What is a false pregnancy?
This can occur in some entire female dogs after they have finished their season. The hormones produced after a season are the same whether or not the animal is pregnant, therefore a false pregnancy is normal occurrence.
What are the symptoms of a false pregnancy?
Not every dog will show signs and the severity may vary. Symptoms include:
Mammary development and milk production
Carrying toys around
Signs may become increasingly severe with each season.
How to manage?
The majority of bitches do not require treatment and symptoms will spontaneously resolve. Take away toys that she has become fixated with and try to minimise nesting behaviour.
Bitches that are producing excessive milk can be treated with Cabergoline, which is an oral medication. It is important to check mammary glands for any signs of mastitis, which might include heat/ swelling/ discomfort/ abnormal discharge from mammary glands.
Recurrence can be prevented with neutering. Neutering can not be performed whilst clinical signs are present.