Bitches often show signs of pregnancy, even if no mating has taken place in heat. The mammary gland may swell, the teats become more prominent, even milk discharge may be provoked. In addition, there are sometimes behaviours typical of a mother, such as nest-building behaviour or even the throwing of an object, often the favourite toy.
This false pregnancy is to some extent part of the bitch’s normal cycle. Her symptoms usually disappear with the passing of the fictitious due date. Knowing the fictitious date of parturition is helpful in assessing whether the bitch is symptomatic beyond this date and should be seen by a veterinarian. You should therefore (also for other reasons) always note the onset of heat in the calendar. As this is not about determining the best time to mate, an estimate is sufficient: day of first emergence of heat secretion + 2 weeks + 9 weeks = “date of birth”.
If the symptoms do not decrease significantly with the “due date” and finally disappear immediately, or if the bitch becomes a “milk cow” before the “due date”, you should consult a veterinarian. The same applies if you notice any hardening of the mammary gland during the regular palpation of the mammary gland.
- Phantom Pregnancy: Key Facts for Dachshund owners [Dachshund Health UK]