Hi, I'm Dr. Jill. Is Poppy acting otherwise normal (normal appetite, activity level, etc.)?
Swelling of the vulva and teats with a heat cycle is normal in dogs. If there's no chance that she had any contact with any intact male dogs, then she won't be pregnant, but a "false pregnancy" can occur following heat. This is more common in smaller breed dogs. The female dog's body prepares for pregnancy and they can exhibit all the signs of pregnancy (enlarged abdomen, enlarged teats, nesting behavior, etc.).
Since she is acting otherwise normal, you're probably fine to just monitor her for now.
The swelling should go down within a few weeks to a few months (on the longer end with false pregnancy signs).
I would recommend getting her spayed, though, which should be able to be safely done in 3-4 weeks. This will eliminate future problems and decrease her risk of future mammary cancer if you spay her before her 2nd heat cycle. You don't want to spay her right now because there is increased blood flow to the uterus making surgery more risky right now.
Does this address your concerns at this time? If not, I would be happy to continue the conversation. Just let me know what other questions you have regarding this situation with Poppy.
Just 3 of her teats look slightly engorged as if she was starting to get milk. She has an extra nipple too, so 9 in total. Vulva surround looks bruised. She had a "bonk buddy" toy which she bonked incessantly during her season. This has been binned as she managed to kill it and stuffing was coming out! LOL She is a very silky smooth dog with little hair on her underneath so all this is very apparent.
Yes she was going to be spayed anyway so I'll see how it goes in a couple of weeks.. Thanks for your help, Sandy
Aww...the poor toy :). Assuming this enlargement just occurred with her teats during this heat cycle, it's most likely just from hormone changes. And during this time there's increased blood flow to all of the reproductive tract including the vulva, so that could definitely give it a darker bruised appearance. This should go away relatively quickly.
If the teat swelling and vulva swelling persist, then I'd suspect a false pregnancy (which we don't do anything more than spaying for usually anyway), but you could certainly get her looked at in a month or two for a spay appointment then anyway.
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Thanks!
OK, thanks for info., will take her to get spayed in a couple of months.