Miscarriages in dogs can occur at any point throughout the pregnancy, even before you realise your dog is pregnant. If you do suspect that your dog is pregnant, make an appointment with your veterinarian to confirm the pregnancy and receive instructions for how to care for your pet. Despite all the best care, sometimes a miscarriage is unavoidable. The signs of miscarriage, otherwise known as spontaneous abortion, vary according to how advanced the pregnancy was.
Bloody Vaginal Discharge
You may notice a bloody vaginal discharge from the dam, although if the dog aborts early in the pregnancy, she may not experience discharge. Any discharge warrants a trip to your veterinarian to determine if a miscarriage has occurred and receive necessary treatment.
A dog's abdomen will not be discernibly larger until late in the pregnancy. If your dog aborts after six or seven weeks, you will likely see a difference in the size of her abdomen. This can occur with or without a vaginal discharge, because her body may absorb the puppies instead of expelling them.
Failure to Give Birth
When your dog does not give birth at the end of her gestational period, it can indicate that a spontaneous abortion occurred at some point earlier in the pregnancy. After the abortion, the dog may continue to exhibit the symptoms of pregnancy due to hormones. For this reason, you may not know that a miscarriage has occurred until a few days after her due date. A false pregnancy can also cause all of the symptoms of pregnancy without an actual birth; confirmation of pregnancy will require an ultrasound.
Vomiting and Diarrhea
A pregnant dog that has a miscarriage will sometimes suffer a bout of vomiting and diarrhoea as her hormone levels return to normal. Increasing the dog's fluid intake can lessen the risk of dehydration, but if the vomiting and diarrhoea are severe, you need to see your veterinarian.
A dog can experience depression after a miscarriage, especially if she has given birth before. Dogs love their puppies, and can have a major case of the blues if they lose them. Be gentle and loving with her as her hormone levels return to normal, and you should soon have your old pet back.
A late-term miscarriage will cause expulsion of the foetuses if the pregnancy is too far along for the dam's body to absorb the fetal tissue. Hormonal imbalance or preterm labour can cause late-term abortions. Your veterinarian can perform tests on the dam to check her hormone levels during the pregnancy; if the puppies are still alive when preterm labour has commenced, he can possibly slow the labour long enough for the puppies to be born healthy.