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Monday, April 15, 2013
Blaze and this round of False Pregnancy
A false pregnancy is when after the heat (ovulation) is over, the body and mind act like their is a pregnancy even when there isn't one. It can be psychologically difficult on females depending on the severity of symptoms. Physically females can have large and swollen teats, sometimes so much that they produce milk. Physiologically the dogs believe they are pregnant and may eat little or not at all, begin nesting behaviors and horde toys with a sense that these are their puppies. They may also become depressed, lack energy, become moody and some may go the extreme of becoming aggressive It is still up for debate whether false pregnancies are hereditary or if they are a natural part of the cycle of a female dog and some don't even believe it exist.
But this false pregnancy turned on a switch once she found her toy. She hasn't been able to leave it. She almost can't bare to part with it. If she does move she carries it and then as in a state of confusion because something simple like sitting at my feet at dinner (like she does every night) is compounded by the fact she has no place safe to put the baby. So she goes back to her bed and sits with it. She carries it out to take of business, very quickly. Only to non-stop whine in worry when she wants back in. Suddenly this toy, her baby has taken on a totally different meaning from before and I don't know what caused the switch. There weren't any signs leading up to it and all of the sudden that baby is the most important thing in her life.
She is still eating, drinking and going outside, which is good. The only thing that was different was her heat
This extreme of this false pregnancy lasted a week, where she couldn't stand to be parted from her baby. It was pretty scary because this isn't the Blaze I know. And it would be a factor if she were to get pregnant because she may be more obsessed with the toy than care for the puppies. Silver went through the same thing before she got pregnant and after she gave birth. She ran all over the house and digging at the floor trying to find her toy that we had taken away from her since we didn't know what the toy meant. It took us a couple of days to finally realize it was part of her pregnancy we finally gave the toy back to Silver. Although the intensity was much lower than what I'm seeing in Blaze, Silver never once neglected her puppies and still took good care of them. Dogs have been known to abandon and neglect their puppies because of mixing false pregnancy symptoms with a real one. At least with Blaze we would be aware of what to look for if we were to breed her.
So Blaze is still carrying her toy around, but she can leave it somewhere and come back for it later without being in a panic. Her mood has lightened, she happy and content and doesn't seem possessed by the toy. So that is a relief. We are just going to let things play out right now before we make any decisions about anything, but for now we are just happy she is OK.