Difference between revisions of "Pseudopregnancy"

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Pseudopregnancy (phantom pregnancy; false pregnancy; pseudocyesis) is a relatively common phenomenon in small dogs characterized by pregnancy behaviour, physical changes associated with pregnancy, but the absence of foetuses.
 
Pseudopregnancy (phantom pregnancy; false pregnancy; pseudocyesis) is a relatively common phenomenon in small dogs characterized by pregnancy behaviour, physical changes associated with pregnancy, but the absence of foetuses.
  
Pseudo pregnancy is a normal physiological process that occurs in female dogs, not usually associated with reproductive organ disorders. It is seen 45-60 days after a normal estrous (heat) period, as progesterone levels, which rise after ovulation, begin to fall<ref>Gobello C ''et al'' (2001) Study of the change of prolactin and progesterone during dopaminergic agonist treatments in pseudopregnant bitches. ''Anim Reprod Sci'' '''66(3-4)''':257-267</ref>. Decreasing progesterone leads to an increase of prolactin, responsible for most of the behaviors seen during a pseudopregnancy episode<ref>Gobello C ''et al'' (2001) Dioestrous ovariectomy: a model to study the role of progesterone in the onset of canine pseudopregnancy. ''J Reprod Fertil Suppl'' '''57''':55-60</ref>.  
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Pseudo pregnancy is a normal physiological process that occurs in female dogs, not usually associated with reproductive organ disorders. It is seen 45 - 60 days after a normal estrous (heat) period, as progesterone levels, which rise after ovulation, begin to fall<ref>Gobello C ''et al'' (2001) Study of the change of prolactin and progesterone during dopaminergic agonist treatments in pseudopregnant bitches. ''Anim Reprod Sci'' '''66(3-4)''':257-267</ref>. Decreasing progesterone leads to an increase of prolactin, responsible for most of the behaviors seen during a pseudopregnancy episode<ref>Gobello C ''et al'' (2001) Dioestrous ovariectomy: a model to study the role of progesterone in the onset of canine pseudopregnancy. ''J Reprod Fertil Suppl'' '''57''':55-60</ref>.
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Histologically, during late metoestrous, endometrial epithelial surface cells frequently accumulate fat and thereby adopt a foamy morphology, giving the endometrial lining a characteristic foamy appearance during pseudopregnancy<ref>Bartel C ''et al'' (2013) Characterization of Foamy Epithelial Surface Cells in the Canine Endometrium. ''Anat Histol Embryol'' [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23617756 Apr 26]</ref>.
  
 
Clinical signs include mothering of toys, nesting, or even aggression. Mammary development and milk production are common.  
 
Clinical signs include mothering of toys, nesting, or even aggression. Mammary development and milk production are common.  

Latest revision as of 06:01, 29 April 2013

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Pseudopregnancy (phantom pregnancy; false pregnancy; pseudocyesis) is a relatively common phenomenon in small dogs characterized by pregnancy behaviour, physical changes associated with pregnancy, but the absence of foetuses.

Pseudo pregnancy is a normal physiological process that occurs in female dogs, not usually associated with reproductive organ disorders. It is seen 45 - 60 days after a normal estrous (heat) period, as progesterone levels, which rise after ovulation, begin to fall[1]. Decreasing progesterone leads to an increase of prolactin, responsible for most of the behaviors seen during a pseudopregnancy episode[2].

Histologically, during late metoestrous, endometrial epithelial surface cells frequently accumulate fat and thereby adopt a foamy morphology, giving the endometrial lining a characteristic foamy appearance during pseudopregnancy[3].

Clinical signs include mothering of toys, nesting, or even aggression. Mammary development and milk production are common.

Mastitis and vaginal hyperplasia are sometimes observed as a complication. Pseudopregnancy can also be acutely induced by spaying a dog near the end of estrus.

Diagnosis is based on the presence of typical clinical signs in metaoestrous non-pregnant bitches[4].

Treatment usually involves hysterectomy or allowing time for symptoms to abate by normal hormonal resolution.

Proligestone, bromocriptine[5] or cabergoline may be indicated if excessive prolactin production is evident (>4 ng/mL)[6].

References

  1. Gobello C et al (2001) Study of the change of prolactin and progesterone during dopaminergic agonist treatments in pseudopregnant bitches. Anim Reprod Sci 66(3-4):257-267
  2. Gobello C et al (2001) Dioestrous ovariectomy: a model to study the role of progesterone in the onset of canine pseudopregnancy. J Reprod Fertil Suppl 57:55-60
  3. Bartel C et al (2013) Characterization of Foamy Epithelial Surface Cells in the Canine Endometrium. Anat Histol Embryol Apr 26
  4. Gobello C et al (2001) A review of canine pseudocyesis. Reprod Domest Anim 36(6):283-288
  5. Grünau B et al (1996) The treatment of pseudopregnancy in the bitch with prolactin inhibitors metergoline and bromocriptine. Tierarztl Prax 24(2):149-155
  6. Tsutsui T et al (2007) Plasma progesterone and prolactin concentrations in overtly pseudopregnant bitches: a clinical study. Theriogenology 67(5):1032-1038