False pregnancy, what?

Well, I'm having an odd evening. When I got home from work today I let the dogs out and started to do a few things and felt this large "mass" underneath on one side of Zoni as I picked her up. And then I started to freak out wondering what was wrong…and then after a while when I was considering the emergency vet I began to notice that more of her underside and teats looked like they were starting to swell....and then looked at the date and counted backwards on my calendar. Well, it looks like she is having a false pregnancy, which struck me a bit weird as I thought that they gain weight early on like they are having puppies. Today she just kind of blew up in the teat department which is around the time that I would guess she would be having puppies. I called her breeder, but she has not had any experiences like this one in particular with her bitches, so I just got off the phone with another breeder who has. So by her description this sounds pretty much like what this is. Strange since I had cut her food back early on when she was in season and she has been eating the same amount since then. She has actually been at a nice weight and looked really good up until today.

It's a little disturbing though, Zoni is kind of freaking out right now and looks somewhat beside herself. Keeps digging in the furniture, lays down for a few minutes then runs off again and lays down somewhere else and can't seem to get comfortable. I hope she has the imaginary puppies soon! She looks like she is a little itchy too and keeps rubbing herself against the carpet. A few of the teats look a lot more swollen than the other ones, so I'm going to keep an eye on that and probably work from home in the morning until she gets a little more settled. Poor thing. 😞

Poor girl…I can only tell you what worked for me when I was getting ready to "pop" with swollen chi-chis(my own pregnancies)... I rubbed lotion on them and it helped. Not sure if it was the friction or the lotion, but it did help. They can get a little sore. I can't make any suggestions on what kind of lotion to use on a dog, though. We all know how they like to lick.

Thanks…but she isn't licking herself so much as frantically running around all night long. She looks miserable. She has looked like she's going to fall asleep a few times but doesn't last for long. I don't think I'm getting much sleep tonight.

She might be looking for her "pups." Do you have small stuffies to use as surrogates?

Hmmm, I'm not sure that I'd want to encourage that. Could lead to some issues, I just heard a number of stories tonight from a breeder about her adventures with false pregnancies.

Clay, I have had a couple that really had physical changes as a false pregnancy, but none that got really nutty about nesting. Be aware that she may actually start to produce some milk, but it will dry up quickly. The good news is that in my observation, the ones that have intense false pregnancies are really good moms when it is time 🙂 Hang in there.

Thanks, Andrea. I'm just a little concerned now as she has acting even more weird. It doesn't seem like nesting but almost like something is bothering or startling her. She'll lay down and then practically jump up like something scared her and run across the room and hide in the corner and lay down then jump up and move to another spot and on and on. She finally went back to sleep again. Just for peace of mind I think I might take her to the vet just to make sure she doesn't have an additional issue going on.

@Nemo:

Thanks, Andrea. I'm just a little concerned now as she has acting even more weird. It doesn't seem like nesting but almost like something is bothering or startling her. She'll lay down and then practically jump up like something scared her and run across the room and hide in the corner and lay down then jump up and move to another spot and on and on. She finally went back to sleep again. Just for peace of mind I think I might take her to the vet just to make sure she doesn't have an additional issue going on.

Yes, I agree. Take her to the vet. My vet told me that these girls that have intense false pregnancies are the highest risk for post-estrous pyometra..so I would definitely have her checked out.

There is no chance she was accidentally bred, is there?

@Quercus:

Yes, I agree. Take her to the vet. My vet told me that these girls that have intense false pregnancies are the highest risk for post-estrous pyometra..so I would definitely have her checked out.

There is no chance she was accidentally bred, is there?

I don't believe there was an opportunity. I always supervised her when she was in the fenced yard during that time and I emphasized with my SO to do the same so I believe he did so as well.

Although I can't get into the vet until 2:00! :mad: But I didn't mention a concern for pyo at the time. Is swelling of the vulva typical of a false pregnancy? That happened at the same time her teats swelled (they've gone done signficantly now) She couldn't be going back into heat again, could she?

Well, she could be going back into heat; she could be having a split heat. Usually their vulva will stay swollen for a long time, particuarly with the first and second heats (at least in my experience, which isn't THAT vast 😉 )

Can you take her temp? If it is high I would call the vet back, and let them know that.

No, I don't have rectal thermometer, unfortunately…I need to get one. I called the vet again and asked for a vet tech to call me back. I forgot that Tuesdays are surgery days at my vet so they are busy in the morning.

If you have a digital oral thermometer, wrap it in a sandwich baggie and use that. Hope your girl is okay.

Well, the vet didn't seem to think she has a major infection like pyo and that's it's likely just related to the false pregnancy – and she's a little more on the crazy side of the spectrum. She does seem to have some irritation or discomfort and some external genital irritation too, so he prescribed a mild steroid to see if it would help make her a little more comfortable. I guess we'll just have to wait out her running around the house constantly and cramming herself in all the nooks and crannies. I think I'm going to videotape what she's doing though, it's really strange...and maybe helpful if I have to go back.

Edit: And the vet said she didn't feel like she was pregnant either.

Awwww - poor girly! I've experienced the frantic running & cramming & it was terrible - scared me & I didn't know how to help. Of course my situation was different, but Trinity did the same thing nonetheless. Zoni - I liked her - she was keen on my Denver for a minute - made me smile. I hope things get better for you both soon.

@Nemo:

Well, the vet didn't seem to think she has a major infection like pyo and that's it's likely just related to the false pregnancy – and she's a little more on the crazy side of the spectrum. She does seem to have some irritation or discomfort and some external genital irritation too, so he prescribed a mild steroid to see if it would help make her a little more comfortable. I guess we'll just have to wait out her running around the house constantly and cramming herself in all the nooks and crannies. I think I'm going to videotape what she's doing though, it's really strange...and maybe helpful if I have to go back.

Edit: And the vet said she didn't feel like she was pregnant either.

I am glad to hear that she is okay. Keep us updated…and hopefully each year she will be less crazy 🙂

Thanks everybody! She seems much calmer now…at least for the moment. She basically had given herself a rug burn in a rather delicate part of her body so she is a little uncomfortable right now. :o The steroid has seemed to help though. I think she has found her happy place in the corner of my bedroom and she has been sleeping there all evening...which is a strange place for her in general. It's apparently much better than her other almost choices...the staircase and beside the Norfolk Pine (I love that picture).
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