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What is Abortion?

When a dog becomes pregnant by accident, it may be necessary to terminate the pregnancy. This is done after much investigation into the reasons for the pregnancy, the need to end it, and the safest method of proceeding. The method of ending the pregnancy will depend on factors such as the age of the dog and whether the owner hopes to breed her in the future. An owner may decide to end the pregnancy of their dog if the female is too young to carry a pregnancy safely, or if the accidental mating happened between disproportionate partners. Your veterinarian will take steps to ensure that your dog is indeed pregnant before going through with a treatment.

An abortion in a dog canl result due to a termination of the pregnancy by the veterinarian as requested by the owner. The spontaneous event of unplanned abortion is known as a miscarriage. There are numerous reasons why a planned termination of pregnancy may be necessary, such as protection of the health of the mother or accidental mismating of canines.

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Symptoms of Abortion in Dogs

Choosing to terminate the pregnancy of a canine is not one that is taken lightly. There are many cases, however, of a dog getting away from the owner while in heat, thus creating a worrisome situation. Chances are the owner is now wondering whether the family pet will now bring puppies into a world full of dogs needing homes. In other cases, a purebred dog may mate with an undesirable partner, or a pet who has not been spayed due to the plans for future breeding becomes pregnant before the owner’s desire. 

When a female dog is in estrous (or commonly known as heat), she is receptive to a male dog’s for about a week but is actually only fertile for 3 to 7 days approximately.

If she becomes pregnant and an abortion takes place, whether spontaneous or planned you will see bleeding for a few days after the event.

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Causes of Abortion in Dogs

The termination of a pregnancy may be decided upon for a number of reasons.

  • A purebred female is impregnated in a mismatch
  • The mating dogs may be disproportionate in size
  • The owner does not want to add puppies to the present population
  • The owner feels the dog is too old for a healthy pregnancy
  • The dog is too young (she has become pregnant at her first estrous)

A spontaneous abortion may occur for reasons like nutritional deficiencies, death of the embryo, or bacterial infection.

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Diagnosis of Abortion in Dogs

Before a pregnancy is terminated, the veterinarian will want to confirm that your pet is indeed pregnant. You may have witnessed the mating take place but this in no way confirms if conception occurred. A vaginal smear can be done to verify the presence of sperm; however, this does not mean that your canine companion has conceived. In order to be sure if your pet is carrying puppies, an ultrasound at 25 days gestation may give evidence to the fact. Some pet owners may want to have the potential pregnancy avoided; this will need to be discussed with the veterinarian.

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Treatment of Abortion in Dogs

Your veterinarian can give you the best advice as to which method is safest and most effective for your pet, based on the stage of pregnancy. Ovariohysterectomy is the complete removal of the ovaries and uterus. It is very successful in terminating and preventing pregnancy. This is done early on in a pregnancy. A veterinarian may find it difficult and uncomfortable performing this procedure on a canine in late pregnancy, very understandably so.

There are other methods that can be used to terminate a pregnancy in your dog. Discussion with your veterinarian is absolutely necessary as you make a decision as to what will in the long-term, be the best solution for your dog and for you as the owner.

Prostaglandin injections, given for 4 days, stop the hormone progesterone and are 80% effective in ending a pregnancy by causing the uterus to contract, making the pregnancy nonviable. The fetuses are reabsorbed. Dexamethasone is injected twice daily for 10 days at 30 days gestation; the fetuses are either aborted or reabsorbed. Prolactin antagonists are an oral medication given twice daily at 35 to 40 days gestation, causing the fetuses to be aborted in 3 to 5 days. Side effects like increased thirst and nausea have been noted with these methods.

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Recovery of Abortion in Dogs

Some pet owners prefer that their pet remain at the clinic for the entire time of the procedure due to the possible unpleasantness of the abortion procedure and results. As well, some canine owners want to ensure the termination is complete before bringing their pet home. This is a personal decision that you will want to discuss with your veterinarian.

If your pet had an ovariohysterectomy, she will need rest and quiet when she returns home which is usually the day after the surgery. She will have stitches and therefore needs to remain quiet with leash walks only for exercise. Your veterinarian will advise you of the follow up appointment necessary after your pet has been spayed.

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Abortion Average Cost

From 52 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$450

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Written by hannah hollinger

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 04/24/2016, edited: 04/16/2021

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Abortion Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Sage

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Cane Corso

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9 Months

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Moderate severity

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Abortion Of Pregnancy

We have a 9 month old pure bred Cane Corso. She is in her first heat, and she wandered away from my husband for 5 mins this morning and a stray came out of the woods and mounted her. They were hooked but for a short time. We wanted to breed her to another purebred after she turns 2 but now I don't know what we should do if she is pregnant by this stray. I've scheduled an appointment with our vet but I would appreciate any advice. Thank you!

March 1, 2018

Sage's Owner

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There is nothing you can do at home at this point, you should visit your Veterinarian as soon as possible to discuss possible methods for preventing or aborting pregnancy; at this early stage there are medical methods available which your Veterinarian will discuss with you. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

March 1, 2018

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Nix

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Black Lab/ Pitbull

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6 Months

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Moderate severity

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Connected To Unfixed Male Dog

I have a black lab pit bull mix female who is approximately 6 months and we saw that she was accidentally just bread by my mom's Chesapeake Bay Retriever. she had one set of shots only when she was one month old so she does need all of her shots and I am concerned about number one bringing her in somewhere because of the possibility of parvo and also her health at 6 months old being bred what are your suggestions on keeping her healthy and safe?

Jan. 24, 2018

Nix's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your email. You are justified in being concerned. She is very young to have come into heat! If she isn't fully vaccinated, that is very important to have done as soon as possible. She is much more in danger of being affected by Parvo virus being in contact with other dogs than by going to the veterinary clinic for vaccines, and your veterinarian will be able to examine her, make sure that she is healthy, and recommend anything that she might need. You can tell if she is actually pregnant with an ultrasound, or x-rays at later stages. I hope that everything goes well for Nix!

Jan. 25, 2018

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Shuga

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Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog)

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1 Year

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Hello My caucasian shepherd since November 15th after then there were a few signs she was pregnant... With a little swollen nipples now it's January no signs of pregnancy... I guess she had a miscarriage... But how long does it takes to the heat Cycle after a miscarriage?

Jan. 22, 2018

Shuga's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your email. Dogs can have false pregnancies, where they hormonally go through a pregnancy, but they aren't pregnant. She may be having a false pregnancy, or she may have lost her puppies early. They typically go through a heat cycle every 6-12 months, but hers may be unusual if she has hormonal differences. It would be a good idea to have her examined by your veterinarian to make sure that she is okay.

Jan. 22, 2018

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Mikasa

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Boxer

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Two Years

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Can a female dog abort some puppies but not all. About 2 weeks after matting I found a 6 inch diamater of blood with some tissue in the yard. I thought she wasn’t going to have any but got an X-ray and she has one pup. Didn’t tell vet as I just remembered about the blood in the yard.

Jan. 12, 2018

Mikasa's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your email. That is unlikely. The tissue may have been discharge associated with the pregnancy or the puppy. It would be a good idea to keep in contact with your veterinarian, as the puppy should be coming within the next 15 days if it showed up on the x-ray. If she has any problems delivering, it will be good to have your veterinarian involved.

Jan. 12, 2018

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Sugar

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chihuahua mix

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8 Years

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Moderate severity

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Panting
Acting Weird

My 8 year old Chihuahua mix has just been spayed after being pregnant for about 40 days as I was unaware of this pregnancy...or the father. It's been 4 days and she's been glued to me more than usual. Shes also crying A LOT especially if I have to get up. I expected her to act differently, but now she's panting too. Shes also burried herself in a hamper of my old clothes, just panting. The surgery site looks fine, her appetite is normal, she's going potty normal. Im just concerned. Shes never been pregnant before or anything. Is she in pain? (She has no meds) is she suffering mentally from it being a late termination?

Dec. 27, 2017

Sugar's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your email. The fact that she is eating and drinking normally is good, and her incision site healing well is great! While I can't examine her, she sounds normal other than her behavior. She may be anxious from the procedure, the medications, and the stress on her body. If she doesn't begin to calm down and act normally in the next few days, it would be a good idea to have her examined by her veterinarian and make sure that she is okay. I hope that everything goes well for her.

Dec. 27, 2017

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Abortion Average Cost

From 52 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$450

Protect yourself and your pet. Compare top pet insurance plans.

Compare Pet Insurance & Wellness Plans

Save up to $273 per year

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