The Truth About False Pregnancies

As Lorna Boydston's Great Dane approached her due date, she gave every indication that a big litter was on the way.

By | Posted: Tue Nov 2 00:00:00 PST 2004

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More effective are prolactin suppression therapies, which combat pseudo pregnancy by acting on neurotransmitters that control prolactin secretion. Bromocriptine is a human drug that is effective, but its side effects of vomiting make it less optimal than other drugs in this class. Cabergoline and metergoline are both effective with fewer side effects, but neither is available in the United States for veterinary use. Both are marketed for veterinary pseudopregnancy therapy in many European countries.

Before treating your bitch for false pregnancy, you have to be positive it's not a true pregnancy. Abdominal ultrasounds and radiographs can be used to determine if the bitch is pregnant or if she may have pyometra, which could cause some similar signs. Otherwise, sometimes not even your veterinarian knows for sure.

Some years ago Suze Schlenger, of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., commented to her then husband that one of his retrievers, Sandy, looked pregnant. He replied he had just returned from the veterinarian, who had pronounced a false pregnancy. A lon g debate ensued, until Schlenger ended it by saying, "If she is not pregnant then what is that on the floor?" It was the first of seven real, not pseudo, puppies! 


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