My dog is leaking colostrum – do you think she is pregnant?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – I recently adopted a female dog and I think she might be pregnant. The vet said he can’t feel anything yet. I have had her 32 days. So she’s at least that far along. She is leaking colostrums, very clingy, whiny, and maybe a little heavier. I talked to previous owners and they didn’t see a tie but said she did get out. What do you think?

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that you adopted a dog 32 days ago and she is now leaking colostrum, seems needy and is a little heavier. I’d think she is either pregnancy or having a false pregnancy.

It can be very difficult to detect fetuses by feeling the belly in early pregnancy. The most effective way to diagnosis pregnancy is by doing a radiograph after 45 days. Just one view will tell you for sure if she is pregnant at that time and give you a good idea of how many puppies there are.

I’d recommend letting them do an x-ray to determine if she is pregnant. If she is between 32 days and 45 days – it is possible that you can’t see the fetuses on the x-ray – but you can always do a second x-ray 2 weeks later which should put her for sure more than 45 days pregnant. But if she is leaking milk – you will know soon if she is having puppies as she may have them any day.

Some dogs will also have behavioral and physical signs of pregnancy even though they are not pregnancy – this is called “False Pregnancy”. That is also a possibility.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you are Pregnancy in Dogs and Pseudocyesis (False Pregnancy).

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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