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Dr Pete
Dr Pete, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Bachelor of Veterinary Science (University of Melbourne, Australia)
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My 7 year female Fiest is acting very strange the last three

Resolved Question:

My 7 year female Fiest is acting very strange the last three days. Her tits are swollen but I did not notice that she went into heat and i would. She is not pregnant. She is having a strange attachment to one of her toys. What could this be?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Pete replied 3 years ago.

Hi

Can I just ask you some questions first

  1. When was she last in heat?
  2. Did her last heat seem normal?
  3. Is she well and healthy otherwise?
  4. Is her thirst normal?
  5. Does she have any vaginal discharge at the moment?

Thank you, Peter

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It has been over a year...this time there were no signs. No bleeding but a little discharge. She is having discharge from her nipples. Her last heat was normal. She is eating and pottying normal. She is drinking. We live in the West TN so it has been very hot here. No vaginal discharge at this time.
Expert:  Dr Pete replied 3 years ago.

Hi again

Thanks for the extra information. I just needed to be sure all else was okay.

This is almost certainly a false pregnancy (pseudopregnancy). It is so common in un-spayed female dogs that it is considered to be a normal part of their hormone cycle. Some dogs will cycle without the pseudopregnancy and some dogs will have it after one season but not after all seasons. It’s variable. The pseudopregnancy usually lasts for about the same time as a normal pregnancy (9 weeks)

Basically after the ovulation with her last season the hormones that are normally associated with pregnancy started to circulate. That has caused her mammary glands to expand. Some dogs will even produce milk. These hormones make the dog very maternal and they will attach themselves to toys as has your dog.

A pseudopregnancy usually follows an oestrous cycle (heat). Because you noticed her last heat a year ago I think she has probably had another heat recently but that it has been a silent heat. Most dogs cycle every 6 months. When there is a silent season there is very little discharge or swelling and the dog may not even be very attractive to male dogs.

I am always a bit concerned when the seasons in a dog start to become variable in timing and strength, particularly from middle-age onwards. Many of these dogs will develop metritis (a uterine infection) and sometimes this can develop into a very severe infection called pyometron. There is nothing to suggest that this is happening with your dog but it’s something you need to be aware about for the future. The signs of pyometron are usually an unwell dog that drinks a lot with an infective vaginal discharge. The infection usually follows a season. If you notice these signs you should have her seen by a vet urgently.

To prevent the risk of pyometron and also of mammary carcinoma I normally recommend that dogs not being used for breeding be spayed. You may want to discuss that with your vet.

But as for your little Feist at the moment everything seems quite ok….she just feels a bit motherly.

I hope I’ve been of help.

Kindest regards, Peter

Dr Pete, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3004
Experience: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (University of Melbourne, Australia)
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