My dog is allowing my cat to nurse and getting milk

My dog is allowing my cat to nurse and getting milk

Our question this week was:

I have a 7-year-old Chihuahua that has not had puppies in 3 years. We took in a 6-month-old cat and it started nursing on the dog and she lets the cat do it. I didn't think the cat was getting anything. I checked and there is milk – the cat is getting milk! What do I do? The cat will meow for the dog and she will come to the cat. They have been doing this for 4 months.

Sus Tolle.

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email Sus. You have a very interesting dilemma. You have a 7-year-old dog that is allowing a cat to nurse and appears to have milk. This is unusual but does occasionally happen.

Your dog may be having a "false pregnancy". Some dogs will get a condition where they think (and their body responds) as though it is pregnant or nursing. The condition is called "Pseudocyesis" or "False Pregnancy".

I'd recommend that you separate them and take your dog to your veterinarian. If you don't plan to continue breeding her, it may be worth having her spayed. Spaying will arrest the hormone changes.

There are drugs to help with the false pregnancy but there are side effects. Separating them, allowing her to "dry up" and getting her spayed is probably your best bet.

An article that might be helpful to you is False pregnancy in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

P.S. This would make an interesting video. If you happen to get one – email it to me – I'd love to see it and maybe even put it on www.Petplace.com.

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