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Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 12147
Experience:  DVM for 19 years. Compassionate, Caring, Experienced.
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My daughter has a female Boxer that is about 3 years old, not

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My daughter has a female Boxer that is about 3 years old, not spade has never had a litter and lost a leg in a tragic accident. The leg has been amputated for about 2 years now. About a week ago Lizzy (the dog) began to cry and whine continuously. She also has become attached to a blue ball which she gently picks up and carries with her everywhere she goes. She sleeps with it at her side at night. When she picks the ball up she does it so gently that her body shakes as though she is trying not to hurt it. This is bazaar behavior that I have never seen in a dog before. Is there some way she could be thinking or feeling as though she had a puppy or something similar to that? We are stumped on how to treat this or if she even needs to be treated. Thanks if you can help in any way.

Hello and thank you for asking your question. My name isXXXXX will try to help.

Lizzie is having a "false pregnancy."

When a dog ovulates the egg, the structure that produces the hormones to maintain a pregnancy can remain high despite the female not being bred. So the high hormone levels make the dog feel pregnant. They can have mammary development, increased appetite, nesting behavior, and restlessness.

It usually resolves in about two weeks.

If she is really anxious, your vet could prescribe a tranquilizer for her.

It can happen again, after she goes in heat.

Spaying can greatly reduce the chance of mammary cancer. It will prevent uterine infections. It will also prevent the false pregnancies from happening again.

I hope this helps.

If you have additional questions, please click "reply."


Dr. Gabby and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. That is what I was suspecting. I appreciate the quick answer. It really does help to know for sure.

You are very welcome. Before I spayed my own dog, she had a false pregnancy. She kept putting a stuffed animal on me as if she wanted me to bring it life. I had to sedate her for a few days because she could not sleep. I spayed her after that one.
Hi Karen,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Lizzy. How is everything going?

Dr. Gabby