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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had never seen symptoms of false pregnancies in any of the females I have had, although from the information I have been able to obtain, false pregnancies are not uncommon and symptoms can be very subtle to extreme.

Yesterday afternoon I worked Coda, my 16 month old Malinois bitch, she was her usual self. I check my dogs from head to toe on a daily basis. Coda was in fine shape - nothing out of the ordinary. This morning I let Coda out first thing as usual, she did her business and immediately came back in running back to the bedroom. Not usual for Coda, as she always checks the perimeter of our fenced yard and then tries to elicit a game of kong with me or "harass" my other dogs - she prefers to be outside for as long as possible. When I went to check on her, she was on top of the couch - "guarding" the couch in our bedroom. I figured she got a ball or kong or something she was guarding from the other dogs - just being her possessive bitch self. I could see nothing, so I took all the cushions off the couch and began searching. Nothin'. Coda meanwhile launched attacks on my other dogs who had come in the bedroom to see what was up. Stopped that before it got out of hand. I thought maybe Coda was sick and had her jump up on the couch to first check her gums. They are fine. Ran my hands down her back and stomach area and to my amazement noticed that her mammary glands were very swollen. A further check revealed she is lactating. What the heck? Last night - no signs what-so-ever. There is no abdominal distension at all. Her last estrus was 59 days ago. Now I am 99% sure that she never tied with my male malinois or any other dog because I alternated her and my male being in their crates - never allowing them together during her proestrus, estrus and beginning of the diestrus period and was physically present whenever she was outside. The 1% that I was not physically present, my husband was. With all the bitchin' and reminding I did on a daily basis of how important it was not to let the two be out at the same time together, I doubt very much he would just absent mindedly forget. He denies any "mistakes". So this "nesting" and lactating must be (praying) a false pregnancy.

Anyone have any experience with this? I've read up as much as I could - and am debating on whether to take her to the vet to have an ultra-sound performed to know for sure. She is a handful at the vet - she is not social but tolerates others - as long as they don't touch her. :roll:
 

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I like the MarVista overview. (In fact, as I've mentioned before, I like their whole site when I need just a quick recap of symptoms, diagnosis, and the usual treatments.)

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_canine_false_pregnancy.html

Off-topic:

I think you are extremely smart to do a regular snoot-to-tail checkup. I do that often, and I have found things that did much better for early discovery, including beginning ear infections, a piece of glass between toes, a cyst, and a mouth smell that turned out to be an absess that did well with immediate treatment.

My dogs are pre-owned, and some are senior, but I believe that all dogs are better off if we catch problems fast. Probably saves us money, besides. :wink:

Back on topic:
Yes, symptoms can be subtle, I too have read. She sure sounds like what I have read descriptions of.
 

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I had a bitch that had false pregnancies quite regularily. She had two natural litters over her lifetime and raised another 6 pup siberian litter (a friends bitch died after a C section to remove a large puppy that was stuck and Tally was having a false pregnancy at the time). She would work fine during her false pregnancies but it would take a little bit of convincing her to leave her (pseudo) puppies, once away she was fine. She always had normal, regular heats and although I have read that females that have them should be spayed, I never did that and she died at 16 with all her parts. As she got older her symptoms were not quite as intense as when she was young.
Tally's "symptoms" were lactation and maternal behaviours -nesting (tore apart my closet on occassion) and digging dens.
She was a bit of an oddball even when not having false pregnancies - very maternal with any puppies and had a kitten that that she would carry by the head(like a ball) and wash and wash and wash and wash until he had enough and escaped. She had no respect for direction of hair growth and washed backwards alot so he looked pretty rough at times :eek: but survived into cathood for all the washing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Connie for your response - The daily examinations I do, as well as knowing what is the "norm" for my dogs in regards to their behavior, has saved us and the dogs as well.

Thanks for your response Lynn. Did Tally have any medical problems caused by the false pregnancy/her symptoms? Did you obtain any meds from the vet for the lactation? I'm feeling kinda guilty, had I known sooner that her hormones were in array - I would never have been running her in preparation for the AD in two weeks. I was told doing so might inflict damage to her joints when there is a hormone inbalance. She had her OFA preliminary (hips and elbows) done at approximately 12 months old with a good rating else I would not run or jump her.

Coda has not shown any maternal behaviors. I and others thought she had no clue she was a female, as she even urinates like a male dog. If she does display maternal instincts, if this is a false pregnancy, would be wonderful for me to see in her - yet painful for her.......... and for me to watch.
 

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No, she never had any health problems related to her false pregnancies and her lactations just dried up on their own. I found that she was better if I had her in training and ran her, though you had to kind of convince her to leave the house and her invisible pups. If she had had really extreme behavior or weird heat cycles I would have had her spayed but she pretty normal and very healthy except for the false pregnancies. It did teach me to keep my closet doors shut!
 

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You mean Coda? Does this mean she REALLY is a female? Whod'a thunk it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again Lynn, your last reply gave me hope that Coda just might get through this without medical complications. Ya know when I read your post about your closets - I actually went and double checked to ensure all my closets were shut. :)
 

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Lacey Vessell said:
Now Amanda - don't get me started. At least Coda still has all her "original" parts :p :lol:
Oh come on...........who needs ears and a tail :D They just get in the way :D
 
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