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Spontaneous Abortion in the Dog

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Diagnosis

Evaluation and examination of the aborted puppy is the best way to diagnose the cause of abortion. This will give you and your veterinarian the best chance of finding the cause of the abortion and help avoid future abortions.

If the puppy is not available, some tests can be done on the mother.

  • Serology is done to determine the presence of Brucella, Leptospira or Toxoplasmosis. These can result in abortion.

  • Complete blood cell count (CBC), biochemistry profile and urinalysis will help determine the overall health of the bitch.

  • Abdominal radiographs (x-ray) or ultrasound can help determine any masses, tumors or abnormalities within the uterus.

  • Bacterial cultures of the vagina and culture of any vaginal discharge can help diagnosis a bacterial problem.

  • Testing of blood progesterone levels can help determine ovarian abnormalities.

    Treatment

    Once abortion has begun, it is nearly impossible to stop. Frequently, you are unaware that abortion has occurred. The goal is to determine the cause of the abortion, treat for any underlying disease and help prevent abortion in future litters.

    Some causes of abortion have potential corrective measures:

  • Brucella. There is no treatment for Brucellosis and these dogs should not be bred.

  • Low progesterone levels. For future litters, progesterone supplements are given throughout the pregnancy to help bring the puppies to term.

    Follow Up

    Bitches that have been diagnosed with abortion in the past may have repeated problems. Even with treatment, these dogs may continue to abort some, if not all, of the future litters. You may want to consider removing bitches prone to abortion from your breeding program.

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