My Little Female Puppy - False Pregnancy?

by Amany
(Egypt, Cairo)

My Lovely Tuffi

My Lovely Tuffi

Hi All, My puppy is called Tuffi - she is a ten-month-old female cocker spaniel. She's an amazing, adorable, active, and well-behaved puppy.

She had her first period last September, but of course, she didn't mate due to her young age.

The first week was a mess to us, as she suddenly stopped playing and hardly ate, she kept sleeping in the nesting pose, and started to make a strange sound sort of noise - it sounded like "humming" - and she suddenly seemed very depressed.

We took her for long walks, spent more time with her, almost dedicated ourselves to her full-time. We brought her new toys, played her favourite game, and checked with her vet.

He said there was nothing medically wrong with her, but two days ago, she started to act as if she was breastfeeding her little toys.

She takes them wherever she goes, and lately, she had milk coming out of her :(

Knowing that she is too young for such a stage, we can't understand what is going on with her, some friends advised us to hide those toys, but I fear that she would think what she thinks are her puppies are dead or taken from her, and get more depressed or anxious.

She is now interacting better than 5 days ago and acting normal when she meets the 'puppies' she usually plays with, but I am extremely worried about her.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks & Regards,

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Female Puppy Nesting
by: Pauline (Webowner)

I have to agree, it sounds like a false pregnancy.

The signs of a phantom pregnancy would be a desire to nest, lactating, nursing her toys or other inanimate objects - she may even bloat and then appear to go into labour.

Perhaps you should go back to your vet and let him know that you think your puppy may have had a phantom pregnancy. Explain the symptoms to him to help him with his diagnosis.

If your puppy has had a false pregnancy, and the symptoms seem to be receding, I don't think you'll need to do anything more as this type of pregnancy will only last around 3 weeks.

If your puppy is still lactating, your vet may give her medication which will cause her to become mildly dehydrated - this should stop her from producing milk. (Please don't stop water).

If you don't plan for her to have a litter of puppies, you may want to consider having her spayed. The pros and cons of neutering your dog is explained here.

If you decide to go ahead and have her spayed, you will need to wait until your puppy is over her phantom pregnancy before doing so otherwise, it may only prolong the false pregnancy.

Your vet will be able to advise you on whether or not your puppy has suffered a false pregnancy and what options are available to you.

Good luck!

by: Anonymous

I'm sorry but I've never had this problem before.

At the risk of sounding stupid (that's why I'm anonymous!) do you think it could just be her hormones and she thinks she's had puppies because her body is ready to bear them?

Kind of like a mini-phantom pregnancy?

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