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What is Miscarriage?

A dog may abort or reabsorb a litter at any time during her pregnancy due to a number of reasons. Without adequate levels of progesterone or proper nutrition, she cannot maintain her pregnancy. Infection or other diseases may likewise prompt a miscarriage. If your dog is secreting vaginal discharge, or if she abruptly becomes lethargic and depressed, she may have miscarried or aborted her pregnancy, though you will need to bring her to the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

A miscarriage is the spontaneous resorption or abortion of a dog’s litter. This is sudden and irreversible, and it typically results in a poor prognosis for any remaining fetuses, though most bitches make a full recovery. A veterinarian may be able to help your dog carry the rest of the litter to term if the necessary action is taken soon enough.

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Miscarriage Average Cost

From 298 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$750

Symptoms of Miscarriage in Dogs

A miscarriage may lead to either a spontaneous abortion or a resorption. If the litter is reabsorbed at the start of the pregnancy, your dog may not exhibit any signs. If a miscarriage occurs closer to the due date, however, a fetus will be aborted. You may see vaginal discharge, contractions, or expelled placental or fetal tissue. Often times, a dog owner doesn’t realize that the bitch has miscarried, as she may eat any expelled tissue before it is discovered. A dog who has suffered a miscarriage may be lethargic or depressed and may become dehydrated if she is refusing to eat or drink.

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Causes of Miscarriage in Dogs

There are many different reasons a pregnant dog may miscarry one or more of her puppies. These include:

  • Infection, such as brucellosis, herpes, or toxoplasmosis
  • Low progesterone levels
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Fetal defects
  • Endocrine disorders, such as Cushing’s disease
  • Genetic defects
  • Response to medication

Depending on the cause of the miscarriage, certain breeds of dogs may be more susceptible than others. Malnourished dogs are more likely to miscarry, as they lack the nutrients needed to carry a pregnancy to term.

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Diagnosis of Miscarriage in Dogs

A miscarriage may go undiagnosed if the owner does not realize that the dog was pregnant. This is especially true at the start of the pregnancy, when the bitch is more likely to reabsorb the prenatal tissue and to show no sign of her condition.

If you suspect that your dog has miscarried, bring her in to the veterinarian. The veterinarian can test for the presence of fetuses through palpation, radiographs, or ultrasound, which will reveal any puppies that are present. X-rays and ultrasounds are especially useful both for identifying uterine contents and for determining the viability of fetuses still present. Depending on the cause of the miscarriage, the veterinarian may recommend additional tests for infection or other underlying conditions, which will need to be treated to ensure your dog’s overall health.

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Treatment of Miscarriage in Dogs

Treatment for bitches who have miscarried is supportive and varies depending on circumstance. Restrict your dog’s activity, and make sure that she remains hydrated while she recovers. If any of the fetuses are still viable, the veterinarian will find a way to help your dog carry them to term. Otherwise, you will need to ensure that your dog has expelled all pregnancy-related tissues, which can be verified with an ultrasound.

If the pregnancy was aborted due to an infection, your dog will require antibiotics. Any other underlying conditions will likewise need to be treated, and IV fluid therapy may be recommended if your dog is severely dehydrated. The prognosis varies according to the cause of the miscarriage, though most bitches will recover and be able to conceive again in the future, with the exception being for dogs that have developed brucellosis or a uterine infection.

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Recovery of Miscarriage in Dogs

Your dog will need extra attention from you while she recovers from her miscarriage. Most bitches show signs of depression following the loss of her litter, but given time, she should recover and return to her old self. Limit her activity during the first few days following the miscarriage, and ensure that she has access to clean, fresh water, as well as a quiet, comfortable place where she can rest.

Monitor vaginal discharge daily, and alert the veterinarian if you notice anything unusual. As your dog recovers, the amount of discharge will decrease until it stops altogether. The veterinarian may recommend a follow-up exam depending on the cause of the miscarriage, especially if an infection was involved.

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Miscarriage Average Cost

From 298 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$750

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Miscarriage Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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German Shepherd

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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Still Increasing In Size

Brought in Pregnant dog believed to be 5-6 weeks. Wasnt eating properly. Bloodwork came back to be anemic and high monocytes count. Xray came back inflammation but no fetuses. She has perked up after the antibiotics, a tiny bit of pedialyte and tiny amount of vitamin b complex. She is still getting bigger in her abdominal region. And she is hungrier now than ever. Is there an internal bleed? Or when do they stop having signs and symptoms if no vital pregnancy?

Sept. 17, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. If your dog had an internal bleed, I suspect that she would not be feeling very well. X-rays do not show puppies at 5 to 6 weeks, so it is possible that she is pregnant. It would be best to have repeat x-rays taken, as the skeletons don't show up until about the last week of pregnancy. I hope that all goes well for her.

Sept. 17, 2020

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German Shepherd

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Four Years

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Anemia Inflammation

Brought in Pregnant dog believed to be 5-6 weeks. Wasnt eating properly. Bloodwork came back to be anemic and high monocytes count. Xray came back inflammation but not fetuses.

Sept. 17, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. If your dog had an internal bleed, I suspect that she would not be feeling very well. X-rays do not show puppies at 5 to 6 weeks, so it is possible that she is pregnant. It would be best to have repeat x-rays taken, as the skeletons don't show up until about the last week of pregnancy. I hope that all goes well for her.

Sept. 17, 2020

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Unknown

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Unknown

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

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Miscarriage

My dog delivered three puppies, all of them stillborn (two puppies were seemingly only red sacs, one was very small and premature-looking). I do not know if this is normal or if she is infected or there’s something wrong with her. There are no vets in the place that I live and I am very concerned for the health of my dog. Please help. Thank you.

Aug. 3, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question, and I am sorry that your dog is not feeling well. Unfortunately, without being able to see her, I can't say if what she has happening is normal or is a problem. There is some discharge after passing puppies, alive or dead, that is normal, but if she is bleeding excessively, she may have a problem. If she isn't eating, you can try offering her boiled white chicken and boiled white rice to see if that helps settle her stomach. She may need veterinary care, and if you need to travel to see a veterinarian, if she continues to bleed or won't eat, that may be what you need to do. I hope that she is okay.

Aug. 3, 2020

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Shih Tzu

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Eight Years

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Larger Blood Spots No Longer In Heat

I believe my dog got pregnant a couple weeks ago I found her stuck to a boy down the street she hasn’t ran off and they haven’t been whining for each other all hours of the day at night anymore he hasn’t came back around she’s been very calm and today she started bleeding again larger smudge on the floor but she seems perfectly fine I’m not sure what to do please help I don’t have hundreds of dollars that the Emergency place is looking for or asking for.

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, older dogs who are not spayed can have problems with their uterus or ovaries. She does need to be seen by a veterinarian, although if she is eating and drinking normally and not bleeding excessively, you can likely wait until your regular veterinarian is open so that you don't need to go to the ER. Most veterinary clinics have Saturday hours, or will be open on Monday. I hope that she is okay.

Aug. 1, 2020

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Boxer

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Five Years

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Puss In Eyes, Dehydration, Not Eating, Bleeding

My dog had slowly stopped eating, she went from not eating dog food and only eating meats to not eating at all. This went on for a week as well as she couldn’t open her eyes much and there was white/clear puss coming out of them. After about a week of not eating and being extremely dehydrated with her eyes like that her eyes had gotten better although she started to bleed a lot from her vagina. It couldn’t have been her heat because she had already had her heat about a month prior to this and there was much more blood. She bled for about a day. Any idea what this could have been?

July 13, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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I'm sorry that your dog is having problems. Dogs can develop infections and tumors of the uterus and ovaries. Your dog sounds quite ill, and it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian right away. They will be able to examine her, see what might be going on, and let you know what treatments need to happen for her. I hope that she is okay.

July 13, 2020

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Wendy

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Mix breed

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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My dog Wendy is nearly 2 years old and went through miscarriage with 3 puppies since we're not allowed to go outside we treated her at home. She's not eating as much, she's definitely depressed and is bleeding alot.

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Bella

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Pit bull

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2 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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Bloody Mucos And Lethargic

Hi my pit mix Bella is almost 2yrs old and was just having her 2nd heat. During this time the neighbor pit got to her 3 or 4 times. I figured 4 sure she was pregnant. Her heat cycle ended about a WK ago but this morning I found a dark puddle of liquid I didn't know what it was. She hasn't been herself all day and then tonight I found a leg pile of bloody mucos. Do u think she miscarried her pups

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Bang

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Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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5 Years

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Mild severity

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Miscarriage With Discharge

I have a bitch that at 4-5 weeks gestation she started to loose pinkish discharge She had a fever and was given antibiotics for 10 days. She is still loosing pinkish fluid after 2 weeks. No visible puppies born. She is now much better temp and appetite normal. I am concerned at how long this discharge/bleeding can go on in the case of a miscarriage. She is a Staffordsshire Bull Terrier 5 years of age with one previous successful mating. I want to spey her after she finishes discharging but am concerned about how long it is taking.

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Nany

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German Shepherd

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18 Months

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Critical severity

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Critical severity

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Miscarriage
Blood In Stool
Blood Valvua

Sir/madam my female dog was pregnant but when she pregnant around 32 day she start bleeding. Doctor give antibiotics bleeding was stop after 3 days of treatment. But now she 40 days pregnant and bleeding was started again.This is miscarriages sir please help me

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Mia

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Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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2 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

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No Symptoms

Hello my girl was mated by accident she had a the abortion injections as this breed she bred with was way too big and was not planned. We are hoping to breed her planned now as she's in heat now will this be ok since she has had an abortion 9 weeks ago or could this cause problems?

Miscarriage Average Cost

From 298 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$750

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