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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20612
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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i have a 2 year old XXXXX XXXXX bitch.she has not been nutored,reacently

Resolved Question:

i have a 2 year old XXXXX XXXXX bitch.she has not been nutored,reacently she has started acting very strangley,she has toys which she is very protective of them and gets very distressed if you take them off her.is this normal behaviour?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

From your history of Sandy's sudden close attachment and protective behaviors towards her toys, I would be suspicious that her hormones are the culprit. In unneutered females, we can see the hormone imbalances trick the brain into mistaking that the body is pregnant. This is called a phantom or false pregnancy. Still since she is not truly pregnant, the dog will often behave as if inanimate objects (like toys) are her pups. And this is why when you take a toy from her she gets upset (since her hormones are telling her you are taking her puppy).

As long as she doesn't have associated breast development or start to lactate (which both are quite possible here), than we often just let this run its course This usually lasts for 2-3 weeks. If milk is present, then we can sometimes settle this by just minimizing stimulation of the gland (this means not touching them or letting her lick the glands and stimulate them) by placing an e-collar. But if significant development arises, then Sandy would need to see her vet so that treatment to block the hormonal stimulation could be dispensed.

 

Overall, it is not an abnormal behavior but it is one arising due to her circulating hormones playing tricks on her. Therefore, this is a situation that she may be prone to as long as stays unneutered but it is not a disease process per say.

 

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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