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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 (stays inside the body) or abortion (leaves the body) 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 potentially 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. Oftentimes, 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. If she has an infection you may also notice she has a fever and there is foul-smelling discharge from her vagina.

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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, neospora 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

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Pit Bull

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Seven Years

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Unknown severity

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8 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Woke up this morning my dog is pregnant and bleeding black blood not a lot but in spots

Dec. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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8 Recommendations

Hello, this could be early signs of labor if she is about to be due. I would have your vet look at her and make sure everything is okay.

Dec. 28, 2020

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dog-name-icon

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German Shepherd

dog-age-icon

Four Years

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Unknown severity

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5 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Pregnant, whelping, showing green discharge, a ton of licking of the vulva, not eating but drinking. This has been going on for 3 days. No contractions and no pushing, belly seems to have gone down. I’m really concerned

Dec. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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5 Recommendations

Hello, if she has been in labor for 3 days, it is best for her to see a vet. She will most likely need a c-section. Sometimes puppies get stuck in the birth canal and need to be physically removed via a c-section.

Dec. 27, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

Miscarriage Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$750

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

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