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Thread: Phantom Pregnancies - Black Lab Bitch

  1. #1

    Phantom Pregnancies - Black Lab Bitch


    I'm just after a few opinion on whether I should get my dog spade.

    Basically she is 19 months now and has had two season both of which have resulted in phantom pregnancies that led to her nesting and producing milk. To say she goes off colour would be a bit of an understatement and both times she has received hormone treatment to stop her lactating. We tried the rasberry leaf supplement during her last season which is meant to reduce tendecy of phantom pregnancies but if anything the second time was worse. The vet told us to get her spade before her first season but family memebers who are also vets told us to let her finish growning first. Our options now are to have her spade or take a litter from her...

    Does any one have experiance of taking pups from a bitch that has had bad phantom pregnancies and noticed any dramatic improvement afterwards?

    All thoughts and suggestions welcomed,



  2. #2
    False pregnancy is normal. In the pack, it's an advantage that non breeding females lactate so as to provide extra milk for the cubs. As your dog gets older, she becomes at more risk from pyometra, which is serious as the womb fills with pus.
    My thoughts would be to spay. If you want a litter, have it because you want pups from this line, not to try and treat something. The false pregnancies will keep happening, although perhaps reduced.
    The timing of spays is an eternal debate for vets. Spay before the first season and the risk of mammary tumours is almost nil. Between 1st and 2nd, a very slight increased risk, after third season, there is no difference between spayed and unspayed. There is some evidence that those spayed before first has a different bone structure and because of this, I prefer spay after the first season - as you say, when they've finished growing.
    As a general rule, if you are not going to breed from bitch (or dog) then neuter them.

  3. #3
    False pregnancies are not unusual, i wouldnt say they are normal but not unusual. If you do want a litter then have a litter but have a litter for the right reasons, health tests should be a major consideration also if you do go with a litter. If you dont have good reasons for a litter then have her spayed because the longer you leave it the bigger chance she is at risk of developing pyometra and that can have a devastating effect on you on her and if she develops it a big whack out of your wallet (dont want to sound depressing or negative, but thats if she survives it) weigh it all up. I have bitches here one is 12 and has had 3 litters and is still intact although a little randy and will bring in my other bitch, she also gets the odd phantom but it doesnt go anywhere. I used to bring her in the house to be able to distract her making beds etc and keep her occupied in other ways. The best time to neuter is between her seasons, wait about 3 months after her season and have her done then, its all about what you want from her and whats best for her and you.
    Good luck

  4. #4
    Line her next time she breaks down , its better than giving the vet your cash

  5. #5
    Some bitches seem prone to false pregnancies and some not so. If you breed a litter from her it is very unlikely to 'cure' the problem in future. She is still young enough to get some protection from mammary tumours if you get on and have her neutered now.

    I know of a few people finding puppies hard to sell with people holding on to their cash. As a minimum for a Labrador you would needs hips & elbows scoring and eyes checking (preferably by DNA blood test) to see if she was even suitable for breeding. You would have to spend more money being responsible and doing the testing than it would cost to have her spayed! Plenty of people regret the sleepless nights, expense and hassle from having puppies. Often things go well, but if they don't you can lose a lot of sleep, money and sanity!

    It has been shown that bitches that have had puppies are less likely to get the pyometra (womb infection). You will spend less money overall getting her spayed rather than buying a bottle of Galastop every time she comes in season, not to mention her coming into season just when you are bound to want to be working her.

    My little bitch is spayed!

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