I have just discovered my 2 year old bullmastiff is pregnant and is losing a lot of milk. How close to delivery is she likely to be at this stage?
Age: 2; Female; Breed: Bullmastiff
Her season was in June and I worked out that if she had caught then the puppies would have been due last week/week before. She showed no signs of weight gain or any change in behaviour so I assumed she was not pregnant and have done nothing since. Today I noticed milk leakage and her back breasts are quite enlarged.
Dogs are pregnant for usually 63 - 65 days with some variation. They are usually most fertile the second week of their season. If her heat started even in late June and she got pregnant the second week of July she should have already given birth. Unless you could be off on the timing of her cycle - this may be a false pregnancy. False pregnancies run the same timeline as a normal pregnancy but without the puppies. So she may be producing milk like she should be nursing puppies. If this is the case she should just return to normal within a couple of weeks. Watch the mammary area to make sure that it is not becoming too hard or inflamed. Massages and warm compresses can help. If you know that she was bred - I would be more concerned about having been off as to the dates that she was in heat. It might be a good idea to go to your vet for some x-rays to see if there are any puppies. X-rays can normally be taken after the 55 day of pregnancy or so and they usually don't produce any milk until the last few days of pregnancy so it should be okay.
I hope this was helpful. If you need more information - just reply to your question.
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So if that is the case, she would need to be in season early August. Even if she was having a false pregnancy, wouldn't it be too late, shouldn't that occur at the same time as she would normally be due?
Yes the false pregnancy should follow the same timeline as the hormones are giving her the same signals as if she were pregnant. What I was thinking is that it has taken a couple of weeks past when she should have given birth (unless the dates are off) for the mammary glands to have gotten big enough for you to notice. There is usually not a lot of mammary development during pregnancy - although they do enlarge and start producing small amounts of milk. But two or three weeks into lactating for puppies (or imaginary puppies) there mammaries are very large and can engorge with milk.
Hi Donna I am sorry to be a pain, if my dates are off, my daughter just told me she was late in season making it July we still would be too late for the arrival of puppies, so this lactation is likely to be for imaginary puppies?
You are not being a pain - follow up questions are fine and expected.
If there is any possibility that she came in heat in late July and actually became pregnant in August there is still the possibility of an actual pregnancy. If she was bred on August the 8th for example the 10th would be the 63rd day and the 12th would be the 65th day. Some dogs will even go beyond this by a few days. You could also try taking her temperature several times a day over the next couple of days. The normal temperature for a dog is 100.5 to 101.5 degrees Farhenheit. Normally a dog's temp will drop and stay below 99 degrees within 24 hours of delivering.
I don't think she was still in season in August, although she did seem to be in season for a long time. We have a dog as well and I was leaving them together on the chance they would breed naturally as they are both such lovely dogs I can not bare the thought of being without one of them as Hooch, the prospective dad, is now 6. I will keep checking her temperature and prepare a bed for her in case my dates are off, but your advise has been very helpfull. Thank you
Well in this case - I hope the days are off and you have a baby - it sounds like you would enjoy having their puppy. If she is getting ready to whelp you will probably seeing signs of nesting, nervousness, increased urination, and possible diarrhea. If you really want to breed them and it doesn't work out this time - you might want to consider artificial insemination. I know that some larger breed dogs can't figure out how to breed if they are not bred young. Artificial insemination is just obtaining the semen from him and putting it inside her. It is a very simple procedure.
I hope all goes well.
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Veterinary Technician with 15 years experience. Boston Terrier Breeder