Retained Placenta in Dogs

Overview of Retained Placenta in Dogs

A retained placenta is a syndrome characterized by the failure of the mother to expel the placenta – the organ that joins the mother and offspring during pregnancy – shortly after the birth of the newborn. The placenta is usually passed within 15 minutes of the birth of each puppy, and can take longer in cats. A retained placenta is extremely uncommon in dogs, and even less common in cats. It is most often seen in toy breed dogs.

Causes of Retained Placenta in Dogs

What to Watch For

Signs of a Retained Placenta in dogs may include:

Diagnosis of Retained Placenta in Dogs

The major problem with this syndrome is its diagnosis. It is extremely difficult to count placentas, largely because the bitch often ingests them within seconds of expulsion.

Treatment of Retained Placenta in Dogs

Treatment for healthy bitches with retained placentas is generally not necessary unless the patient is ill.

Home Care and Prevention

Pet owners should be instructed to monitor their pet’s temperature and observe for signs of systemic illness (lethargy, inappetence).

There is no specific way to prevent retained placentas, aside from not breeding and/or neutering your female dog.