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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33338
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My 10 year old terrier is lactating but has had no litter she

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my 10 year old terrier is lactating but has had no litter she has also been trying to nest in her bed and mine what should I do about this?
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
You've described pseuodocyesis (pseudopregnancy, false pregnancy) which always occurs to some degree following a heat period in dogs. In most cases it's occult - you don't see any symptoms of it. In some dogs, however, mammary problems (engorgement, lactation, licking of the glands) and abnormalities associated with aberrant maternal behavior (nesting, digging, adoption of animals or objects), depression or anxiety, anorexia, and excessive vocalization (whining) are all possible.
Pseudocyesis typically resolves spontaneously 2-3 weeks from its onset but can occasionally persist until the next estrous cycle. If treatment is desired, a dopamine agonist such as cabergoline can be administered by her vet as an antiprolactinic drug. This disorder is associated with a high plasma concentration of prolactin at the end of the luteal phase when progesterone concentrations decrease abruptly. (The "luteal phase" describes the time when an ovarian follicle has already released its egg and turns into a progesterone-secreting corpus luteum; progesterone supports pregnancy and if the bitch isn't bred, supports false pregnancy.)
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.
I'm going to check back with you in a few weeks for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.
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