Pseudocyesis (False Pregnancy) in Dogs

Overview of Pseudocyesis (False Pregnancy) in Dogs

False pregnancy (pseudocyesis) is a term used to describe the behavior and physical signs of pregnancy when they occur in a non-pregnant animal. The signs of false pregnancy usually occur 6 to 12 weeks after the pet’s last heat cycle. This condition is common in dogs but rare in cats.

Causes of False Pregnancy in Dogs

If your pet has a false pregnancy, it will not interfere with her ability to be bred or have subsequent pregnancies.

Other conditions such as pregnancy, inflammation of the mammary glands (mastitis), cancer of the mammary gland or abdominal enlargement due to fluid accumulation, organ enlargement or infection of the uterus (pyometra) may cause similar signs to a false pregnancy. Your veterinarian may wish to examine your dog to make sure that she is healthy.

What to Watch For

Signs of Pseudocyesis (False Pregnancy) in Dogs may include:

Diagnosis of False Pregnancy in Dogs

Diagnostic tests for pseudocyesis may include:

Treatment of False Pregnancy in Dogs

Treatments for pseudocyesis may include the following:

Home Care and Prevention

Pets that are licking excessively at their mammary glands may need an Elizabethan collar. Do not place compresses on your pet’s mammary glands. Continue to monitor her for improvement.

To prevent a recurrent episode of false pregnancy, have your pet spayed. Reoccurrence of false pregnancy without spaying is common.