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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19604
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Is there anything I can do for my dogs sore nipples

Customer Question

My dog just gave birth on May 23 and her nipples are red and sore from the puppies clawing her when they are feeding. I would like to know if there is anything I can put on them to make her more comfortable but still be safe for the puppies.
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 years ago.

The best thing you can do is to cut the puppies nails. At this age you do not want the puppies ingesting any foreign substance, so cutting the nails short and keeping them short until they are weaned is imperative. Keep the breast area rinsed to keep the area clean. Hopefully this will keep your female from developing Mastitis.

Mastitis is generally first noticed as a swelling and inflammation of the breast. While it is easy to treat, it can be deadly if not treated quickly. Mastitis is caused by bacteria entering the nipple and gaining the upper hand leading to infection which often can enter the blood stream and thus infect other parts of your female as her immune system is already under the stress of having pups and nursing. Other symptoms depending on how far the infection has spread are a rectal temperature higher than 103F, poor appetite, low energy level and dying puppies (due to bacteria in the milk). Of course, other conditions can cause these same symptoms, but mastitis in the most likely cause in a nursing dog.

If mastitis occures, puppies should be taken away from the mother immediately and not allowed to nurse, as the milk is bacteria filled and can kill the puppies and female should be taken to the Vet immediately for treatment. Here is a site on Mastitis:

I hope this information is helpful to you.

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