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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 10865
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have a malamute who is 13-14months old. Ive been away

Customer Question

I have a bitch malamute who is 13-14months old. Ive been away for a few weeks and my brother was left looking after her while i was away she got out and was gone for about 1hr when found she was in someones garden with a male lab. she seems to have put on quite a bit of weight i am concerned she is pregnant although no one has noticed her in season. Is it possible we could have not noticed her i. Season? And if she is it going to harm her being that she is so young?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.

Hello Hannah, I'm Dr. Deb.
I recently came online and see that your question about Raven hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response,but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

It's certainly possible that Raven had what we call a silent heat. This means that she wouldn't develop a discharge or show obvious signs of being in heat. While this isn't common, it can happen especially during the first or second heat for a particular female.
Gestation is approximately 63-65 days although there is some variability for some dogs.
Depending on the litter size, females start to show abdominal enlargement around 5-6 weeks after mating. Mammary development can be seen about 7-8 weeks after mating with milk starting to develop around one week (or so) before delivery (although this doesn't happen in all dogs).

Many females will become pregnant during their first heat, whether intentional or not. Physically there shouldn't be a problem if she's pregnant but she may not emotionally be ready to be a good mom; this can be seen when females get pregnant at a young age.

If you want to know if she's pregnant or not and it's been over a month since she was seen in the garden with the lab, then an ultrasound could help determine this. If it's only been 30 days, then abdominal palpation may be possible to determine if she's pregnant but this isn't always reliable.

I hope this helps; again, my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thankyou for your response. If she is pregnant is it possible to abort the pregnancy? Sorry if that sounds cruel just want whats best for her
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.
You're more than welcome.

No, it doesn't sound cruel but practical and reasonable under the circumstances.

You can discuss use of the drug, Cabergoline, with your vet which is about 50% effective in pregnancy termination in the second half of pregnancy. Obviously, she would have to be diagnosed as being pregnant first.

Lutalyse is another option which might be considered safer.

And, if you know you don't plan to breed her in the future, you could have her spayed now although this is something your vet would have to agree to do.

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.

I’m just following up on our conversation about Raven. Do you still think she might be pregnant? Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

im really not sure she seems to have reasonably large nipples but then ive never really noticed if that is the norm for her. It been a hard couple of weeks to take her to the vet we had a house fire so been trying to that out

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.
I'm so sorry to hear about the house fire; I'm certain this has been a very stressful time for you and your family:(

Even if her nipples do enlarge and even if she develops milk, this doesn't necessarily mean that she's pregnant. Dogs can go through a false pregnancy and yet develop all the physical signs as if they were.

But, I hope that she's not pregnant if this is your preference. Deb