September 20, 2013

Spontaneous abortions in dogs

Disorders or defects of the mother, pups or placenta can all result in termination of pregnancy. Uterine disease, ovarian disease, fetal deformities, infections, including brucellosis, leptospirosis, herpesvirus, ehrlichiosis (tick fever), other organisms and certain drugs can all result in spontaneous abortion.{{more}}

Drugs like Corticosteroids given during pregnancy may result in spontaneous abortion.

Severe trauma to the abdomen while the animal is pregnant can also lead to abortion. By this I mean, if the animal is hit or kicked or even after a fight with another dog.

I have seen cases, where a pregnant animal jumped over a high fence while pregnant and aborted spontaneously soon afterwards.

Clinical signs may or may not be observed, other than no puppies being born when expected, depending upon the stage at which a given pregnancy was ended. Discharge or passing puppies prematurely may be observed. Fever, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea can all occur. Diagnosis includes observation of clinical signs, X-rays, ultrasound, analysis of discharges, blood counts and serologic testing for brucellosis, ehrlichiosis and leptospirosis, where appropriate. Severe infections in the uterus could be common post-abortion side effects.

Treatment of Abortion

While little can usually be done after the fact, dogs should receive medications to clean out the uterus, antibiotics to prevent infection and spaying, if it seems preferable to no longer breed the bitch. It is important to obtain a proper diagnosis, as again, some causes of spontaneous abortion are communicable (passed from animals to humans) and need aggressive treatment to stop their spread.

For further information, contact: Dr Collin Boyle
Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd.
Tel: 456 4981