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Rebecca, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15376
Experience:  I have more than 30 years of veterinary practice experience.
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We have a 12 year old labrador who had a litter of puppies

Customer Question

We have a 12 year old labrador who had a litter of puppies at age 4. She has recently mated with a neighbour's dog - a puppy around 9 months of age, which was an accident and happened when both dogs has escaped their homes. We caught them mating in a field. Our dog was in season. We don't think it's safe for her to have pups but have no signs at present that she actually is pregnant, although her nipples do seems lightly enlarged. Could this be because she is in season? Is it possible for a 12 year old dog to get pregnant and can a 9 month old puppy sire pups? Her season has continued and she is behaving normally, apart from on the evening of the day she escaped she was sick.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 8 years ago.
Yes, it is possible for a 12 year old dog to get pregnant, and it is also possible for a 9 month old male dog to sire puppies. Just because her nipples are swollen does not mean she is pregnant, but she could be. A dog this old having puppies is at risk for a lot of complications. If this happened less than 48 hours ago, you could take her for a "mismating" shot, to end the pregnancy, but if it was longer than that, it is too late.

You can have her checked 4 weeks after the mating by your veterinarian to see if she is pregnant. Another option, and my recommendation, would be to have her spayed now; it would end this pregnancy, and prevent future ones. It would also prevent her getting a very serious uterine infection seen in older females, called a pyometra. I know putting her through surgery at her age would be harder than if she was young, but a pregnancy, or a pyometra, or a Ceasarian section would all be worse than spaying her in the very early phase of pregnancy, while she is healthy and stable. Hope this helps, Rebecca
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for that Rebecca. To be honest, she is my partner's dog and he's recently regaled me with the horrors of his friend's labrador which was speyed so I think he would baulk at this action. It was last weekend this happened so too late to get a "mismating" shot. I will take her to the vet in 4 weeks, I think.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 8 years ago.
I hope you find that the mating did not take. I really beleive a pregnancy will be worse than to spay her, in my experience. For instance, I saw anb older Labrador have a litter, and when the pups were 7 weeks old, she collapsed. She had a dead puppy inside her, that was basically rotting her uterus with necrosis and infection. We had to spay her as an emergency. She and her pups did fine after that, but these are the kinds of things she is at risk for. I am sorry his friend had a bad experience when his dog was spayed, but I could regale you with doxens of stories of what could go wrong with this pregnancy. Of course, she may not be pregnant, and of course she could have puppies and all will go well. Good luck, Rebecca