What Happens if a Female Dog Bleeds During Pregnancy?

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A dog who bleeds while pregnant could lose her litter.
Image Credit: mother dog with puppy image by Phaedra Wilkinson from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

A dog's pregnancy lasts between 58 and 68 days, during which time you may notice a small amount of mucous-like vaginal discharge. If this mucous has a pink tint, that is normal, but if you notice red, bloody or pus-like discharge, this could indicate a problem with your dog's pregnancy. Bleeding during pregnancy is not normal and requires immediate veterinary care for your dog.


Spontaneous Abortion

One of the most serious causes for your dog's bleeding during her pregnancy is spontaneous abortion or miscarriage of a fetus or her entire litter. The symptoms of a spontaneous abortion are vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. The dog may also expel a fetus from her uterus. While the cause of such an event is usually related to a hormonal imbalance, according to PetMD, other underlying medical conditions could be to blame, such as an infection. At the first signs of vaginal bleeding during your dog's pregnancy, take her to a veterinarian to diagnose the cause.


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Vaginitis and Cystitis

During pregnancy, your dog may develop vaginitis, a condition that can produce a discharge that contains blood. Bacterial infections are the main cause of this irritation of the vaginal area. You may see that your dog licks the area, scoots along the floor or urinates frequently with this condition. Cystitis is another type of infection that can occur during pregnancy, which affects the dog's bladder. A bladder infection can cause blood in the urine, which may appear to look like bloody vaginal discharge. A dog with a bladder infection may strain to urinate or experience pain while urinating. Treatment for either condition may require the use of an antibiotic that is considered safe for pregnant dogs, as recommended by a veterinarian.



Pyometra is a potentially fatal condition that can affect a dog during the first month of her pregnancy, according to Mike Richards, DVM, of the VetInfo website. This is an infection of the uterus itself, which may cause an unpleasant vaginal discharge and blood. In some cases, the cervix becomes closed, leading to a buildup of infected fluid. Treatment for this condition is usually the surgical removal of the uterus itself through a spay procedure; depending on the severity of your dog's condition, she could lose her litter. In some cases, antibiotics can be given to treat cases that are not life threatening.



Any type of bleeding or vaginal discharge during your dog's pregnancy is not normal and can indicate an infection or complication with her pregnancy. To prevent the spread of disease that can affect a dog's pregnancy, keep her isolated from other dogs for three weeks before delivery, recommends the Hilltop Animal Hospital. While the use of antibiotics has its risks in terms of affecting your dog's fetuses, failure to treat serious infections that are causing bleeding can lead to the death of your dog. Puppies can also be affected by your dog's untreated infection after birth, catching the bacteria from her. Consult a veterinarian to treat any possible medical conditions affecting your pregnant dog.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.



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