Have you noticed that your dog’s breasts get swollen? It is somewhat more common than it may seem at first and occurs mainly in non-spayed or neutered female dogs. The breasts of a bitch swell, for example, with heat, pregnancy, or mastitis, among other possible situations.
If you have detected this aspect in your dog, it is normal for you to worry and want to know what is happening to her. The most appropriate thing when a change is detected in our pet is to go directly to the vet so that he can take care of it.
We want to help you better understand everything related to dog care and, therefore, in this article, we give you the answer to your question about why your dog has swollen breasts
Symptoms of inflammation in the breasts of bitches
You may have noticed that your hairy one has somewhat swollen breasts because of their appearance because you see them somewhat larger than usual, but there are more breast swelling symptoms in dogs and other disorders in this part of their body.
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These are the main signs that you will notice in your breasts, and that will indicate that there is something in your health that requires attention.
- Larger than usual size, both of the breasts and the nipples.
- Swelling in some or all of the breasts or nipples.
- It expels fluid, which can be serum, pseudo breast milk, breast milk, or pus.
- When palpating the area, the dog feels discomfort or pain.
- Lumps are seen or palpated on the bitch’s breasts.
If you detect all or some of these symptoms, it is necessary that you go to the vet to check your furry and can help you.
Why does my dog have swollen breasts – the main causes
Now that you know the signs that should alert you that there has been a change, usually due to hormones, below, we reveal the answer to your question about why my dog has swollen breasts, detailing the possible causes:
- Allergy: one of the reasons that do not involve hormonal changes is frequent in contact allergy. Many female dogs brand new shampoo, blanket, bed, sweater, or other objects that may contact this delicate area of the animal. The allergy occurs when there is contact, and it may be that simply removing this object will pass in a short time. It is likely that the dog licks and scratches because it itches and bothers her and that she may even make small wounds.
- Hit: if you notice that this problem only occurs in one or a few breasts, it may be because it has been hit, probably playing against an object or with another dog.
- Heat: heat in bitches can cause some inflammation in this area and their vulva. So both a few days before and during the heat, you may see this change in your hair.
- Pregnancy: this is the main cause of swelling in the breasts of bitches. Although it takes a few days for this symptom to appear after mating, it is one of the first to be clearly seen. The more the gestation progresses, the bigger the breasts and belly will be.
- Lactation: if your dog has given birth, it is totally normal for both the breasts and the nipples to become swollen, since the lactation stage begins, to feed the puppies.
- Psychological pregnancy: after heat, bitches can suffer what is known as pseudo-pregnancy or psychological pregnancy. It occurs when there has been no fertilization, that is, it can occur both if there is no mating or if there is, but it does not result in pregnancy. This problem’s symptoms are practically the same as those seen in normal pregnancy: swelling of the nipples, breasts, and belly; production of a liquid similar to milk but clearer and even increased appetite and behaviors of preparing a nest or shelter for your puppies.
- Mastitis: it is an inflammation and infection of this area of the dog’s body. You can see this increase in size and that it feels painful to the touch and that pus drains. It usually occurs when a psychological pregnancy is not well treated or during heat or lactation. It is vital to try to prevent it and treat it quickly as soon as it is detected.
- Breast cancer and benign lumps: if apart from the increase in size, you notice or feel a lump, the dog may have breast cancer, or it may be lumps or benign cysts. Therefore, if the situation occurs, a veterinarian must review it and do several tests to apply a treatment promptly if necessary.
Diagnosis of Swelling in the Breasts of a Bitch
When detecting this problem in your furry, as we have commented, the most important and recommended thing is that you go to the vet as soon as you can. Thus, this specialist will be able to review it, perform all the necessary tests, and give you a report and diagnosis about its health, as well as the possible treatments available in each case.
Normally, to reach a diagnosis of this situation, the specialist usually asks the following questions and tests :
- Ask when the dog had the last heat and if it was crossed.
- Physical examination, with palpation.
- Take a sample of the fluid, if any, for testing.
- Blood test.
- Urine analysis.
- X-rays and ultrasounds.
Treatment for a Bitch’s Swollen Breasts
If you ask yourself, ” how to reduce inflammation of my dog’s breasts ?” You will have to bear in mind that it is something that totally depends on the main cause. Thus, depending on the origin of the problem, the solution will be one or the other.
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In case of not treating or not correctly carrying out the treatment indicated by the veterinarian, there is a risk that the dog’s health will seriously deteriorate, even being able to die, for example, in cases of mastitis. Of course, not all situations require treatment or medicine, and it must be borne in mind that, in the case of breast cancer, the treatments available today may not be enough.
Thus, among the most common treatments to reduce inflammation of a bitch’s breasts, there are the following options:
- Let it follow the natural course of heat, pregnancy, and lactation because once the dog is finished, it will return to its normal state.
- Antihistamines and remove the object that causes allergy if applicable.
- Carry out cures on the breasts and give antibiotics in the case of mastitis.
- Give hormonal treatment and express milk if there is a psychological pregnancy until it ends.
- Spay or neuter the bitch.
- Surgery to remove lumps, cysts, and tumors.
- Therapy for breast cancer.
The specialist may offer other possible treatments depending on the case. If you want to use natural products to treat the dog, it is best always to consult the vet first.
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff