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Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM

Menopause in dogs?

By December 3, 2003

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From the VetMed Forum: "Can a dog go through menopause? Daisy is a pitt bull mix that I adopted from a rescue group (Happy Tails, CA) about a year ago. The vet thinks she is between 5-8 years old. She has had one litter after another and had to have mastectomy after being spayed. Sometimes when I pet her head at night the top of her head seems to be very hot while the rest of her body is not. I had her tested for thyroid and she was borderline. Any ideas?"

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February 24, 2007 at 2:01 am
(1) gwen says:

my mom dog never had a puppy and she is only 3yrs of age and all of a sudden she have this stuff toy and she act like its a her puppy

March 27, 2007 at 9:08 pm
(2) Schrodie says:


It sounds like your mom’s dog might be experiencing a “false pregnancy”. I can’t diagnose what’s going on because I’m NOT a veterinarian, and I can’t see your mom’s dog but this is fairly common in female dogs who haven’t been spayed. Your vet can sometimes give a dog in false pregnancy a hormone shot to stop the false pregnancy, but it can occasionally cause some problems of its own. False pregnancy is caused most often by increased levels of progesterone, a hormone that sustains pregnancy. Progesterone is made mostly by the ovaries, and to a lesser degree by the pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland located in the brain. When a dog comes in and out of heat, her hormone levels rise and fall– different hormones at differnt times. These hormone changes are very stressful, and over time will increase an animal’s risk of mammary (breast) cancers. Unspayed dogs and cats are also at risk of a serious or even life-threatening uterus infection called pyometra.

Both of these risks can be drastically reduced by having your pet spayed. You’ll also prevent puppies (or kittens for the cat lovers out there) from being born when there are many, many wonderful pets out there who need and deserve a good “forever-home”.

Please don’t litter. Spay or neuter your pets.

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