Friday, 1 August 2014

Phantom Puppies *And Update

Poor little Pop.

She's been out of sorts over the last couple of days. Usually she is my little shadow and sleeps not far from wherever I am, but over the past two days I've had to go looking for her and have found her in the big dog bed in the sitting room reluctant to leave it. The night before last she started howling at 3am, which is most unlike her. She really didn't want to leave the bed in the sitting room when it was time to go in the dogs room for sleeps last night, and when the piteous howling started up again at 3.30am, I suggested to M that we let her sleep in there as that was where she seemed to want to be. So M went down and opened the door and she shot in, ignoring him entirely (completely out of character) and settled down to sleep there with never another murmur.

Today I found her shredding paper into a nest shape behind the big bed in that room, and when I went back to check on her half an hour later she was tucked up inside her newspaper nest fast asleep, curled tightly round a small squashy toy cow that she was keeping warm.

I've not experienced phantom pregnancies in dogs before, but a quick scootle round the internet revealed that's it's fairly common. Two to three months after a season the hormone levels drop in the same way they do when a dog gives birth, so poor little Pops thinks she's had pups in the sitting room and is carrying the squishy moo cow around everywhere with her and running off with it if you get too close.

Our vet is a great believer in medicating for everything. I am not. So it will be an interesting meeting when I take Pops down to get her checked over this afternoon :-)

Small and sad :-(

Teddy, meanwhile, is being very solicitous and gentle with her. He hasn't got a clue what's going on (in common with most blokes when it comes to lady hormones :-) ), but he knows something is up and he keeps licking her nose and wagging his tail encouragingly at her. Dear boy.



I have five children really: three human ones and two canine, and I worry about them all in equal measure.

If any of you have any experience with phantom pregnancies in dogs please drop me a line through the comments page and let me know how these things usually progress. I will be keeping a close eye on her.



Thanks all,

CT :-) 

Quick Update: Just back from the V.E.T and poor old Pop has a full on phantom pregnancy including the production of milk, so she has some hormone medication to help dry that up and balance her out. This is the right decision- a full on PP such as this one can be bad for them psychologically. Hopefully, in a week she should be back to herself.

32 comments:

  1. Aw, poor thing. If only they could talk and tell us what's wrong.

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    1. Yes indeedy. You have to listen all the harder when the communication is non-verbal. She seems a little easier in herself tonight after a good long restful sleep so fingers crossed she'll be OK soon.

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  2. I have no advice for this one, never heard of this 'condition' before but I hope she's back to her old self again soon.

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    1. Thanks Louise. The vet knew all about it so I felt reasonably confident in her diagnosis and treatment plan. Apparently, dogs who get phantom pregnancies once are likely to get them again :-(

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  3. I had once a dog with phantom pregnancy, She took one of the children's toy (a plastic aligator) and traete him like her own baby, After few weeks it disapears. (Sorry about my english, but hope you get the general idea)

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    1. That's exactly what she's doing with this little soft cow toy. The advice from the vet was to remove it, which seems so harsh, but apparently it helps them get back to normal sooner. Thanks for the info on your dog- it's always a relief to hear from someone who's been through it. And your English is a lot better than my Hebrew :-) Hope everyone is OK with you today.

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  4. Poor love! I have no experience I'm afraid but she has my enormous sympathy.....you too! xx

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    1. Thanks Em. As I am currently the only other girl in the house I am feeling very defensive of her and trying to make all the boys understand how she must be feeling, poor little girl. As a result of this I have decreed that she is allowed to cuddle up on the sofa. M is scandalised! xx

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  5. Oh bless her. It must be upsetting and confusing for her. Good you got some help, let's hope it's a one off and not a regular occurence.

    Jean x

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    1. Thanks Jean. She seems a little brighter today. Us girls do have a lot to put up with! x

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  6. Aww, poor little girl. Hope she is better soon :-)

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    1. Thanks Ann. Keeping fingers crossed she feels back to normal before long. I've had to take the toy cow away and I feel miserable about doing it but that was the vet's advice.

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  7. I'm sure that she will be fine, Bramble went through this on her first season and tablets were required to shift her milk. They were pretty effective and after a week there was hardly any signs. Give Pop a scratch behind the ear from me.

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  8. Sorry to hear about Poppy and do hope she's back to normal soon. It must be so sad and upsetting to witness :( I've no experience I am afraid as the 2 dogs I had years ago were both male!

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    1. She seems to be more settled today so is hopefully feeling calmer :-)

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  9. I have heard of this happening and glad to know Vet saw her and she will be ok in a week or so. Poor little doggie - best wishes for speedy recovery.

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    1. Thank you:-) its a new experience for me. You live and learn :-)

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  10. This post has triggered a thought I've had for ages regarding Polly our mummy cat. She had the four kittens 6 years ago and was then nuetered but every now and then Rupert her boy kitten (son) lol. gets all funny with her as though she's on heat and I wondered if she displays some of the signs even though she can no longer have kittens.. What do you think?
    Poor old Pop, lets hope the meds work soon and she's back to normal.
    Briony
    x

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    1. I guess she could be giving off heat type signs. Maybe there is enough hormone production for a male cat to sense it? Pop seems happier today- she is sticking like glue to our boys so maybe she's transferred her puppy feelings on to them :-)

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  11. I grew up with 50 dogs - my parents bred/judged dachshunds. These phantom pregs are quite common. She would get over it naturally in time, and I have to say that psychologically dogs live 'in the moment'. One day she'd feel broody, and goodness, next day it's gone. Broody? What's that? It seems a little harsh taking away her 'baby', the pills will shift her thinking and she would lose interest in it soon enough. Is she spayed? If not, and you don't want her to have pups, it may be something to think about.

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    1. That's interesting Stephanie. Thanks for the info. A calmer lass today so hoping she's starting to settle a bit.

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  12. Poor Poppy, hope she's back to normal very soon.
    xxx

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    1. I think she's feeling better today. She seems more like her normal self xx

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  13. Ohh, poor Poppy! I hope that she is feeling a bit better by now, and that Teddy keeps on taking good care of her, what a lovely dog he is to look after her. xx

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    1. Teddy has been so sweet with her. He is a real poppet. I think she is a bit happier today, which is a relief xx

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  14. Poor Poppy, producing milk and everything! Glad Teddy is being a good boy. Only having male dogs I have no experience to pass on on this subject...sorry CT wish I could help.

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    1. I think we're getting there now - she isn't showing any other signs except the milk now and that should dry up soon. big relief!

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  15. Hope pops is feeling better it's not easy when are pets are not at their best..
    Amanda xxx

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  16. Poor Pops! We had a cocker spaniel who had a phantom pregnancy when I was a kid but I don't remember much about it. Hope she gets back to normal soon. :-)

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    1. It does seems to be pretty common- I've just had an email from my friend Mrs m and their pup thinks she's had babies too :-)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x