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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20565
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My 3 year old black lab is exhibiting symptoms of pregnancy.

Customer Question

My 3 year old black lab is exhibiting symptoms of pregnancy. Her belly is swollen and tight and her nipples are enlarged. She recently went into season for the first time. I've noticed over the past few weeks that she is drinking a lot more water and she's been very sleepy. her behavior has changed and she's been very territorial and possessive over her toys. I plan on taking her to the vet tomorrow but I want to make sure her symptoms aren't indicative of something more serious that may warrant a trip to the vet sooner.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 months ago.

Hi,I'm Dr Scott. Welcome to JustAnswer, I am working on your question now, you can expect a written reply sometime within the next ten minutes or so.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 months ago.

Hello again,

1. In direct answer to your question : While I cannot diagnose this with 100% accuracy over the internet I can tell you that assuming this is not a real pregnancy then this could well be what is called a false pregnancy and dogs who are in the throes of a false pregnancy will have enlarged breasts particularly the last two and can sometimes even lactate and produce milk.

2. When a dog has a season it is a normal part of the cycle that some time later she will have what is called a false pregnancy. While the symptoms of a false pregnancy can vary from dog to dog it often includes breast development and even milk production, these dogs can be moody or nervous and will often carry toys around as if they are puppies.

3. There is no safe treatment for this in my opinion, there are hormones which can be given but I would not use them on my own bitch, provided she otherwise normal you can just leave her. The good news is that the false pregnancy will regress on its own in one to two weeks time and then she should stop lactating and return to normal.

4. However drinking a lot is not normally part of the false pregnancy picture so it may be as well to have her checked over by a local vet just to be on the safe side. But in any case I should be available online for you the next four or five hours today so please do not hesitate to get straight back to me if your dog's condition changes in any way or you would like to talk things over with me further.

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue. Such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Dr. Scott, thank you for you're quick response. It's definitely giving me some peace of mind. If this were a real pregnancy and not a false pregnancy are there any additional symptoms to look out for? Also, the fact that she's drinking so much water is concerning so are there any red flags I should be aware of as I monitor her throughout the night?
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 months ago.

Hello again,

1. Sometimes it is hard to differentiate between a real pregnancy and a false pregnancy, but there would be no additional measures needed other than having her checked over tomorrow by your local vet.

2. I doubt if anything will change overnight but the excess drinking is always a cause for concern. Hopefully this is due to something very minor in a younger dog like yours but your vet would always be considering things like diabetes and kidney disease where dogs suddenly start to drink more.

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue. Such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 months ago.

Hello again,

I am just checking back in to see how Lucy is getting on after our recent dialogue concerning her suspect false pregnancy ...

Please get back to me and let me know how things are going.

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue. Such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.