Your four-legged family member is expecting! It’s a very exciting time, knowing she will soon have a litter of puppies. Your home will be filled with the pitter patter of little feet.
However, it’s also a stressful time. You worry about your female as well as her unborn babies. You give her the best food and monitor her closely. Then, you notice she has a discharge, and naturally become concerned.
The good news is that some discharge is normal. However, other types of discharge can indicate an infection or other physical problem.
Why does my pregnant dog have discharge?
When it comes to discharge, you can learn a lot about the cause by looking at the color of the discharge. You’ll also want to take note of any foul smells that can accompany dishcharge.
The good news is, clear discharge is perfectly normal. The discharge should be clear, not milky. It shouldn’t have a smelly odor, either.
This occurs as she gets closer to delivery. Her hormone levels cause increased lubrication.
As she nears labor, she will lose her mucus plug. The mucus plug keeps the uterus sealed during pregnancy, to prevent bacteria from getting inside.
As the cervix dilates, she will lose this plug. This discharge can be clear, white, or yellow tinged. It has the consistency of egg whites.
Brown discharge is also normal, at least right before labor. It’s typically watery and contains some mucus. Along with the discharge, you’ll see other signs of labor.
If you know when her conception date is, you may already know she’s due to give birth. She will likely begin nesting in earnest. She may dig holes or arrange blankets in preparation for her puppies.
Her rectal temperature will also drop. A dog’s normal temperature is between 101 and 102.5 degrees. If it drops below 99, this indicates she will have puppies soon, likely within 24 hours.
Green discharge means that the placenta has separated from the uterus. It can also indicate the amniotic sac rupturing. Once the sac ruptures or the placenta separates from the uterus, the puppy must be born quickly.
The placenta is the puppy’s lifeline when in the womb. They can’t survive long without it. The same is true for the amniotic sac. Once it ruptures, the clock is ticking for the puppy.
If your female is having a green discharge and isn’t in active labor, you’ll need to seek emergency care.
Bloody discharge typically indicates a serious problem. A small amount of pink discharge is normal. However, bloody discharge is considered a veterinary emergency.
One potential cause is pyrometra. This is an infection of the uterus. It can occur shortly after the heat cycle ends. It can also occur during pregnacy.
Pyrometra can be closed or open. In open pyrometra, a bloody, yellow, or green discharge occurs. In closed pyrometra, no discharge is present. Instead, the pus caused by infection stays inside the dog.
A bloody discharge can also indicate a dead puppy. If she doesn’t birth the puppy or have it removed, it can cause an infection as well.
Discharge After Labor and Delivery
After your dog has puppies, she will have a discharge. Immediately after labor, you can expect a black, red, or green discharge. It will change color over the few weeks after labor, eventually becoming tan or pink before stopping completely.
Just like pregnancy discharge, post delivery discharge can indicate a problem. If your dog has pus in the discharge or it has a foul odor, this can indicate an infection.
If you notice these signs, call your vet immediately. Other signs to look for include fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. These symptoms also warrant a vet visit.
Is it normal for pregnant dogs to have discharge?
It is normal for a pregnant dog to have some discharge. If the discharge is clear or white, it’s probably due to the mucus plug. Brown discharge is common at the end of preganncy.
However, green, yellow, or bloody discharge is not normal during pregnacny. If your pooch has any of these types of discharge, she needs prompt veterinary care.
What to do if my pregnant dog has discharge?
There are a few things you’ll need to do if your pregnant dog has dishcarge. The specifics will vary based on the type of discharge and its causes.
If your female has normal dishcarge, which is typically clear or white, is normal. In this case, all you need to do is monitor her. Watch for changes or other types of discharge, or any other concerning symptoms.
These include fever, lethargy, and signs she is in pain. Just like humans, a pregnant dog can be uncomfortable. Her discomfort will increase as she nears the end of pregnancy.
However, she should not appear to be in serious pain. If she is whining or panting heavily and isn’t in active labor, it’s best to give your vet a call. If her stomach is swollen or sore to the touch, these are also signs she needs to be checked out.
If your furry friend has brown discharge, it’s a good idea to check her temperature. If it’s at or below 99, you know that labor is very near. She should also show other signs of laobr, including nesting. She may also have a loss of appetite.
If she has a brown dishcarge, and isn’t showing signs of labor, it’s a good idea to call your vet. You may need to bring her in for a checkup.
If your pooch has green discharge and isn’t in active labor, you’ll need to seek emergency veterinary care. If she produces a puppy immediately after green discharge, it is not a concern. However, in any other situation, a green discharge is very concerning.
A smelly discharge is also a concern. A foul smelling discharge can indicate an infection. This requires immediate veterinary treatment as well.
When in Doubt
If you have any concerns about your dog’s discharge, err on the side of caution. The best thing to do if you aren’t sure if something is wrong is to call your vet.
They can then advise you on what to do based on your dog’s symptoms. This may include monitoring her, or bringing her into the vet.
What to Expect at the Vet
What happens if you need to bring your pregnant dog in due to discharge? Your vet will likely perform some diagnostic tests.
An ultrasound can show them the size and health of your dog’s uterus, and can also let them know how many puppies she has if she’s close to her due date.
They may also perform blood tests. This can reveal infection, dehydration, and organ function. In addition, they will perform a physical exam.
Once these tests are completed, your vet can make a diagnosis. Depending on the problem, treatment can include hospitalization, emergency c section, or antibiotics.