spayed on friday. So, we'll see how it goes.

Thanks again for the words of wisdom!
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:03 AM   #9
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Thanks for updating us, Gibbons! I am glad she's well Thank you for spaying her, too.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibbons View Post
Wanted to say thanks everybody. I meant to come back earlier, but I just wanted to give an update that she is doing fine. Doesn't seem to be lactating anymore. She is going to get spayed on friday. So, we'll see how it goes.

Thanks again for the words of wisdom!
Hope she gets all better, let us know how things turn out
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