What You Should Know about Dog Abortion

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Dog AbortionDog abortion is a dog pregnancy termination performed through PGF treatment. The PGF treatment happens using Prostaglandin, which is a group of physiologically active lipid compounds that acts as anti-hormone. This anti-hormone will be stopping progesterone, which is necessary for pregnancy maintenance. Lack of progesterone will result in a dog’s abortion.

Read below as I cover everything you need to know about this topic in detail.

What is dog abortion?

It is a procedure that a female dog (bitch) undergoes to terminate the pregnancy before she reaches full term or gives birth.

There are two kinds of abortion for dogs: planned and unplanned. An unplanned or spontaneous termination of pregnancy is also called a miscarriage.

We get that accidents happen, but why would a dog’s pregnancy need to be terminated early?

Why do dogs need an abortion?

Pregnant Chihuahua

Pregnant Chihuahua

One health-related reason for the procedure is that the dog is too young to be having puppies.

Mismating or accidental breeding is another reason why owners want to terminate their dog’s pregnancy.

Accidental mating could result in unwanted puppies that commonly end up in shelters.

The mother’s health can also be put in danger because her body won’t be able to carry the pregnancy due to her size or age. In the worst-case scenario, it can cause death.

Regardless of your reasons for wanting to end your pet’s pregnancy, don’t hesitate to talk to a veterinarian about your options.

Is dog abortion legal?

Yes, the procedure is completely legal. Most veterinarians will offer you safe options to terminate your dog’s pregnancy. Unfortunately, not all of them will have the drugs needed to complete the procedure.

It’s crucial to discuss the topic with your vet as early as possible, so you’ll know if you need to find a new clinic for your dog should the need for abortion arise.

What are the signs that a dog is pregnant?

If you’re worried and you suspect that your dog might be pregnant, keep a close watch on her body and behavior. She will undergo some significant changes around 4 to 5 weeks into pregnancy.

Aside from the obvious swelling of the stomach, some signs of pregnancy in dogs include:

  • Teats that are enlarged or discolored
  • Increased appetite
  • A sudden decrease in activity
  • Nesting behavior

Here’s a video of a vet is explaining signs that would indicate that your dog is pregnant.

Be more watchful of your dog this is her first potential pregnancy. If she seems to be quieter and more reserved, make sure that it’s not a sign of sickness.

Of course, your best option would be to take your dog to a vet to confirm the pregnancy.

As soon as 3 to 4 weeks after the suspected breeding, a vet can perform standard vaginal cytology on your dog to see if she’s in heat or to confirm the presence of sperm cells.

How long can I wait to terminate my dog’s pregnancy?

If you want an abortion for your dog, bring her to the vet as soon as you suspect that she’s pregnant.

The earlier the vet confirms that your pet is pregnant, the more options you have in terms of safely ending the pregnancy. Only a specialist or a vet can advise what option is better.

It’s best to take action as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more stress is involved for you and your dog. You may not even have a choice but to bring the litter to term.

Where can my dog have an abortion and how much does it cost?

Cockapoo getting an ultrasound

A Cockapoo getting an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy

The safest place for your the procedure is at the vet’s clinic or an animal hospital.

A vet knows how to evaluate and handle the situation properly. He’ll also be able to inform you of the possible risks of the procedure.

The procedure tends to more affordable during the earlier stages of the dog’s pregnancy.

If your dog had an accidental mating within the first 15 days of her heat cycle, the costs of abortion may range from $45 to $175, depending on where you live.

Drug-induced methods are around $100 to $700. Factors that affect these procedures’ costs include your dog’s size and how far along she is in the pregnancy.

If the pregnancy is too advanced, the price goes up, costing between $2,000 to $3,000. In some clinics, these expenses include hospitalization and medication needed after the procedure.

What are my dog’s options for pregnancy termination?

There are several drugs that your vet can administer for ending your dog’s pregnancy.

Prostaglandin F2 Alpha is a natural hormone that can terminate the pregnancy as long as medical professional monitors your dog during the procedure. It has mild side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, panting, and trembling.

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that can be injected into your dog to terminate its pregnancy. Side effects include panting, polyuria (excessive urination), and polydipsia (excessive drinking).

Surgical abortion and abortifacient medications are severe options that you should choose with caution. These are mostly used for late pregnancies and dogs that undergo these methods take a longer time to recover.

After surgery, she will likely stay at the hospital or clinic for recuperation and observation by a vet or a specialist.

Yorkshire Terrier getting an injection with an unhappy expression

Yorkshire Terrier getting an injection

Can my dog take a morning-after pill?

If you’re wondering whether a morning-after pill designed for humans would work on your dog, the answer is, it won’t.

In fact, you shouldn’t give your pets any kind of medication intended for humans unless a vet prescribes it. Giving your dog human medicine can result in overdosing to the point of toxicity or cause problems in the dog’s reproductive system.

In some cases, a vet can terminate the pregnancy with abortion pills specifically for canines.

What about mismate injections?

Also known as misalliance treatment, canine pregnancy can be terminated using injectable estrogens, which need to be administered within the first 22 days of the suspected conception date.

Two mismate injections are given 24 hours apart into the scruff of your dog’s neck. The shots are generally effective and the termination can occur within 7 days of administering the injections.

Some bitches can have fetal expulsion or only partially reabsorb, so you have to take your dog to get a scan 4 weeks after taking the injections. If the pregnancy continues, she has to be monitored as the viability of her puppies may be compromised.

Side effects of mismate shots include anorexia, vomiting, or mammary congestion.

Aside from the potentially serious side effects, these injections aren’t cheap. You’d have to be ready to pay for two consultations, two shots, and the scan to make sure the procedure is successful.

Your dog’s recovery from abortion

Dog sleeping while cuddling a stuffed animal

This can be a stressful procedure for your pet, especially if complications arise.

No matter what pregnancy termination method you choose, you can expect her to be in recovery for weeks, sometimes even months.

You can either keep your dog confined in the clinic until she has fully recovered.

If you want to take her home as soon as possible, don’t forget to schedule follow-up appointments with the vet.

Before your dog comes home from the hospital or clinic, make sure that your dog has a clean, quiet, and cozy area where she can rest and recuperate. Give your pet supplements for nutritional support, but consult your vet first.

Watch out for other changes in your dog’s body and behavior. If certain side effects seem unusual to you, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.

If you’ve opted to have your pet spayed after ending her pregnancy, make sure you monitor her stitches for signs of infection such as swelling.

Preventing unwanted pregnancy in your dog

The belly of a spayed female dog

Sutures on the belly of a spayed dog

The best way to prevent unwanted pregnancy for your dog is to have her spayed.

It’s safe for her to undergo this procedure once she turns six months old.

Aside from preventing unexpected pregnancy, the procedure will also help your dog avoid mammary cancer and uterine infections such as pyometra.

If you don’t want to have your dog spayed, don’t let her wander off when she’s in heat.

Keep her at home, where she’s not likely to attract the attention of male dogs.

What are your thoughts on dog abortion? Share your opinions and stories with us by leaving a comment below.

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