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Abortion in Dogs

Preventing pregnancy in pets is a widespread concern among pet owners, with various reasons driving their decision. If a dog becomes pregnant, pet owners may seek safe pregnancy termination methods. However, it’s crucial to emphasize the importance of consulting a medical professional for guidance and evaluation of risks and potential side effects before proceeding with any termination procedures.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that dogs may experience spontaneous abortions or miscarriages due to various medical factors. Both scenarios—seeking termination and experiencing spontaneous abortion—require careful consideration and attention to the dog’s health and well-being.

Symptoms and Types

If your dog undergoes a spontaneous abortion, the primary symptom you might observe is abnormal vaginal bleeding, occasionally accompanied by the expulsion of a fetus. Hormonal imbalances typically account for fetal death, the leading cause of spontaneous abortions in dogs.

Following a planned abortion, bleeding stands out as the most prevalent symptom post-procedure. It’s essential to closely observe your dog for any signs of side effects or health-related concerns, enabling prompt response and care.


A dog’s pregnancy can be identified using an ultrasound machine. Moreover, health care providers often require an ultrasound of the fetus before consenting to a medical abortion. Doppler-type devices can also be utilized to listen to the heartbeat of a fetus in later stages of pregnancy.


For individuals seeking safe options to either prevent an unwanted pregnancy or terminate a potential pregnancy in their dogs, there exist several medical alternatives to consider. To permanently prevent pregnancy in dogs, spaying (ovariohysterectomy) stands as the optimal choice. Regarding pregnancy termination, the following are the most common medical options:

  • Injectable Estrogens – These can be administered by a medical professional to prevent pregnancy. The injection must be given shortly after mating to be effective. However, there are several potential side effects to consider, including bone marrow suppression and pyometra (i.e., uterine infection).
  • Oral Estrogens – Not recommended due to ineffectiveness and the potential for causing pyometra in animals.
  • Prostaglandin F2 alpha – A natural hormone that has been shown to induce safe abortion in pets when monitored by a healthcare professional. Most side effects are mild, if present at all, and may include panting, trembling, nausea, and diarrhea.
  • Dexamethasone – Another viable option for inducing abortion in pets. The injection is typically followed by side effects such as panting, excessive drinking (polydipsia), and urination (polyuria).

Living and Management

It’s crucial to recognize that despite common beliefs, postcoital douches are not effective in terminating unwanted pregnancies in pets. After both planned and spontaneous abortions, pets may experience discomfort, vaginal bleeding, or abnormal discharge. Pet owners should attentively observe their animals’ behavior to prevent the development of more serious issues.

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