A few weeks after giving birth, brood bitches sometimes develop a kind of breast infection called canine mastitis. This type of infection is not ordinary among female canines but an owner should still take necessary precautions when their pets are diagnosed with such illness.
When puppies are weaned too early, it can cause an infection to lactating canines. Another factor would be the constant scratches from the claws of the puppies on the mother’s breasts. Other canine-related infections can also affect this condition.
Signs and Symptoms
Normally, a nursing dog’s breasts are warm and enlarged due to the mammary glands that are developing inside the system of the nursing dog. One of the physical symptoms of canine mastitis is that the breasts of the lactating canine turn red or dark-colored and painful when touched. However, if the infection becomes severe, the symptom of dark-colored breast segment turns even darker or blacker with hard and extremely sore breasts.
A brood bitch suffering from canine mastitis is most likely to develop fever and appear weak. She may also possibly lose appetite for food. Because of the throbbing pain in their breasts, they are very sensitive to touch and would not let their babies come near them or even nurse them.
Treatment of Canine Mastitis
If you own a female dog that is lactating, make sure to check on the mammary glands for any indications of breast infection. Once the symptoms of canine mastitis are present, bring your pet to the vet right away. The canine will be examined and prescribed with antibiotics when the dog is diagnosed with such infection. In this case, too, the owner will be advised to perform a hand feeding or assisted feeding.
You might want to ask your vet if it is okay to have the canine nurse its pups even with the infected breast when the fever goes down. It is said that feeding them from the affected breast does not harm the puppies. In fact, it even cleanses the mammary glands and may possibly lower the level of infection. To be sure though, it is still best to seek professional consultation from the animal experts.
Antibiotics will be very helpful in soothing the pain and preventing an invariable occurrence of infection especially that the affected breast will create open wounds on the sides. Remember to ask for assistance from the vet to conduct a cleansing of the wound and how to administer the antibiotics.